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  1. #11
    New Member
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    Aug 2010
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    19
    Tractor
    Kubota B2320

    Default Re: grading for large lawn areas

    Egon, I certainly do hope to mow in comfort, even to the point of trading up as soon as possible to tractor with heated/air conditioned cab!

  2. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    27
    Location
    Western Illinois
    Tractor
    Massey 1528, Massey 1260, Massey 1635

    Default Re: grading for large lawn areas

    Terry-

    I have established a number of new yards and renovated older yards as well.
    If I am working with a yard that has grass I spray it with Roundup to kill the existing grass to make the dirt easier to work with. I then till in yard with a rototiller. Let it sit for a day or two, then go back and rototill it again and use the landscape rake to begin establishing the grade and smoothness I want. I continue rototilling and landscape raking until I reach the proper degree of levelness. I then plant and straw the yard.

    George

  3. #13
    New Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    19
    Tractor
    Kubota B2320

    Default Re: grading for large lawn areas

    Thanks George. Now I have more questions and hope you can help a former city fool. I've been told it's a waste to use chemicals including roundup during winter. When should I start this work? Is there certain regular temperature I need to wait for? And as for killing everything, that's fine because I have lots of poison ivy and unwanted brush I want to get rid of but how long after using chemical can I plant grass seed and I also have a couple hundred tree saplings coming in the spring that I will want to plant asap after receiving them. Any advice would be appreciated. I want to have a great looking piece of land.

  4. #14
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    737
    Location
    Saltspring Island, BC, Canada
    Tractor
    Kubota L3130HST

    Default

    I sowed a couple acres lawn after tree felling. Here's what I did and what I did it with.

    1. Dug out tree roots with backhoe and evened out ground..
    2. Made several passes with box blade with teeth down to break up sod and vegetation and tear up the soil.
    3. Ran over the disturbed ground with box blade with teeth up to remove clumps of sod and large rocks and even out bumps and hollows. (All this stuff was piled at the edge of the lawn for disposal later).
    4. Hit the area a few times with rototiller to try to get a finer tilth.
    5. Ran over the area several times with home made harrow (made from a section of chain link fence stapled and chained to an old log).
    6. Walked the area twice picking up any rocks big enough to be a problem for the mower.
    7. Sowed pasture mix with a walk behind broadcast spreader.
    8. Rolled the lawn to press the seed into the ground and push any remaining small rocks below the surface. I hauled the roller around with my ztr because ag tires on the tractor would have ripped the lawn area up again.

    For two acres, I'd a helper and it took us about four days with a 32hp tractor, 6' box blade and 5' rototiller. On my ground the tiller was essential. I bought it used for $900. I'd a pile of rocks, sod and surface vegetation I had to dispose of that I placed in a hole vacated by the rootball of a windblown tree.

    I didn't use any weedkillers. Work was carried out in spring when ground was firm but still soft enough to work easily and when conditions were right for germination. Results were good.

  5. #15
    Super Star Member LD1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    12,180
    Location
    Central Ohio
    Tractor
    Kubota l3400

    Default Re: grading for large lawn areas

    A lot depends on just how smooth you want it. What are you going to mow it with. If you plan on mowing it with your tractor or a riding mower, it doesn't have to be as good as if you are getting a ZTR. ZTR's go sooo fast that you want it as smooth as possible. And it doesnt have to be perfectly flat either. gently rolling is still smooth to mow with whatever you use.

    That said, I wouldn't want to use the tiller. It will take forever IMO and tilling hard ground is rough. And unless you plan on gardening as well, a tiller is going to be expensive for this one time thing.

    I would use a box blade and run the rippers all the way down and toplink as short as possible. This will make the rippers dig the deepest. And I would look for a box blade that has as many rippers as you can get. This will break up the ground similar to what a tiller would do. Then raise the rippers and lengthen the toplink and use the boxblade like normal to move and distribute the dirt into the low spots. Then once "roughed in" go over it with a drag similar to what has been mentioned.

    Another attachment that isn't too expensive if you shop c-list is a landscape rake. It will do a similar job as a drag, only it will gather a few more rocks and get them out of the yard for you. They do an excellent job for a finish grade if the soil is already broken up. Seed it and straw it. Then stay off of it until it hardens up or you will just rut it back up.
    ".........there is only one way to find out."
    "Ok, hold my beer and watch this.........."


    Ford 5500 Backhoe
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  6. #16
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    18,337
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: grading for large lawn areas

    Hey Egon, forgive me for being a city idiot but all my previous experience with tractors was a small bobcat using the front loader to grade after backfilling around repaired foundations. I need to know what to buy to do the work right on my land and I'm not sure if I need a tiller attachment AND the box scraper....anything else?
    Is my little 23 horse enough to do the work? So far it seems like a good machine
    OK:
    The tractor should be fine.

    For myself the roto-tiller would be essential.

    I'd prefer the home made drag over the box blade as it will be wider and do a better job of leveling. Use the loader to move dirt around with.

    For the drag a baulk of lumber about 10 feet long and six by six or bigger would work well. Using two of them with opposing angles would even be better and weight could be added if necessary. For a deluxe drag look up the one Eddie Walker built!

    Finish off with a harrow or landscape rake.

    Roundup only works on growing vegetation. It's use would make the sod clumps much easier to break up.

    Roto-tilling goes much easier in moist soil.

    Try and do the preparation before the trees show up. They are miserable to work around.

    Note: there are many other good ideas presented.
    Egon
    50 years behind the times
    Livin in a
    Worn out skin bag filled with rattlin bones

  7. #17
    Super Star Member J_J's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    18,651
    Location
    JACKSONVILLE, FL
    Tractor
    Power-Trac 1445, KUBOTA B-9200HST

    Default Re: grading for large lawn areas

    TerryMcQ,

    I would recommend you go on YouTube and watch some box blade videos, and some Harley rake video, and other drag type implements.

    YouTube - How to Use a Box Blade

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7wRH...eature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3R-8Z...eature=related
    J.J.

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

    Git er done.

  8. #18
    Super Star Member TripleR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    17,046
    Location
    Missouri
    Tractor
    Kubota, John Deere, Case, Massey Ferguson, Ford

    Default Re: grading for large lawn areas

    All very good advice on which I can't improve as I have used all methods. Your tractor will do it, but when talking acres it will take a long time as it appears a lot of dirt will need to be moved. At some point you should consider renting something able to move more dirt. Having done all of this with small and big tractors, I prefer big though there will always be a place for the small ones.
    Thread on helpful tractor abbreviations: http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/o...-acronyms.html

  9. #19
    Platinum Member JohninCT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
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    983
    Location
    Central CT
    Tractor
    Struck Magnatrac 6000, Kioti DK40SE

    Default Re: grading for large lawn areas

    If the land is gently rolling, do you really think you need to rip up, grade and replant everthing? It might be better if you got a rotary cutter and mowed down the brush and try to reestablish the grass that is already there. Brush too big for the cutter to mow down could be pulled out separately using the tractor. If necessary you could then rent an overseeder and augment the grass that is already there. This could get a decent mowable area back with a whole lot less work ripping and moving dirt around which depending on your location and soil conditions could result in a lot more work than you might think. Ripping and tilling dirt here in New England brings up LOTS and LOTS of rocks which are a pain to deal with (picking them all up or hitting them with the mower)

    Maybe you could tell a little more about your soil conditions and the type of condition you're trying to achieve (golf course type lawn or reasonably smooth and mowable yard/field?)
    "I don't do landscaping... I do battle with vegetation"

  10. #20
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    478
    Location
    jamaica, southern vt
    Tractor
    4110 mahindra

    Default Re: grading for large lawn areas

    terry it will help if you ssay the type of soil you have. ie; clay .rock .sandy ect
    no good deed goes unpunished

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