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  1. #11
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Southern Wisconsin, USA
    JD_4x2_Gator, JD_4300, JD_X485, JD_425, JD_455, JD_110

    Default Re: Power rakes -vs- tillers for a nice lawn

    I think you will be best off to get it plowed first.
    Neither a tiller or for sure, a Harley Rake are going to work well in weeds, rocks, clay, and grass. You want to turn this grass and weeds over with a plow. Possibly the teeth on a box blade can do that plow work for you, after you mow it well and burn or remove the grass/weed debris.

    Then, after the ground is worked up and spread (like with a box blade), the Harley rake will prepare a good seedbed and scoot the rocks and other heavy clods to the side. And as mentioned, a tiller may work up the plowed ground but will not remove the rocks or clods.

    Wish you well.

  2. #12
    New Member
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Power rakes -vs- tillers for a nice lawn

    Sounds like great advice.

  3. #13
    Veteran Member GreatWhitehunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Eastern CT
    JD 110 TLB

    Default Re: Power rakes -vs- tillers for a nice lawn

    Since I actually own a harley rake I'll comment. I live in Rocky NE and had decomposed granite that was badly compacted and not draining well. I find that using the box blade with scarifiers down (or a scarifier only works real well also). To break up the dirt well, then run the rake in the pulveriving mode. The put one end plate on and angle the rake. The rake should be set high during this pass. The harley breaks up the clods of material better than anything else. The harley rake carbide really have no issues with rocks at all.
    I'm now raking yards commercially and I'm having super results.

    Deere 110 TLB, 16' Load Trail Low Pro Dump Trailer, 2015 GMC 3500HD Duramax, Kawasaki 4010 Mule,21' Cam Superline Split Deck Tilt Trailer

  4. #14
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Central Illinois
    JD 3520

    Default Re: Power rakes -vs- tillers for a nice lawn

    Since no one has mentioned it I will. You should consider a pulverizer. Woods Equipment Company - 48'' & 60'' Standard-Duty Pulverizers - 20A Series
    It will loosen the soil, gather up rocks, level and grade, mix soil, and prepare a seed bed.
    I also have a power rake, box blade and a tiller. For making a yard the pulverizer will do everything those other tools do but just not as well. That is not a bad thing. I have installed many lawns with just the pulverizer. There are several brands and you can buy one new for under $2000. And if you watch there are always used ones for sale. Considering how simple the tool is I would get a used one and then resale it later.
    An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

  5. #15
    Platinum Member JMER817's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Grass Lake, Michigan
    John Deere 4120

    Default Re: Power rakes -vs- tillers for a nice lawn

    I used to install lawns on the side. Used every type of equipment. If you can rent a power rake this is the way to is a pic of a completed job.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Power rakes -vs- tillers for a nice lawn-dsc01753-jpg  

  6. #16
    New Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Default Re: Power rakes -vs- tillers for a nice lawn

    Quote Originally Posted by J_J View Post
    You want to put the irrigation in after you have tilled and smoothed everything. For an instant lawn, just around the house, Each pallet is about 500 sq ft, and 20 pallets will produce 10,000 sq ft. Right now, the pallets go for $90.00, so 20 pallets would cost about $1800. Just flag the sprinkler heads, and 2 or 3 people could be able to put down 20 pallets in a weekend. Have you noticed how we like to spend other peoples money

    using a huge bonus, in a drier area. Not to mention you can use it fairly soon....I did it once and I think it was worth it then.

  7. #17
    Platinum Member jas67's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Central PA
    Kubota B7610 + Kubota G1800-S

    Default Re: Power rakes -vs- tillers for a nice lawn

    Quote Originally Posted by jenkinsph View Post
    Tilling,smoothing with a landplane and seeding should get you very good results for the lawn.
    Soil differs from place to place, but for my hard-packed shale & clay, I added compost, tilled it, and then dragged it with a pallet with about 300 lbs of weight on it to re-compact it (necessary after tiller, because tilling makes it "fluffy"). I did this in Sept. and seeded with some kinda of contractor-mix seed that is supposed to be an all purpose, grows in sun, grows in shade mix. It came up within a few weeks thinly, and now that spring is hear it is coming up nice and thick --- looks great!
    '05 B7610 w/ LA352 FEL
    Everything Attachments Pin-on Pallet Forks, home-made FEL quick attach to swap between these forks and the bucket, Dual rear remotes, CCM Top-N-Tilt, Woods SB60 snowblower, 66" United box blade, 60" back blade (cheapo, old and rusty), 60" KK rake, Woods PHD w/ 9" auger, Yanmar RS1303 3pt tiller, Kubota Ballast box (came with the tractor), Farm Force Carry All.
    '9? G1800S, 48" MMM. 70's Troy Bilt Horse tiller with new 6.5HP briggs engine.

    The means justify the ends.

  8. #18
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    somewhere usa
    Deere 110tlb, 4520, x749, L130

    Default Re: Power rakes -vs- tillers for a nice lawn

    I agree soil varies place to place, even on ones own property. I stress using a landplane because it does such a great job with small mounds and depressions to smooth out the lawn. An old style drag spike tooth harrow will work if you make enough passes but the landplane is made to do this specific job and does it well.

    I have a small roller that I pull to firm up the seedbed and am working on a better setup for this right now. I planted fescue last August and it is looking pretty good too.

    Glad the yard is working out for you as well.

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