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  1. #1
    New Member
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    May 2006
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    Default Power rakes -vs- tillers for a nice lawn

    Hey guys, I built a new house about 5 years ago, on a 5 acre tract of pasture. I live in Georgia, so my ground has lots of clay, limestone rock, weeds & fire ants. I would love to turn my wasteland of a yard into a nice soft lawn. I have a compact ford new holland 1715 tractor. I'm not sure how best to fix my lawn. Some people tell me to disc it, other say bring in top soil and till it, while other say I need a power rack or harley rack (whatever that is?) I'm worried that using a tiller on this clay / rocky ground may damage my 1715 tractor.
    Can anybody give me a step-by-step, on how to make my rough pasture, into a nice lawn? I have been blessed with the opportunity to build my family a nice home, now if I could only turn this rough pasture into a nice lawn.

    Thanks guyz,
    Mach

  2. #2
    New Member
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    May 2006
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    20

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

    hey guys, just saw a video on a harley rack. very impressive, but WOW ultra expensive. No way I can afford that. Is there another way, to turn my pasture wasteland into a nice lawn?
    Thanks,
    Mach

  3. #3
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    8,855
    Location
    somewhere usa
    Tractor
    Deere 110tlb, 4520, x749, L130

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

    Tilling,smoothing with a landplane and seeding should get you very good results for the lawn.

    Curious if anyone has come up with a deterrent for the fire ants? This would be the detriment to having a nice lawn. I am very grateful that we don't have them where we live. Many years ago when the EPA shut down Missippi's Mirex fire ant program I was very discouraged. I moved to New Mexico, no fire ants in the mountains, YET.

  4. #4
    New Member
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    May 2006
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    20

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

    I live in North Georgia, close to Ringgold, GA. we definately have fire ants here. Anymore idea's / suggestions for fixing my lawn?

    Thanks guys,
    Mach

  5. #5
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    134
    Location
    Rolla, Missouri
    Tractor
    2008 Montana R3644

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

    You can make a very good lawn with a tiller. I have done it several times. the only difficulty with a tiller is that it fluffs up the soil a little too much. You need to follow this guideline:
    1) rough level the ground first (box blade is great for this)

    1A) Depending on your ground this step may be required. Add topsoil and spread 4" layer over the ground. Our soil Here in Missouri is not very good, lots of red clay and rock. I added 50 tandem load of black dirt to my lawn (2 acres) to get a good seedbed.

    2) Till the ground not to deep , maybe 3-4" to get things loosened up

    3) level the area again this time with a harrow or chain link fence pulled behind the tractor. This puts a fine grade on everything , fills hole and removes high spots.

    4) You need to firm up the soil before seeding as the tilled soil is too loose for a seedbed. Run a roller or cultipacker over the soil to provide a firm but not compacted seedbed.

    5) Seed the soil and put plenty of 13-13-13 fertilizer on the ground (300 lbs to the acre). Use plenty of seed. I use fine lawn fescue mix and go 400 lbs to the acre.

    6) Apply straw through a straw blower at about 40 bales to the acre.

    7) keep the seedbed damp for at least a month. I installed a sprinkler system to do this. Very important to water often in small quantities when getting lawn started.

    8) After several months touch up the areas that have not taken with more seed and mulch.

    9) Remember putting in a good lawn is a process not a one time event. It takes diligence and maintenance to keep it nice. I have work hard on mine and it looks great.
    It is the nicest two acre yard in the area, but i do put maintenance into it.

  6. #6
    New Member
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Power rakes -vs- tillers for a nice lawn

    Wow, that is great info. I guess I need to rent or buy me a tiller for my small tractor. I've been told to just cut my ground with a disc, then add top soil and level with a box blade, because the tiller will bring up the rocks? But maybe, a tiller is the way to go. I like the Harley rack, because it doesn't go very deep, but who can afford a $6,000 attachement.

    Thanks for your input,
    Mach

  7. #7
    Super Star Member J_J's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    15,836
    Location
    JACKSONVILLE, FL
    Tractor
    Power-Trac 1445, KUBOTA B-9200HST

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

    Why not just rent the Harley Rake. Smooth it out with the HR, and add some top soil, fertilizer, etc. .

    Have your soil tested to find out what is needs. and talk to your county agent for advise, and of course ask the people on TBN. There is a lot of good advise on here, just for asking.

    What part of the country or you located?
    J.J.

    When I works, I works hard. When I sits and thinks, I goes to sleep.

    Git er done.

  8. #8
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    868
    Location
    Eastern WA
    Tractor
    Jinma JM354

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

    I'm curious, do you not need irrigation for your lawn there? I live in the Pacific Norwest, kinda like high desert here and irrigation is the very first thing that gets put in and then we worry 'bout the landscapping. I've always used whatever soil that was there and seeded, never could afford the sod. When working in a rocky area, hand raking and manually picking up rocks and hauling with a wheel barow. Yes, that's a commitment but you won't need a membership at a gym either. Get the big rocks down to smaller pebbles, then plant. When mowing just mow high for the first year then the sod will cover the rocks. I've grown lawns on some old gravel beds and once it's establixshed no on knows whats underneath. Get the family involved. bjr

  9. #9
    Super Star Member J_J's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    15,836
    Location
    JACKSONVILLE, FL
    Tractor
    Power-Trac 1445, KUBOTA B-9200HST

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

    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
    J.J.

    When I works, I works hard. When I sits and thinks, I goes to sleep.

    Git er done.

  10. #10
    New Member
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    May 2006
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    20

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

    i live in Northwest Georgia, right below Chattanooga, Tn. My property is flat, but has a limestone rock shelf, and plenty of red Georgia clay. Plus, several mounds of fire ants. For the most part, this land has been nothing more than pasture land for many years. I have all kinds of weeds, rocks, clay, and occasionally some grass. My property has lots of wild cedar trees growing on it, which I'm told means, I have lots of lime in my soil. We on occasion have summer drouts, but in the past year.... we've had excessive amounts of rain-fall.
    Last edited by mach; 03-25-2010 at 03:02 PM.

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