How do You use a rotavator?
Updated: Jun 14
Let’s start with what a rotavator is.
A rotavator is a piece of equipment used to break up and aerate soil and land before planting seeds, plants, or before laying turf in the designated area.
Rotavators work, as their rotating blades, spins vigorously, churning up the soil as it passes over.
Rotavators are also known as garden tillers and cultivators, and you’ll find tractor rotavators great for tilling large areas of land.
Why use a rotavator?
There are several reasons why people choose rotavators on both small plots of land and large fields. These include:
To help improve drainage.
To break up the soil with their rotating blade.
To level uneven areas of land
To improve soil texture and appearance.
To aerate the soil, ready for growing crops, etc.
Helping with weed removal and control
Helping to aerate the earth so it can absorb fertilisers more and better.
There is a range of different mini rotavators to choose from, depending on your requirements and the size of the piece of land you’re looking to cultivate.
From medium-duty cultivators to heavy-duty hydraulic rotavators, these powerful pieces of equipment are great for larger jobs and tackling vast farmland.
How to use a mini tractor rotavator
There are several things you must do and consider before getting to work with a rotavator.
These areas include:
Checking the soil moisture
This is especially important if the land area has never been tilled before, and soil moisture must be carefully considered.
For example, sandy soils can be rotavated at any time, whereas those soils that have a high clay density will behave differently when they’re wet, compared to when they are dry, and trust us this will affect tilling. As when clay soil dries, it can become very hard, making it extremely hard to cultivate, and rotavating is made much more difficult as a result. When these instances occur, you may only be able to scrape away the top layer of soil.
And, if the soil in question is well compacted, it will need to be well watered for a few hours over a few days before tilling can occur. You will also need to test the soil too, feeling to make sure that it is now of the right consistency and that water has drained well before any tilling begins.
Disposing of weeds appropriately
A rotavator can probably chew up a lot of weeds that appear in its path; however, sometimes
weeds can get caught in the rotavators tines, which stops you in your tracks as you remove these and make sure the blades are weed-free.
However, the biggest reason for removing weeds a couple of days before you intend to rotavate the soil is to stop them being caught up in the rotavator and then spread around the land, increasing the chances of more weeds returning – which is a situation nobody wants!
This means having the right rotavator for the job and the tractor!
You should also bear in mind that rotavators aren’t designed to move quickly but cautiously and methodically.
We would also recommend using ear defenders as well as padded gloves as a minimum
when operating mini rotavators and keeping hands and feet well clear of the tines while the equipment is moving.
Note: If you’re opting to use a ground tiller on smaller plots of land, you must handle these pieces of equipment with care, as they are still heavy-duty, can buck when they hit the uneven ground, and they still have dangerously sharp blades.
What does a rotavator do?
Rotavators ultimately cultivate land into strips, where each strip slightly overlaps the last, leaving a tilled area in its wake.
A rotavator will sometimes jump if it comes across something hard (rocks or large stones), and in these instances, it’s important not to panic, let the rotavator buck as necessary, and then simply guide it back on track slowly and efficiently.
You will typically require several passes with the rotavator to achieve the final desired outcome. It is recommended that in your first pass, you go no deeper than 2 to 3 inches, going deeper on each pass after that.
You should also repeat the process at right angles to gain maximum coverage.
Tractor rotavator for sale
Whether you’re looking for a mini tractor rotavator or a heavy-duty hydraulic rotavator,
Beckside Machinery can help.
We offer a range of attachments and farm equipment to suit all requirements and to meet all specifications.
Our full range of tilling equipment can be found online, or you can call our friendly team on 01673 828 965, and we’d be happy to provide you with further information.