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New lawn - Preparing a farm field for seed


LawnSite Member
Milwaukee, WI
We're working on a large lot - 2.5 acres, of which approximately 1.5 acres will be planted. The land is a former farm field on which straw has been (and is still in most areas) growing. What is the best way to go about going from a field like this to grass?

My plan is to rough cut the straw down and rake it out. After that I'm a little unsure. I've never used a Harley rake before. Would I be able to run the Harley over the low cut straw and just till it up to a workable seed bed? Do you think additional top soil will be required? How does the Harley deal with the existing rocks in the soil?

Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for the help!



LawnSite Silver Member
OK Guy: This field will have to be plowed, disked, and sowed in grass. Nothing more than a crop. Your grass seed is determined by your region. I would suspect that fescue would be the choice. What are you going to do there. The straw if it is growing is not wheat nor oat straw. Straw is a by-product of these after the grain has been harvested with a thresher in the field. I bet you have sagegrass, which is a sign of acid ground. You'll want to get a soil test after working the soil. I would suggest that a rather large 3-point hitch culivator be used, but a acre is a lot of ground. Look for a farmer with the equipment that can do it in an evening.