Using a rental TILLER to till lawn

I would like to make a garden where previously there was lawn. Using a shovel is just too hard and I know will ruin my shoes. So I would like to rent a tiller and use it, but I am not sure if it can do the job on the land than never was tilled and has thick lawn grass.
Any ideas, can I expect to rent something useable?
i
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Make sure that the tiller that you rent has the tiller behind the drive wheels. It will still be hard work and will require going over the area several times. You will still probably need to rake out as much grass and root as possible. If the tiller is in front or under the motor, it will beat you to death. One mounted on a tractor is even better.
#################### Keep the whole world singing. . . Dan G (remove the 7)

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In our cold climate, we cut the grass very short, put layers of wet newspaper, and mulch on top during fall. The next spring, the grass, root and newspaper turns into compost (not really, but the remains won't hurt flowers).
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The way that most blades behind wheel tillers have the blades configured if you use the tiller in reverse you will be able to cut into the grass much easier. However be advised this does put a much higher amount of stress on the unit that it should be experiencing but wont do any harm if it is only a small area. Several passes on the first depth setting will also work well. --Pete

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On 19 Sep 2003 03:17:51 GMT, someone wrote:

Sure, and I don't know why it wouldn't cut through the grass, a tiller did fine when we put a garden in, but if you turn out to have some special hard assed soil then give up and hire a guy with a tractor. Having not seen & dug a test pit in your yard, I couldn't tell you any better from here.
But you'll *still* have to not run the tiller in your penny loafers. Ruin your shoes! LOL! What were you wearing to dig with, high heels?
-v.
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Great line eh? hehehe I think high heels is about right.
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no, they were actually work boots...
i
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Three ways - first the best, in order:
1. Mow the lawn as short as possible, I mean scalp it, and then lay down several layers of newspaper, soak it, and mulch heavily with straw or some other non-seed-bearing mulch. Wait until spring, and then till it up. Only works if you're not in a hurry.
2. Rent a sod cutter and remove the top couple inches, pile the sod upside down somewhere and it will turn into compost, or use it to patch other areas of your lawn. Then till. Tough work but it's for the "I want it now" people.
3. Just till it. Backbreaking, takes a while, depending on your soil. I *wrecked* a 6hp Sears tiller, brand new, three years ago tilling up a 3' wide by 40' long strip in my yard for a garden, and the roots and seeds that were tilled under all resprouted. I have since moved on to option #1 with planning aforethought.
Jon E
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On Fri, 19 Sep 2003 21:33:13 GMT, someone wrote:

Guess it sure does depend on your soil. We hired a guy to come over with a regular Troy-Bilt type tiller (just a young guy making a few bucks on the side with his Dad's tiller). He tilled up a never before tilled area, not very big, maybe 12 x 24 feet, for $50 and we tried hard not to feel it was overpriced for the short time it took him (but then he had to BRING the thing to the site too....)
A friend bought a new tiller, I set it up for her, we started it up and tilled her garden (1st time) in about 10 minutes, so quick we were kinda let down and went around looking for things to till up! I admit her soil was quite sandy, that area is known for that sort of thing.
-v.
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