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  1. #1
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    343
    Location
    Poniatowski, WI
    Tractor
    Bobcat CT225

    Default Next spring project planning -- new lawn

    Since I'm just finishing up building a house, my wallet says I have to wait at least until spring to buy a tractor. So that's when I'll be putting in the lawn around the new home. When we dug the foundation, I remember seeing very few rocks, but now that all the dirt is spread back out, I've got quite a healthy stone crop.

    So here's the debate -- do I plow/till the whole area and windrow the rocks for picking, or do I strip off the soil and screen it to put back down? The size of the area is somewhat left to be determined. I've got 52 acres, with 14 acres of hay. We built at the edge of the woods/hay, so my yard will be however big it is when I get tired of moving dirt :-)

    -rus-

  2. #2
    Veteran Member pitt_md's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    1,030
    Location
    Pine Island, MN
    Tractor
    Kubota MX5000

    Default Re: Next spring project planning -- new lawn

    Quote Originally Posted by rus_geek View Post
    Since I'm just finishing up building a house, my wallet says I have to wait at least until spring to buy a tractor. So that's when I'll be putting in the lawn around the new home. When we dug the foundation, I remember seeing very few rocks, but now that all the dirt is spread back out, I've got quite a healthy stone crop.

    So here's the debate -- do I plow/till the whole area and windrow the rocks for picking, or do I strip off the soil and screen it to put back down? The size of the area is somewhat left to be determined. I've got 52 acres, with 14 acres of hay. We built at the edge of the woods/hay, so my yard will be however big it is when I get tired of moving dirt :-)

    -rus-
    Just finished our new house too. I found that liberal use of a good landscape rake set on an angle to make one large row of rocks made an easy target for the FEL.

  3. #3
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    101
    Location
    Jefferson City, MO (central)
    Tractor
    B3030 w/ FEL and 72" midmt

    Default Re: Next spring project planning -- new lawn

    I just built a home and moved in this spring (April). The landscape rake is probably the best option if you want to save $$. If $ isn't an issue, the landscapers have a prep type attachment that fits the front of a bobcat that will not only prepare the soil but actually pick up rocks and debris. In my area, they charge maybe 60/hr but in an hour or maybe 2 it is done.

    My .02 - consider basically ignoring the yard and do nothing until next fall. If you try to sow grass next spring, you will grow a healthy stand of undesirables like crabgrass, foxtail, and weeds. You can't apply a pre-emergent (to fight the undesirables) with new grass seed. Whereas if you sow grass seed next fall, the following spring you can apply your pre-emergent. The concern for weeds is particularly an issue when you build in the woods, very difficult to keep the weeds out.

  4. #4
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    343
    Location
    Poniatowski, WI
    Tractor
    Bobcat CT225

    Default Re: Next spring project planning -- new lawn

    I've gotten good at ignoring the lawn :-) It was actually backfilled *last* fall, so it's had all summer to grow a lovely assortment of weeds and rocks.

    My intention isn't to have a nicely manicured lawn with exactly one type of grass and no dandelions. Whatever grows is whatever grows. I just want to be able to mow it without destroying a mower or putting rocks through my windows.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member ampsucker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    569
    Location
    Southeast Kansas
    Tractor
    BX24

    Default Re: Next spring project planning -- new lawn

    agree, just mow it and plan your renovations for late august, early sept. you'll get the most bang for your seed/fertilzer/time.

    fwiw, it's not too late to sow some seed and do a soil test and add lime or fertilizer to get things started this year.

    then, mow the grass and selectively kill the weeds all next year and oversow the bare spots in the fall.

    amp
    Kubota BX24 (loader, hoe, 60" belly); Ford 800 tractor; Scott's/Deere 42" mower; 5' and 6' rear blade; 54" Howse tiller; 20' 7,000 lb carhauler trailer; 2 other trailers; 5' dethatcher; 10" single bottom moldboard plow; middle buster plow; 600 lb roller; 3pt auger; front tire chains; Stihl and Honda small engine equip.

    Growing with you season by season.

  6. #6
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    487
    Location
    Ohio
    Tractor
    JD 5425 & 4300, Yanmar 1500

    Default Re: Next spring project planning -- new lawn

    There are lots of posts on this topic to look at also.
    I agree that you want to seed in the fall...less weeds, great germination...You will be happier. ANd you have more time to get it all graded well. I would not strip and sift. You may still end up with rocks. You can rent a skid steer with rock hound for about $200 a day and get a lot done. Most will give you one bucket also. Make sure you get the toothed bucket. You can back drag the toothed bucket back with the teeth down and dig into the ground before going over with a rock hound. You will need a spot to dump your rocks also. You may also be able to rent a harley rake (or similar that have been coming out) for the skid steer or tractor.

    About a 4-6 weeks before you're ready round up the area you want to plant then cut the dead/dry stuff real low about a week before you are going to rock hound and seed. If you want to have a great lawn (meaning LESS maintainence with better/denser grass) you can also mix in amendments and till/disc before rock hound or harley rake. A few trucks of sand/manure/etc are cheap if your soil needs them. It is amazing what old manure will do to give ya a great lawn. I nknow you said you don't need a manicured lawn. But if you get good dense grass, you will have litle weeds and stranger growth and health. i.e work first to do it right and work less forever more!

    After you rock hound you may still need to hand pick a few "holiday rocks." Then seed in two passes about 90 degres apart. Lightly rake in and wait for the growth. Straw and water are great but if you do a few acres that part can be hard and expensive. As long as you don't get wash out on steeper hills it will still sprout and grow with a little rain and even with the great morning dew that occurs in the fall...on reason to plant then. Hope this helps...and remember to do a search...there is tons of info on this topic here at TBN.
    Peter

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