We try our best not to till the soil. Tilling is very disruptive and degrading to soil health. Using a broad fork is one method of aerating the soil before planting. In this case we used a broad fork to open up the ground. Since it is old pastureland that we are turning into a vegetable garden we had a local fellow come and till the first year at springtime to break up the sod. The second year we tilled less and broad forked more. In the spring of 2016 we plan to use a broad fork on the entire garden.