Rake the soil after each tilling to fine tune the soil.

How to Rake After Rototilling a Yard

by Jessica Westover

Rototilling your yard loosens the soil in preparation for planting grass, vegetables, trees, shrubs and flowers. Although an important step in readying your yard for planting, the tilling process breaks the soil up into large clods and unearths rocks and plant debris, leaving a rough soil surface -- unready for plants -- in its wake. Careful raking to remove debris and smooth the surface will get the area ready for planting.

Poke large dirt clods with a three tine claw to break them apart and expose any rocks inside. Repeat this process across the entire tilled area, working in horizontal or vertical rows to break up clods larger than 2 inches in diameter.

Rake the ground with a stone rake or bow rake to gather rocks greater than 2 inches in diameter, roots and debris from the soil. Work your way across the tilled ground, moving back and forth in rows. Rake the gathered rocks and debris from each row into a pile at its end.

Rake the ground a second time using a grading rake or leaf rake to remove smaller debris. Move over the area in the same row pattern as before. Add any debris to the pile at the end of each row.

Fill in depressions by raking soil from raised areas into low spots with the grading rake or leaf rake to level the ground. Smooth the soil's surface by lightly raking the top 1/2- to 1-inch layer of the soil.

Scoop up each pile of debris with a shovel. Pour the debris into a wheelbarrow. Empty the wheelbarrow into a trash bin or put the plant debris in your compost.

Items you will need

  • Three tine claw
  • Stone rake or bow rake
  • Shovel
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Grading rake or leaf rake


  • Wear gloves while raking to protect your hands from blisters.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images