Landscape Rake or Toothbar
Latest project that requires implements that I don't have.........
We have about 3/4 acre of grass on about 5 acres of land. The land is brushy growth from an old (20 years +) farm land. Most of the developed trees are Wild Cherry (up to 12"), with a few Maples and Box Elder (evil trees). The infill is small saplings of 1/2" to 1 1/2" diameter stuff (no clue what it is other than brush).
On to the project. After spending a few days battling grape vines that are chocking the trees, and some briar bushes, the CFO decides that it would be "nice" to spread wild flower seeds in the brushy, unfinished area that is around the edge of the lawn (say a 3' to 4' strip around the yard). Most of it has leaves, branches, small rocks (4" to 6" max) covering the ground. But it is not cleared. It still has the trees and the brush. We can stand to loose some of the brush, but don't plan to clear the whole strip. We'd like to have the wild flowers spread in the brush and trees. Think of it as a transition zone, where the brush is thinnned.
The idea is to use an implement, other than the average yard rake, to clean the gunk off the ground. Most of it would be pulling the stuff from the brush into the edge of the yard then pick up and remove. My thoughts initially were that a landscape rake would work good for this. Back up into it drop the rake and pull out and repeat. Then I thought of spending $300 on something I wouldn't use a whole lot and then started thinking Toothbar. I think a tooth bar would do about the same thing and the other uses for it would support the purchase. It would help with clearing the brush in the future(Probably the next project) loader work, digging and so forth. So currently, I am leaning towards getting a toothbar and making it work for this job.
Am I on track here or are there other things I should be thinking of??
Re: Landscape Rake or Toothbar
A toothbar will work but not as fast or efficient. I've been cleaning vines and reclaiming our top soil where we had our land cleared off for our house. Pulling 50-60 foot trees out and cutting and burning. The toothbar has proved itself with this project. Digging thru the top soil to get to the trees, sifting thru the dirt and getting the pine saplings out and also pulling out the vines. The toothbar will make loader work, i.e. digging, a whole lot more easy also. I have both and if I could only have one it would be the toothbar.
Re: Landscape Rake or Toothbar
I don't have a lot of experience yet, but I'm also fighting wild grape vines, and Brazilian Pepper trees (also evil - the State of Florida has declared them "noxius") that in many cases are not much more than shrubs. I'm trying to preserve as much of the native growth as possible - my Other Half cringes when I even get near some ferns.
With that said, here's my thoughts. First, at your quoted price of $300, both will have a similar price - most of the tooth bar prices I've seen here on TBN averaged $275, and there's probably freight involved. Second, I'm trying to picture putting a 6' rake down and dragging it out without clearing everything - it seems like it would get hung up on the heavier stuff, and, with the tines so close together, drag out all of the smaller stuff. I'm imagining doing it, and trying to imagine your strip, and it just seems awkward. What might be pefect would be a narrower rake with more widely spaced tines, but the closest thing I have seen to that would be a scarifier used without digging the tines very deep.
Then, I imagine myself using a tooth bar (with the bucket pointing down so the teeth are like a rake), where I can see what I'm dragging out, where the tractor is a little more manueverable, the FEL reaches a little further, and the heaviest weight is not encroaching on the strip, and the job looks easy.