Using Ensilage Fork and Landscaper Rake for Mulch Jobs

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by the undergraduate, Feb 5, 2007.

  1. the undergraduate

    the undergraduate LawnSite Member
    Posts: 51

    Just looking for people's opinions about using these tools for mulch jobs. Can a person load mulch all day using a 16" ensilage fork without killing themselves? Seems like this would be faster than using a regular manure fork.

    Also, do the 36" aluminum landscaper rakes work well for spreading the mulch? Faster than a bow rake? Obviously, if the beds are crowded it wouldn't work too well. Anyway, just looking for the opinions from people who have used these tools.
     
  2. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,898

    Yep, the 'silage fork is what I prefer to use. Your only other option for moving a bigger amount of mulch is with a scoop shovel, and that requires a flat surface for scooping from and a looser pile of mulch.

    Don't think you will like using a big landscape rake for spreading. The tines are really too wide, IMO. A bow rake works, but I prefer a flat tined rake (like the DuraRake- AML sells them and a brand of their own that's just as good). The head of the rake and the handle is in a "T" and work much better for spreading mulch *SMOOTH* than a bow rake. I think you can get them up to 24", but I prefer an 18".
     
  3. yardmanlee

    yardmanlee LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 898

    uses a ensilage fork to unload and spread mulch
     
  4. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210

    Alright I'm an idiot....*trucewhiteflag*


    What is a 'ensilage' fork?

    Is it just the space between the forks, length, or a combination?


    We use the pitch fork for all our mulch jobs...works great. Flip it over in your hands and it acts like a rake. IMHO, landscape rakes are too heavy/bulky to use in mulch beds. At the very end of the job we go over everything with a fan/leaf rake to smooth things out.
     
  5. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,898

    Take a look at AML's site. I think it's; http://www.am-leo.com

    Look for them under the tools. It's essentially a BIG pitch fork, with a lot stronger tines and shorter, 'D'-style handle. You will spend a LOT less time loading a wheelbarrow with one, compared to a pitch fork. They can be pricey- $70-80 or more, but they are well worth it.
     
  6. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210

    THANKS!! :waving:

    I'll look into it.
     
  7. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210

    tired going to the web-page but it isn't showing up. You sure the link is good?
     
  8. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,898

  9. the undergraduate

    the undergraduate LawnSite Member
    Posts: 51

  10. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,898

    Yes, you want the straight teeth for spreading mulch.

    To spread mulch smooooooooothly, you will need to get those teeth nearly parallel to the ground on your last pass-over with the rake. I've described my process before on here, but here it is again. :) Essentially hold the rake vertical, and lightly 'brush' the top of the mulch around to get it smooth. It's hard to hold a curved tine rake in a consistent manner and acheive a smooth finished look in a decent amount of time.

    I'd stay away from a wooden handle if possible. I've had too many rakes separate the handle from the head. Go with the steel rakes that I posted earlier. The head bolts to the handle, and once it's tight, it's not coming off.

    Any of those forks will work. If you don't mind the little extra wieght, get the one with the steel handle- it will outlast the wooden handles by a LONG shot.
     

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