I've never been totally successful in waiting till the exact opportune moment to till my garden and I don't suppose that I ever will be.

I usually till my garden once or twice and when I'm ready to plant I am greeted with tremendous dirt clods (more than my 2 year old son has the tenacity to smash with a hammer). I could till it again, but generally part of the garden is OK, so I plant a few rows and then find that I've got really bad conditions in the rest of the garden. So I get out the mantis and do what I can.

What can I do after I've screwed up everything besides find a new part of my lawn to decimate? What I'd like would be some sort of soil amendment that can magically unclod my dirt as easily as I could do with a pitchfork or hammer after a good rain.


1 Answer 1


Sounds like you may be tilling when it is too wet. Next time, wait until it dries out some more. Give your soil the squeeze test before tilling:

This test should be with soil from a 2 1/2 - 3' depth. 1. Pick up a handful of soil. 2. Squeeze it into a small ball. 3. Upon applying pressure to the ball the ball should crumble. If your fingers' pressure causes it to compress more, it is still still too wet to till.

This time, assuming it is dry enough now, you should be able to just run the tiller through it again to break up the clods.

You might also want to check if you have high enough organic matter in the soil. I find that adding gobs of compost over time makes it so I don't get big dirt clumps.

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