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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    271
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    Honeoye Falls, NY
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    Case 580D Backhoe, NH TC40D SS, JD 450BC dozer, Ford F700 dump

    Default Converting field to Lawn

    I am moving to a new place and the current owner has about 4 acres behind the house which he currently bushogs down. I would like to turn this into lawn for the kids. Any words on how to convert this? I am going to dig a one acre pond next to this as well so should have some topsoil to spread. Has anyone converted a field to lawn? I welcome your recommendations.
    Larry

  2. #2
    Old Timer Soundguy's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
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    51,662
    Location
    Central florida
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    ym1700, NH7610S, Ford 8N, 2N, NAA, 660, 850 x2, 541, 950, 941D, 951, 2000, 3000, 4000, 4600, 5000, 740, IH 'C' 'H', CUB, John Deere 'B', allis 'G', case VAC

    Default Re: Converting field to Lawn

    It depends on the composition of the field as it currently is. If it is mostly grasses and weeds, then religious cutting every week, and fertilization at the proper rate/type, and overseeding will work out good. You can get a soil test kit from your county extension agent.. or at most farm supply feed stores. Some tests have to be sent in.. but others are home testers using water/activator liquids. Not exact on the home testers.. but gives you an idea to shoot for.

    Religous cutting is great for the grass.. and hard on the weeds.. especially things like briars that rely heavilly on good timeing to dispurse their seeds.

    Cactus is another story. If there are isolated patches.. you will do just as well to go dig them up and dispose of them.

    I did my 13 acres like that.. and have -0- cactus now.. only took 3 weekends with me and the wife.

    We used 33 gallon trash cans and a 4 tined hoe and a spade shovel. The 4 tined hoe pulled the cactus great leaving the dirt. The shovel was for the occasional deep root, or large patch. We already had a burn pit and just hauled can after can of cactus over there. Watch out... the smallest pieces you leave can sprout. I also don't reccomend actually trying to pick any of the cactus up by hand.. even with leater gloves... Early on we tried this and found the small w\little wiskers work right through the leather gloves with no problems... let the shovel and hoe do the work.

    Now if ya got lots of cactus... just disc and disc and disc till you can't disc no more ( popeye's motto .. I canst' takes no more.. ).. and that should do ya.

    If it is heavy brush / briars I reccomend you cut it, then disc it if there isn't alot of thatch.. or if there is.. you may even have to plow it under first.. then disc it. Depending on the plants, you may have to disc it again. Try to time your work up with the plants growing cycles.. your extension agent will be able to tell you when undesireable plants are at their most vulenerable point.. like when saving food for root storage for winter.. etc.

    Seed and fertalize the soft bed, and drag with a light flexible harrow, or old mattress box spring... or an old piece of fencing with some blocks or railroad tie laying on it.

    good luck

    Soundguy

  3. #3
    Veteran Member Will_C's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    1,588
    Location
    Upstate N.Y.
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    B2620, Toro Z-Master 45 3 (2 3hp Kaw asaki, 52" deck.Kubota RTV 900)

    Default Re: Converting field to Lawn

    Soundguy has good advice: regular mowing will work wonders. Depending on what you mean by lawn, and the relative smoothness of the terrain, that may be all you need.
    I turned a two acres that had been a hay field into a nice looking piece of yard by mowing and rolling in the spring. It is not a golf course, but is smooth for kids to play on and it looks nice and green! Good Luck,
    Will

  4. #4
    Veteran Member Slamfire's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
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    Location
    Coker Creek, TN
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    Mitsubishi D 1800

    Default Re: Converting field to Lawn

    Having spent 30 years in Southern California trying to maintain a lawn, I recommend you have a yard instead. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]

  5. #5
    Elite Member
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    Apr 2000
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    3,797
    Location
    Craftsbury Common, Vermont
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    Deere 4044R cab, Kubota KX-121-3S

    Default Re: Converting field to Lawn

    Soundguy has it right. My upper field was a mix of weeds and thorny blackberries when I started mowing weekly. Then it changed to sparse grass and blackberry stubble. And within a year it was a yard. Two years it was a beautiful lawn.

    How patient can you be..?

    Pete

  6. #6
    Old Timer Soundguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    51,662
    Location
    Central florida
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    ym1700, NH7610S, Ford 8N, 2N, NAA, 660, 850 x2, 541, 950, 941D, 951, 2000, 3000, 4000, 4600, 5000, 740, IH 'C' 'H', CUB, John Deere 'B', allis 'G', case VAC

    Default Re: Converting field to Lawn

    Yep.. a 'yard' is much easier to maintain than a lawn... I'm just glad that I'm shooting for 'pasture' for about 13 of the 13.2 acres.. and lawn for the .2 around the house. When we built, we fenced as close to the house as we could and be reasonable.. something like 8' on the sides, and a sloping 8' to 20' on the front to accomodate the sidewalk, and about 20' in the rear, and about 8' off the concrete driveway on the other side... that is all I claim as lawn.. it takes me less than an hour to mow / weed eat that area, including the county 305' x 15' r/w in front of the fence.. luckilly no swale in my area.. so it is easy to mow with the rider...
    Everything else I save for the horsies, and other assorted 'hay burners' as my step-father calls them.

    When I'm feeling exceptionally lazy? er.. frugal... I let the horses into the yard by the house, and let them browse there for a few days... usually lets me put of fthe monthly mowing another week...yeah.. I know.. that's cheating.. but what the heck...

    Oh yeah, one more tip for mowing the field for the guy who started the thread. Don't assume that you are gonna have to go plunk donw a grand for a finish mower.. unless you want a golf course type lawn... a regular cut with a rotary cutter in good shape will give you a decent 'mowed a few days ago-look' lawn.

    Soundguy

  7. #7
    Elite Member hazmat's Avatar
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    Feb 2002
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    Location
    West Newbury, MA & Harrison, ME
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    Kubota L5460HSTC

    Default Re: Converting field to Lawn

    I don't think he needs to worry about cactus in Rochester, NY [img]/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]

    Regular mowing will work wonders. <font color="red"> Cornell Lawn Care </font> is a good place for info. Soil testing is often overlooked, but i consider it mandatory for good crop (whether it's potatos or grass) production.

  8. #8
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    286
    Location
    southern NH
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    JD 4100 HST, Craftsman YS4500

    Default Re: Converting field to Lawn

    I have 2.1 acres of land, that is predominantly open pasture type.
    The rear acre was VERY rough stuff......hay/rye, scottish thistle, wild rose, etc.........after two years of mowing it each week, with no other
    intervention of any kind, it is now soft rye and clover and you can walk
    on it bare foot and it is nice and soft........my brother up the road had
    the same experience with his fields when he moved in and also after
    a couple of years of mowing the plant species changed and it is a very
    nice lawn. My only pointer is to make sure you mow religiously and don't
    let it grow back and it will change........

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    180
    Location
    Southern Michigan
    Tractor
    NH TC18 Hydro

    Default Re: Converting field to Lawn

    I've been working on my 2 acres for almost 2 years now. I've been regularly mowing the old hay field and am pretty happy with the plant species, but the ground is way to rough to mow. I'm going to hit it all with Roundup, level it out with a landscape rake, and seed new. I used this method for my front yard with very satisfying results.

  10. #10
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    286
    Location
    southern NH
    Tractor
    JD 4100 HST, Craftsman YS4500

    Default Re: Converting field to Lawn

    ....sounds like a fun project [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] My field has a few lumps, but doesn't
    sound as bad as yours [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] I may do some work on mine when I buy
    my FEL and try to take out a few of the small ridges that I have been
    using my RFM to box blade with [img]/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img]

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