A Comprehensive Guide on How to Use a Rotovator and Cultivate Your Soil

What is a Rotovator and How Does it Work?

This blog article will discuss how a rotavator works, its benefits, and some of its common uses.

A rotavator is a machine used in gardening, farming, landscaping and other agricultural industries for ground preparation, predominately to break up, aerate and mix soil. The rotavator has been around since the early 20th century and can also known as a tiller, rotary hoe, or cultivator. 

Rotavators are invaluable tools for improving the quality of soil, especially in agricultural applications. Featuring a set of blades attached to the front axle, rotavators make contact with the earth and turn as they move along, breaking through the soil and loosening it up. This not only improves drainage and levels but also allows for better soil aeration, resulting in a higher quality of land that can be used for growing flowers, vegetables and a wide range of crops.

How to Choose the Right Rotovator for Your Garden

Choosing the right rotovator for your garden can be a challenging task. With so many options available, it can be difficult to decide which one is the best for you. There are many different types of rotovators available, ranging from small garden tillers to medium and larger heavy duty models - each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

It is important to consider the size of your garden and the type of application you have before deciding on the best rotavator for your needs. If you have a small garden or allotment a small garden tiller would be a great fit, wheras the medium and larger heavy duty models are better suited for larger plots of land, vegetable patches, and small fields. These tools are highly effective pieces of professional machinery and are best suited for large scale projects.

Preparing Your Garden for Use of A Rotovator

Preparing your garden for use of a rotovator is an important step in achieving the best results. Rotovating your soil helps to break up hard ground and create a more fertile environment for plants to thrive. This section will provide tips on how to prepare your soil for rotavating and how to use a tiller on hard ground. By following these steps, you can ensure that your garden is ready for the use of a rotovator and get the most out of it.

Soil Moisture

Before deciding whether to use a rotavator, it is essential to take soil moisture into account. This is especially true for soils that are compacted or have never been cultivated before. Whilst cultivating sandy soil can be done all year round, with clay soils you have to take more in to consideration as they differ when wet to when they are dry. Clay soil can become very tough when it dries up. This makes using a tiller or rotavator to cultivate the hard ground difficult as they might not be able to dig more than a few inches deep. If this is the case for your garden or allotment, you may need to water the ground or wait until we have some rainfall. Excessively wet clay soil can also be a problem, it can become clumpy and clogged when cultivated, which eventually leads to the soil hardening like rocks once dry. 

Prior to cultivating compacted or untilled soil, it is recommended to water it for a few hours over the course of three to four days. Once that is done, you can verify if the soil has drained enough to be tilled. Testing the soil moisture level prior to tilling can be done by scooping a sample from 6 inches below the surface, rolling it into a ball and trying to break it apart using one finger. If the ball dents instead of breaking, it indicates that the soil is still too moist to be cultivated.
Weed Removal

Before utilizing a cultivator or rotavator in your soil, it is important that any weeds be cleared out a few days before. If you cultivate or rotate through the weeds, it may result in them being spread across the area and causing more work to be done in order to get rid of them.

Best Practices for Operating A Rotovator


Operating ground tillers and rotavators can be extremely dangerous if all safety guidelines are not strictly followed. It is essential that you keep yourself and other people away from the blades, and always maintain control over the machine. To ensure safe operation you are required to have the correct equipment for the job and to proceed at an appropriate speed. Additionally, it is recommended to wear ear defenders and padded gloves, especially when operating heavy-duty machinery.

Utilising a tiller/rotavator can be quite physically strenuous as it needs to be continuously worked with. To prevent potential injury and exhaustion, it is best to maintain a relaxed posture with a firm grip of the handles and let the rotavator take care of any obstacles that come its way. This will also help keep it on track.

For optimal results, it is recommended that you till the land in strips. It is important to slightly overlap with the adjacent strips while continuing your work. Make two or three passes over each strip and then repeat the procedure at right angles to the original tilled strips. Do not dig any deeper than 2-3 inches on your first pass.