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How to rotavate your garden

Rotavating Your Garden

When using horticultural equipment there is a range of specialised tools available to you that allow you to create a professional finish to your garden easily, effectively and affordably

What is a rotavator?

Rotavators’ are powerful gardening tools that are designed to breakup and aerate your lands soil.  The machines are equipped with a set of rotating blades which break through the soil during their rotation. This action not only improves drainage but also helps level the area making the selected ground perfect for growing vegetables or growing crops.

What you need to do is aerate your lawn using one of our petrol lawn aerators. The benefit of aerating a lawn is that it allows air, water and nutrients to reach the roots of the grass, relieves soil compaction and removes unwanted thatch and foreign material.


Types of Rotavators?

Here at Hire Station we have 3 pieces of equipment available for you to hire at your convenience. These are the Light Duty Petrol Cultivator / Tiller, the Medium Duty Petrol Rotavator and the Heavy Duty Petrol Rotavator (but we only recommend this for particularly challenging and labour intensive projects).

If you haven’t already selected your equipment to use then not to worry as you can hire professional and quality equipment here from Hire Station! Just click which tool you require below and begin your hire process!

Which piece of equipment should I use?

This depends on how large a job you have to undertake. Our light duty cultivator / tiller is ideal for small gardens or allotments where as our medium duty petrol rotavator is more suited to larger plots of land, vegetable patches and small fields.

Also another aspect to consider is how deep you want you disturb the ground. The light duty cultivator / tiller only turns over the top soil (with a digging depth of 200mm) whereas the medium duty petrol rotavator will go much deeper (with a digging depth of 230mm).

Rotavating Your Garden

Petrol Cultivator

Rotavating Your Garden


How to use a rotavator

Ground Preparation

Before using the cultivator / tiller or rotavator it is important check the moisture of the ground you’ll be using the equipment on, especially if the soil is compact or hasn’t been tilled before. If your soil contains clay that is too hard the machine may have difficulty having an effect, instead just scraping away at the top couple of inches of the soil.

On the other hand is the soil is too wet clod will form during tilling that harden off as they dry ruining the soil until the next winter softens them.

If your soil has never been tilled before, you must water it three or four days before you attempt to cultivate / rotavate it. This should be done over several hours to fully soften the soil.

TOP TIP - a quick and simply way to check to see if this has worked is dig a 6-inch deep hole and extract from soil from its base. When rubbed between your thumb and index finger it should easily crumble. If it dents rather than crumbles the soil is still too moist and you must wait a little longer.

Weed reduction

Before using a cultivator / tiller or rotavator on your soil it is important to remove any weeds a few days in advance. If you cultivate / tiller or rotavate through weeds you run the risk of spreading them throughout your plot and creating even more work.

If the weather is warm and dry cut the weeds using on our lawnmowers three days before you intend to rotavate the soil.

If the weather is overcast, cold or rainy cut any weeds at least two weeks be forehand to allow them soften and dry.

rotavate the soil

rotavate the soil

rotavate the soil

Operating the Machine

Once you have started to machine (using the technique and process presented to you by the Hire Station staff during handover) slowly begin to move forward. You should always work length ways across your soil to create long channels to which you can add vegetables, plants etc. You can repeat the process as many times as you see fit until you are comfortable with the finish, this maybe as little as a single pass or three or four.

The handle bars of our medium petrol rotavator can be adjusted sideways so you don’t have to walk on the freshly rotavated soil as well as been adjustable in ride to suit the operator.

Rotavator Hire

Rotavator Hire

Rotavator Hire

General Safety Tips

It is important to remember when using the cultivator / tiller or rotavator that you should always keep a firm grip on the machines controls whilst keeping your feet well away from the rear of the machine.

Be careful not to apply large amount of vertical pressure as this may cause the machine to jump.

DO NOT rotavate on soil which has an angle of greater than 20 degrees.

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