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Rotavator Tines

I have just purchased a new rotavator and like a lot of chinese imported stuff the instructions are translated and poor, so much so that they don't tell you which way round to fit the tines onto the drive shaft.

If I have them one way, the tines curve backwards and would "slice" into the soil. If fitted the other way they would "hook" into the soil and I am not sure which way is best, I went up to the plot today to run the engine for the first time but it was too wet to give it a try in the soil.

I presume one way will be more efficient or less violent than the other. does anyone have their machine to hand that could look.image 


  • Hello Steve,

    Rotivator tines turn the same way as the wheels. If you are looking at the machine from the side with the front pointing to the right, they rotate clockwise. When you fit the tines the cutting edge (the edge that is not flat or blunt), faces backwards, so when the tines rotate they come round forward and cut into the soil. I hope the soil conditions improve so you're able to get outside and give it a go.

    Emma. team

  • Hi Emma,

    I also bought a rotivator last year and was so pleased with the results I did my father's lawn as well as his grows wonderfull, (he doesn't describe it this way), moss which i use for lining my baskets. unfortunately after a few weeks his lawn was completly covered in creeping buttercup which had never happened before. I presume the tines had cut through the plants and distributed it over the rest of the lawn. Any idea how to avoid this again without using chemicals?

  • Hello Ceris,

    I wouldn't use a rotivator for that job. You could use a rake as per Monty's video:

    or if you want to use a machine, there are lawn scarifiers you can buy. It sounds as though the more gentle raking approach, involving less severing of buttercup runners, would be best for you if you can do it. Creeping buttercup and moss are both signs of poorly drained lawns, so some aeration, also shown in the above video, would probably help.

    Have a look at our advice on dealing with creeping buttercup below:

    I hope you'll soon have both beautiful baskets and well-trained lawns,

    Emma. team.

  • Hi! Guy's n Gal's!! I too purchased a few nice machines recently, and have had a good full productive day on my newly awarded allotment today trying them out! and well chuffed with both the heavy duty rotivator and my little Deluxe Mantis tiller I am!! Although my back is telling me maybe I should have called it a day a little earlier!!!!  But after a nice hot soak all is well!! Steve! is it a tiller or a rotivator? because some machines are designed to cultivate with the tines one way n till in the other!! 

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