As soon as possible in the spring I start working on my garden preparations. Usually, I start by raking up and pulling the residue from last year’s plant and weed remains. After I clear out all I can—I burn the rest to avoid weeds and vines clogging up the tiller tines. I almost always do two burns to get the wetter residue, which won’t dry until it gets air exposure. After burning, the real work begins! Once the burn process is over I start the cultivating process.
The areas I’m planting root crops in I usually turn over with a good cultivating fork. This is not an easy job, but it will greatly help the root crop production. A good plow will also work well, but in a confined area like mine, I can’t use a plow. Once the dirt is turned over, I run my small cultivator through it to mix up the soil blend, then rake it down and begin planting.
In the larger plots, I use a rear-tine tiller that I bought over 10 years ago and it is still working fine. Any kind of tiller you want to use will work. The rear-tine is best to work in the dirt and rocks, but it is much heavier to maneuver especial at the ends of the rows.