When it comes to tilling, there are many options available. One of the most common tools is a garden tiller which is used for quickly churning up the soil. Garden tillers can be very efficient at turning over and mixing materials into the soils, especially in vegetable gardens and raised beds.
There are many types of tillers on the market including rear-tine rotary tillers and front-tine rotary tillers. The former model does just as its name implies: It puts tines on the back side that rotate as they dig into the ground and move forward through your substrate.https://tillersplanet.com/harley-rake-vs-tiller/
Front-tining has its own merits as well: Tines on both sides turn upward toward you as you row closer to them.
But what you may not know is that there is another type of tiller in the garden. This one doesn’t really look like a tiller at all; it looks more like something that jumps out of the ground and runs away, though it does its work well . It’s called a Harley Rake or Landscape Rake (not to be confused with the motorcycle).
The tines on this garden tool are usually very long, sturdy metal prongs attached to an arched wooden handle. Like other tillers, they help mix materials into the substrate as they rake through it, but also serve another purpose: Weeding.
Harley Rakes do their job well when removing weeds because the tools barely touch the soil surface which leaves the soil undisturbed and weed-free. This rake has long tines (up to 4 feet) which allows it to dig deep into the soil to extract stubborn, deep rooted weeds such as dandelion and thistle.
The only disadvantage of this garden tool is that it’s not great for fine weeding…it works well on most weeds but doesn’t have the precision needed for some types of ground cover removal .
The tiller, with its shorter tines is better at cultivating delicate crops because it doesn’t disturb the surface where plant matter is slowing being turned into topsoil . It has a short handle which makes it easier to use in tighter areas than the Harley Rake, but also limits its reach.
The tiller is the more versatile option between these two garden tools. It can be used on most types of ground (not requiring fine weeding) and has the benefit of being able to cultivate topsoil as it’s turned over.
The Harley Rake is a good solution for areas where competition for soil minerals, nutrients and moisture are limited . In other words, this tool is best suited in open spaces such as fields where its benefits have room to shine through. The only downside is that it’s not great for those “finicky” weeds that require precision removal from your prized plants.