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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    10
    Location
    Saybrook, OH
    Tractor
    Farm Pro 2420

    Default Best method

    Hello again community. What I want to do is turn 5 acres of land (flat, but previously grape vineyard) into a lawn or yard as it were flat and easier to mow. I just assumed that a 3pt tiller would be the best way to prep it for grass seed but maybe there is a better way. Would disk and harrow and rolling be better. In other words what's the best steps to take to go from pasture to lawn? Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Silver Member Kevin_in_VA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    213
    Location
    Chesterfield, Va
    Tractor
    NH TC30 Hydro
    NH TC30 Hydro, 7308 Loader, 758C Backhoe, 7.5 acres

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    2,135
    Location
    Fanning Springs, Gilchirst County, North-Central Florida
    Tractor
    Kubota Tractor Loader L3560 HST 37-hp / 5,400 pounds

    Default Re: Best method

    Are the vine roots out?

    A Harley Rake would do the job. Not a very common implement.

    You should consider turning the dirt with a traditional Moldboard/Turning Plow in the Fall, about the time of first frost. Freeze/thaw cycles during winter will break up the clods. A plow will TURN soil 6" - 7" deep which may may kill most existing vegetation with one pass. Somewhat tricky to set up properly on your tractor. May require flattening/smoothing with a Box Frame Tandem Disc Harrow in the Spring.

    Disc Harrows come in many types. A heavy OFFSET DISC is a primary tillage tool and might serve in lieu of a plow. I have no direct experience with an Offset Disc but I know they require considerable tractor power to draw....perhaps 7-HP per foot of width?

    More common BOX FRAME TANDEM DISC is a secondary tillage tool but might serve if you can find one with at least 40 pounds weight bearing on each disc. Would likely require multiple passes in an "X" pattern. Requires a minimum of 5-hp for each 12" of harrow width plus tractor four wheel drive for traction. Tandem Disc Harrow CUTS, CHOPS and THROWS soil first OUT, then IN, mixing soil to a certain extent.

    Another option would be a CHISEL PLOW.

    Have your soil tested and if necessary amend before seeding.

    Grass seed is fine. Yes, you need to roll it in firmly and water seed bed ever day until it germinates. You need rapid germination so young turf will crowd out weed seeds germinating at the same time.

    (A PTO powered tiller would be good if soil is not too rocky and you have plenty of time.)

    (A Landscape Rake with Gauge Wheels will assist in smoothing soil and preparing seed bed.)

    (Consider one year of cover crop/green manure before going to turf.)
    Last edited by jeff9366; 09-24-2013 at 08:16 AM.
    The word tractor was taken from Medieval Latin, being the agent noun of trahere "to pull, draw".

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  4. #4
    Veteran Member chim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    1,772
    Location
    Lancaster County, PA
    Tractor
    Kubota L3200, Ford 1210

    Default Re: Best method

    We added 1-1/3 acres to the one side of our property recently. I seeded a little less than half of it a couple weeks ago. The rest will probably be done in the spring because it will be a "borrow" area until another project is done.

    It was planted in barley this year and after that was harvested it had a weed crop. First I sprayed it with Roundup. When the green all turned brown, I hit it with a york rake to remove the dead vegetation. Then I used a box blade with the teeth all the way down and the box tilted far forward so it acted like a chisel plow, After gathering and removing the remaining roots, it was hit with the box blade again (teeth up and box levelled). A few more passes with the york rake to remove roots and rocks, spread seed and york rake again. Tiny little green hairs are coming up now.

  5. #5
    Elite Member Ken45101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    3,194
    Location
    southern Ohio
    Tractor
    Kubota M5040, M9540, B21 TLB, B2710, RTV900, JD 325 Skid steer, KX-121-3 mini excavator

    Default Re: Best method

    It depends on how bad it is now and if you want to destroy the existing vegetation. And what equipment you have.

    Some years back, I had some property with deep ruts in it. I used a box blade and disk to break up the uneven ground and then a landscape rake to smooth it out. Many, many hours....

    You can rent Harley rakes, they are good. A big difference between them and a 3pt tiller is that they have the gage wheels to help level everything. A 3pt tiller doesn't really keep things level.

    Ultimately, a land plane is good for getting a smooth level. However, if you tilled deeply, the ground may not settle evenly. That's a drawback to tilling.

    Depending on the current condition, I think I would try a landplane first (or maybe last). They do an excellent job of smoothing ground.

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