Ground Prepwork Implements

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by lawnspecialties, May 17, 2008.

  1. lawnspecialties

    lawnspecialties LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,513

    I have a New Holland TC-33DA tractor. The 33hp diesel has about 27hp at the PTO. What would be the best implement for taking rough ground and smoothing it out for seeding or sod? I've just been using a landscape rake so far but quite often, that leaves something to be desired. I'm thinking along the lines of a HarleyRake or something similar. What's out there for this type work? I'm finally getting started on my bermuda seeding this year and have been pondering about getting something better for prepping the ground.

    Also, we're building a house this summer and the 2 acres are in the middle of a crop field. Dragging a landscape rake over 2 acres to try and smooth out this field would take absolutely forever.:)

    I'm sure what I'm looking for is in the thousands, but if someone has recommendations, how many thousands are we talking? payup Thanks
     
  2. J. Peterson Grading

    J. Peterson Grading LawnSite Senior Member
    from IA
    Posts: 989

    How about a Woods gill or something along those lines? I am personally looking at a Riest landscaper. Kinda expensive but it does alot of things for the money.

    J.
     
  3. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    Harley rakes work well when your doing grading in the process. You can "push" the soil around as your using it to get it into position on your site. One drawback is that it doesn't dig deep like a tiller does, so once you run over your area 5 or 6 times, you've compacted the soil really badly.

    Tillers I love, but you can't move dirt around with them. But you get a perfect seed bed and less compaction for natural soil absorbtion.

    All depends on the job I guess. Even when I use a harley rake, I still go over it with a tiller. Takes less time to till though.
     
  4. lawnspecialties

    lawnspecialties LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,513

    Not trying to get out cheap here, but while looking at Woods' website, I saw their pulverizers. I hadn't even thought about a pulverizer until I saw it. Would that do the job fairly decently or should I go all out with a Harley.
     
  5. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Posts: 4,276

    The Pulverizer works well.
    If the soil is rocky it will tend too leave them at the surface.
    If you do get a pulverizer get a heavy duty one.
    The Gil's were the best.
    I use a heavy 3 way box blade for my grading.

    I also have a Harley rake and use it mostly.

    2 acres should not take more than a day too get prepped.
     
  6. J. Peterson Grading

    J. Peterson Grading LawnSite Senior Member
    from IA
    Posts: 989

    I would look at a 60" Gill for your tractor. A 72" is just to big.

    Like a harley rake, gills don't do any deep tillage. Just sctatch the surface. They do tend to leave the rocks and other debris on the surface so you have to go back and pick up the "Crap"

    Part of my tillage program, I use a Landpride scarifier (Ripper) ahead of my Gill. I can get good penetration through the surface Hardpan down to about 8" deep. I rip the entire work area then hit it with my gill. I think a follow-up with a harley rake would do a way faster job but alas I just can't spare that kind of cash right now.

    For larger jobs I use a Freedom mini (8ft) field cultivator Made by Unverferth MFG. I go in (Depending on compaction) Rip everything up, Hit it with my cultivator, Fert, then seed with a drag harrow for Fert/seed incorparation.

    Hope this helps you out.

    J.
     
  7. J. Peterson Grading

    J. Peterson Grading LawnSite Senior Member
    from IA
    Posts: 989

    Forgot.

    The other thing about a gill is that you can pull and push material with it. While going backwards (Pushing) The Rollers (Get a double roller) Chew up the dirt clods real well. then while going foward you remove your tire tracks and leave a good seed bed. You can also do seed/fert incorporation with a gill as well.

    Gills Are about a 1/3 the price of a Harley rake. They also do verry goode job. I guess both machines have there advantages.

    But I think you are on the right track about NOT using a landscape rake for prep any more. Unless you have real sandy soils down there I just don't see how those things can leave a good seed bed.

    J.
     
  8. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Posts: 4,276

  9. brownings

    brownings LawnSite Member
    Posts: 22

    I wish I had a big machine. That pulverisor is very sporty!!!

    I rent a rototiller from home depot, then rake out the grade near the driveway or concrete. Then put the sprinklers on for the night and sod the next day.
     

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