Green Tractor Talk banner

Tillers! Forward VS. Reverse Rotaton. Which works best?

8641 Views 22 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Zebrafive
4 different soil conditions tested. Is there a clear winner?

Garden Tillers: Forward vs Reverse Rotation? 4 Distinct Tests
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
I haven't watched the video yet but to me the comparison would be moot. I have a forward tiller RT1157 and at this size I doubt it would make a lot of difference in my use. At the moment I am tending the gardens, not breaking new ground.
I do have a lot of experience with Tilly, my Cub Cadet forward/reverse rear tine tiller. We have churned up the gardens from scratch and uncovered a lot of rocks and buried trash from long ago. It got so we could tell the rough size and depth of a rock and if more than one just by feel. In one garden we had to haul some of the rocks out with the truck (didn't have tractor George yet).
For the walk behind tiller, initial ground breaking is best done with reverse which tends to scoop up rocks (if possible) and break the hard surface from below. Forward is best to crumble the dirt finer, push the grass and such below ground, and smooth the path. It is more likely to climb over bigger rocks but also spits out the smaller ones to the rear and sides. I have stalled out Tilly in both directions and had to replace shear bolts in the tires several times. Funny, only had to replace shear pins in the tines twice.
One odd thing I have noticed with Tilly each year. We get out all the rocks we can find with several passes in spring, then next year there is a new crop of them. Must be good rock seeds there that grow over the winter. When I make a spring pass with the RT1157 I don't find any rocks to speak of, but it is so big I can't feel them like I do with Tilly.
  • Like
Reactions: DBCSteve
Tractor George and the RT1157 make tilling the established gardens so easy. I really have to finish doing the offset right this year, needed because they added wheel spacers to accomodate snow chains but didn't resize my tiller when I bought it. If I knew then what I know now...........
If I were to till new ground here I know I will get significant rocks. I've been digging out the ones I find at the surface. The ones I call mower killers. Some start as 2" above ground and turn into 4' monsters. A little much to task a tiller with.
Don't have a plow at the moment but I do have a subsoiler. I would use it to break up the ground a bit and look for the bigger rocks. Dig out the rocks then I would till. Little walk behind Tilly is mostly in retirement now and is brought out for special needs. I would think a pass with a plow blade or something would help with roots and rock detections.
Whenever I till I go as deep as I can. May not need to every year, but it keeps the rocks down. It also spreads the compost deeper.
I have 2 acres in the back I might till if I can figure out what I might want to plant.
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.