When I was a young girl, my father taught me how to use a rototiller to till garden soil. He explained how the rototiller worked, several different parts of the rototiller, safety when using it, and the pattern you used when actually tilling the soil. Over the years, through trial and error, I discovered some of the things he showed me were not as easy for me as they had been for him, especially when I was a single woman.
Tip #1 – Rototiller Manual
Knowledge comes with time. However, before you acquire that knowledge, read the manual that came with your rototiller. If you do not have one, try accessing the Internet. Many companies will post manuals online. If there is not an online manual, consider emailing or calling the company to acquire one. The store where you purchased the rototiller may also have a copy of the manual.
Tip #2 – Lifting
Ladies, a rototiller can be very heavy, so if you have to lift it, get some help. This is important for women and men, because even a slight back injury can quickly end your gardening for the season, if not longer. My rototiller is in a shed that is not ground level, so I have to lift it to get it in and out. Do not be afraid to ask a family member, friend or even a neighbor for help. Always remember to bend at the knees when lifting a heavy object.
Tip #3 – Debris and Gloves
Protect your hands and fingernails by wearing gardening gloves when using your rototiller. Rototillers are strong machines and controlling them with your hands can leave blisters. Use your gloves to remove debris from around the tines. If need be, remove the tines to remove the debris.
Tip #4 – Starting Your Rototiller
For some women, starting a rototiller is not a problem, but if you are small, this can be a daunting task. Be sure to follow the staring instructions in your manual. Pulling the cord can quickly wear you out so it is important to have the correct settings when starting your rototiller. My rototiller is seven years old, and although the manual says to have the choke all the way open, my rototiller still will not start. I have to position the level right before the choke setting. I only use my rototiller about two to three times a year, so I would tend to forget the settings. To remind myself of the correct settings, I made a small mark on the rototiller near the choke.
Tip #5 – Oil, Gas, and Spark Plug
If your rototiller will not start, it may be one or all of three things, oil, gas, and/or spark plug. Before starting your rototiller check the oil, make sure it is full. Check to make sure there is gas in the rototiller. If the rototiller still will not start, replace the spark plug. If you are still having problems getting your rototiller to start, take it to a repair shop.
NOTE: I have used the gas that was still in the rototiller gas tank from the previous year. I let the rototiller run fast when I first start it to help get rid of any moisture that may be in the tank. If I am still having difficulty starting my rototiller, I will drain the old gas and put in new.
NOTE: Make sure you have the right tools to work on your rototiller such as pliers and a socket wrench to replace the spark plug.
For more information on maintaining your rototiller, check out the following:
How to Maintain Your Garden Rototiller