How to Identify and Fix Common Gardening Problems ?

We provide a variety of viewpoints on how to identify and fix common gardening problems. Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced gardeners :

Tiller: Why won`t my tillers wheels or tines turn? A broken drive belt, bad transmission or problem with the clutch cable can prevent a tiller`s wheels and tines from turning. Check the drive belt and replace it if it`s worn or broken.
One of the most common problems, especially because rototillers often sit unused for months, is stale fuel or a clogged carburetor. If you know you have fresh fuel, you can check for carburetor blockage by spraying a small amount of carb cleaner into the intake and attempting to start the engine.
If the rotary tiller still doesn`t start:

Check that the fuel tank isn`t empty: if necessary, add fuel. The fuel must be fresh, of good quality and clean: make sure that no dirt, water or incompatible fuel (such as petrol-oil mixture, if the engine is a 4-stroke) gets into the tank.

Counter-rotating tine tillers have tines that rotate counter-clockwise. The frontward pull of the wheels combined with the counter-rotation enables an individual to till compact soil very easily. Counter-rotating tine tillers are the best for loosening hard or clay soils.
After repeated use, the tines, or blades, dull and wear down. No matter what type or brand of tiller you own, these blades will need to be sharpened or replaced to keep your machine working properly.
You should change your tiller oil at least every spring, but ideally after every 50 hours of operation. Between oil changes, check your oil level before each use to ensure there`s enough oil present. Small amounts of oil may burn off during use, so you may need to occasionally top it off.
A tiller is ideal for use on larger gardens with hard and compacted soil, while a cultivator is perfect for smaller gardens with softer soil. Rotavators are the largest and most powerful of the three and are best suited for commercial gardens and farms.
Your Mower Won`t Start:

Other possible causes include: Loose, Dirty or Disconnected Spark Plug in Your Lawn Mower: Check it out, clean off debris, re-connect and tighten. Dirty Air Filter: Clean or replace. Fuel Not Reaching the Engine: Tap the side of the carburetor to help the flow of gas.

Forward and reverse tine rotary tillers operate exactly as described. Forward rotating tines, like those on the RT3062, rotate forward on the shaft in the same direction the tractor is traveling. Reverse rotating tines, like those on the RT3062R, rotate on the shaft in the opposite direction the tractor is traveling.

Discover Relevant Questions and Answers for Your Specific Issue

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

MDT Tiller starts and runs but tines won’t turn
ANSWER : -Won out drive or driven gears.

Good luck


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I have a Pro Hoe tiller with 4 cycle Honda engine. I just got started to till my garden plot when the tines stopped turning, like they were jammed. I stopped the engine and cleaned out the vines, string, etc that was wrapped around the tine shaft. It started right up, but the tines stop turning with slightest resistance. When I manually turn the tines it feels like something is grinding internally. Honda engine runs fine. I do not have a repair manual. Are they available. Does it sound like a transmission problem? Help! My seeds are waiting to get planted & sprout.
ANSWER : Must have burned the clutch, says to break it in slowly over a few uses.

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Rear tiller won’t go into gear.belt needs replacing
ANSWER : Find your model number from the list on this link and click to get your manual

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Engine runs fine on 2-cycle Mantis tiller, but tines won’t turn when they touch ground. They turn when I start engine and when I “walk” the machine around, but if I try to till, they stop turning and engine sounds muffled. Engine sounds full power beforehand.
ANSWER : Your problem is a common one on Mantis tillers. The engine sounds like it is not breathing properly. I have fixed dozens of these problems and it is almost always the spark arrestor clogged up. The spark arrestor is found inside a small housing on the muffler (easy to fix). There are 3 screws that need to be removed to get the muffler cover off, then you will see a small housing a little over an inch long with another 3 screws…remove them and you will see a small screen that is probably clogged. Clean it and the housing with a solvent (I usually use carb cleaner) then re-install the arrestor and reassemble the muffler cover. This will fix your problem about 80% of the time.

If that is not the problem you may need to fix the carburetor (take my advice and just buy a new one…not much more expensive than the repair kit and a lot simpler.

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My tiller rear tines are rubbing against inside metal. It appears the tines shaft bar has slide to one side. Unable to move back. Any ideas how to fix
ANSWER : Open the center case and check the roll pin inside

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I have a Craftsman 5HP tiller that starts but will not go into gear. The wheels will roll one revolution and then lock-up. What are some possible causes of these symptoms?
ANSWER : That is gears

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Tines turning, mantis 2 cycle tiller
ANSWER : Sounds like a piston seizure. are you using correct oil and ratio. carb could be going lean and causing the cylinder to over heat, adjust high speed mixing screw and hope no damage has resulted.

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Tines wont turn
ANSWER : Without really knowing what is broken it will be tough to give a firm idea of the cost. However, you can head over to They have a great detailed parts break down and costs associated with it. Looked up your part numer and can find at this link:

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