Skidsteer and power rake

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by joshfcb, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. joshfcb

    joshfcb LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    Planning a renovation of my back yard in the next few weeks. Intially I was just going to rent a slit seeder and do it that way, however, I have been really looking at my yard and there are a few drainage issues that could use addressing as well.

    I am looking at about 25k sq. ft, and am having trouble finding a small tractor this time of year as all of my farmer buddies are using theirs for grain augers. I have looked ar renting a skid steer and power rake. It appears from videos that this would work to prep the soil and deal with drainage. Am I seeing this correctly? Do you recommend any other way?

    I have begun lowering the mowing height over the past 2 weeks and plan to reseed with Southern Supreme tall fescue and apply dimension for weed control after seeding as well as normal applications of lime and starter fertilizer.
  2. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,794

    Dimension for weed control cannot be applied until the turf is "well-established"...its not for new seed.

    I don't see how a power rake would deal with the drainage. Use the skid steer to slope the ground away from the house. On a big property a surveyor's transit or laser leveling setup would be helpful. Use plastic tile as needed.

    Did you plan to kill the old grass first...or just major overseed? Mow short as you can and power rake; rake off the dead grass residue. Add starter fertilizer and seed. Use more than the usual amount of seed if you don't have irrigation or if conditions are less than perfect. Say maybe 10 pounds per thousand sqft. You may wish to drag the soil a couple of passes to get that all important SEED-TO-SOIL-CONTACT. Use the dead grass as straw to help hold moisture if you wish.

    Start when temps fall under 85 degrees; start 8 weeks before frost--at least 6 weeks. Seed germinates quick in warm soil--if it is moist. Make sure the tall fescue is high quality--and that it claims to be disease resistant.
    It claims brown patch resistance:,d.aWc
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2013
  3. joshfcb

    joshfcb LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    Thanks for the reply, Riggle.

    First, I meant to say Tenacity instead of dimension. Sorry about that!

    2nd, My initial thought was just a major overseed with a slit seeder then I started thinking about doing some site work to deal with drainage issues. My question regarding the power rake was regarding if it loosens enough dirt to fill depressions cut drainage lanes. I assumed that the power rake was similar to a Harley rake?

    As far as the seed goes, I know that it is about 60% falcon IV. I cannot remember the other 2 cultivars, but they were names that I recognized.
  4. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,793

    Harley rake is a power rake, it's like saying band aid. They will do minor grading and it's great for finishing. If its major stuff, throw the dirt around with the bucket and then finish it with the rake. There's a learning curve, I've only used mine a few times so far and I get better results every time
  5. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    I have found the Harley Rake that mounts on the back of a tractor is easier to use and set grade with than a front mounted skid steeper type. That said, I have spent many more hours on a tractor than skid steer. 25M is fairly small for a machine of that size. If you have many trees, fences, or other obstructions it may not work well. You could try adding soil mix to your low areas, dragging it to blend, then slit seeding. Hard to say without seeing it.
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    A power rake for Drainage issues??? What kind of soil are you working with and why are you not thinking about tilling in ammendments to FIX your drainage issues???
  7. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,793

    25k is small? I use mine to do 2k
  8. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    Yes, but I did not mean it in a turn-up-my-nose manner, just that it would be difficult to maneuver without breaking or tearing something up. On 2 K with a skid steer and Harley you are obviously a skilled, experienced operator. I'm not sure the OP here is in that category. Not sure how well I could do myself but there are better operators than me out there :)

    Axe: I am pretty sure he meant surface drainage, as in provide positive surface drainage - what some in that other thread called "leveling."

    I'd like to see some pictures of this project. Might make it easier to understand.
  9. Blade Runners

    Blade Runners LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,021

    We just done a 3200 sq ft area with a T190 and harley rake and there were no issues with property size.
  10. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    That amazes me. 3,200 square feet is quite a bit less than half the size of the penalty box on a soccer field. I would never have had the imagination to even think it could be done well, much less be able to do it myself. Nice going.

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