Chain Harrow???

   #1  

RidgeHiker

Gold Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Messages
317
Location
Upper California
Tractor
Kioti DK5010 with KL5510 Loader & 72" Bucket.
The area around my home is mainly wooded with evergreens and a small amount of oaks. I rake and mulch the abundant tree droppings (needles, seed pods, cones, small branches, leaves, etc.) with either my bush hog or my non-tractor chipper/shredder. My goal is to integrate most of the vegetative matter back into the soil at a shallow depth. I would leave it on top to create a natural duff which supports a healthy forest but do not want to let it build up much on the surface for fire protection, living in the California mountains.

Dragging the new mulch with a chain harrow seems like it might be a good tool for this and not an expensive one. What do you think? Any better solutions?

There is not much clay in the soil so it is easy to work.

Thanks for your help.
 
   #2  

Cougsfan

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2008
Messages
1,029
Location
Eastern Washington State
Tractor
Ferguson TO35, Branson 4720CH
Might work OK. I wouldn't do it too often though. Small branches may be a problem by getting hung up in the unit. Not sure how much it will help for fire protection but it sure can't hurt. The brush hog to cut standing brush is your best defense.

My friend and I attempted to ride our motorcycles though the backwoods of Northern California just after this Labor Day. We had to turn back because so many roads were closed due to fires. One 30 mile stretch between Happy Camp, California and Cave Junction, Oregon everything was burnt to a crisp as far as you could see in every direction. I really feel for you guys and your fire issues.
 
  
  • Thread Starter
#3  
OP
R

RidgeHiker

Gold Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Messages
317
Location
Upper California
Tractor
Kioti DK5010 with KL5510 Loader & 72" Bucket.
That's a nice ride. Done that in my truck. There have been so many fires over the years in that whole area from the California Highway 96 that goes through Happy Camp to north of Oregon Highway 199 that goes through Cave Junction.

Brush is not much of an issue here and I either shred or chip the branches & twigs. Also have a pto chipper for the larger stuff.
 
   #5  

jigs_n_fixtures

Bronze Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2021
Messages
85
Tractor
TYM T233
When the fire guys make a fire break, they dig down to mineral soil, because in dry climates it take a while for things to break down, and the fire can get down in the duff, and wander for days, until a good breeze hits it, and then it gets enough oxygen to start burning. The is a lot of how delayed ignition lightning fires get going.

They used fly the lighting point and look for smoke. If they don’t see any no fire.. Three days later, the wind picks up, and the smoldering duff pops into to flame land we’re off to the hodeo.

So, I’m hesitant about tilling vegetative matter into the soil. I have to go into the office tomorrow, and I’ll check with the fire folks and see what they say.
 
   #6  

jeff9366

Super Star Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2011
Messages
10,677
Location
Gilchirst County North-Central Florida
Tractor
Kubota Tractor Loader L3560 HST+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 3,700 pounds bare tractor; 5,400 pounds operating weight ~~~~~~~~ 37 horsepower
My goal is to integrate most of the vegetative matter back into the soil at a shallow depth. I would leave it on top to create a natural duff which supports a healthy forest but do not want to let it build up much on the surface for fire protection, living in the California mountains.

Shaking out debris from a towed "mat" chain harrow is exhausting. It would not be my choice.

I recommend a disk harrow which will "cut" vegetative material into the soil surface.

I use a disk harrow both for maintaining fire breaks and trail maintenance in FLAT Florida.


MORE: Disc Harrow - Tandem Disc Harrow Selection For Compact Tractors



An alternative is a Disc Plow.

Monroe Tufline is the main USA producer of Disc Plows.






 
Last edited:
   #7  

coobie

Super Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2004
Messages
5,876
Location
S.Michigan
Tractor
Kubota RTV 1100c, JD 740,Kioti DK 40 with KL401 loader .
Pine needle rake..
 
  
  • Thread Starter
#8  
OP
R

RidgeHiker

Gold Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Messages
317
Location
Upper California
Tractor
Kioti DK5010 with KL5510 Loader & 72" Bucket.
Thanks Jeff for the videos and info. My concern with the disk harrow is that it seems like it will rough the soil up more than I want though it clearly will mix the mulched material into the soil much better.

Whatever I get I will be pulling it with my ATV rather than my tractor for greater maneuverability and lesser size to get around trees and in smaller areas. Is it realistic to keep the disks high enough to turn the soil some without substantial disturbance to the soil?
 
   #9  

Wagtail

Super Star Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2013
Messages
10,305
Location
St Helens, Tasmania, Australia
Tractor
JD 4105 / JD D110
Thanks Jeff for the videos and info. My concern with the disk harrow is that it seems like it will rough the soil up more than I want though it clearly will mix the mulched material into the soil much better.

Whatever I get I will be pulling it with my ATV rather than my tractor for greater maneuverability and lesser size to get around trees and in smaller areas. Is it realistic to keep the disks high enough to turn the soil some without substantial disturbance to the soil?
I though so... I know (seen at AGFEST, Tasmanian Agricultural Show) that there are landscape rakes, indeed, a number of towed implements, specifically designed to be used with an ATV or side-by-side.

Perhaps, with a wee bit of research, there's a 'pine needle' rake that will suit your needs. Personally, I'd invest in the landscape rake as it could be utilised in a few more 'scenarios' around your property.
 

Diggin It

Super Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2018
Messages
9,968
Location
Three Posts A Day. Or less.
Tractor
LS MT125 TLBM
A landscape rake does fine for dragging loose materials, but it won't do much cutting to break anything loose that's packed down very hard/dense. I have to till or do something similar before the rake will do anything.

I was wanting to use mine to break up the surface of the grass to help with reseeding, but it won't cut it. Literally.

Planning on getting a harrow and putting some weight on it to tear the surface better, then seed and roll.
 
 
 
Top