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Turning Cornfield Into Lawn

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by onlygirlsmom, May 20, 2005.

  1. onlygirlsmom

    onlygirlsmom LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    My husband and I just purchased a 3 acre slightly rolling lot. It's prior purpose was farming, so much of it is cornfield. What is the best way to start the process of converting it into a lawn? (ie: rototill, etc.) We won't be building for at least another year or so and I'd like to start the process now so that it will be somewhat "lawn like" when we do eventually build. We live in central Michigan. Thanks for any help!
  2. Lumberjack

    Lumberjack LawnSite Member
    Messages: 180

    Assuming its been planted by normal farm machinery the ground is basicly ready. Most of the large rocks were removed to make it safe for plowing and the ground has already been broken for you. If the corn stalks are still there (cut last fall) then get a local farmer to plow them in.

    If you have a year or two to invest in it then smooth things out with a grader if needed and plant a clover mix for the first couple of years, After that , turn it and seed/sod it with the final grass you want.
  3. Stan MI

    Stan MI LawnSite Member
    from MI
    Messages: 103

    I did the same thing about 6 years ago. We purchased a 10 acre parcel that didn't produce very well for the farmer. I think the last thing he did was run a 3 bottom plow all over the property in various directions.

    I bought a 51 Super A with a spring tooth harrow and dragged and dragged and dragged until it was smooth then dragged a mattress just as a final fill.

    Seeded with 50% recommended rate of 333 from Rhino Supply. (Brighton, may be one near you)Looks great now.

    I now mow with a TORO, ZTR. Much faster than the tractor.
  4. onlygirlsmom

    onlygirlsmom LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    when you're reseeding that large of an area do you use a commercial grass spreader? or do you spray that liquid green mixture that you see sometimes?
    Pardon my "neophyteness" but when you say you dragged a mattress - do you literally mean a mattress? Is the "51 Super A" an attachment or a stand alone piece of equipment?
    We've discovered a plethora of poison ivy throughout the field so we're planning on hitting it all with 2-4-D before starting the tilling process.
  5. Lumberjack

    Lumberjack LawnSite Member
    Messages: 180

    for a one time DIY job Id just use a cheap speader but I have plenty of sweat left in me :) Assuming you have a tractor or mower , most can pull a speader behind them.

    for liquid (hydroseed) Id just get an LCO to do it.

    for the final passes a pipe with several dragged chains attached can also do the job.
  6. coachgrd

    coachgrd LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33


    I think what these guys mean by a mattress is the springs of the matress only.

    As for seeding your area, the "sprayed on green stuff" will cost you a pretty penny. Since you won't be building on the land for a few years, you would save yourself a bundle by applying the seed with walk behind spreader, IMHO.

    Good luck!
  7. Stan MI

    Stan MI LawnSite Member
    from MI
    Messages: 103

    I used a hand held fertilizer/seed spreader. Took a while and my arm got tired but got the job done.

    As to the mattress - I should have said, a "box spring" with all the stuffing removed.

    The "51 SA" is a 1951 Farmall Super A tractor. An older, "small farm" tractor used mostly in the South for tobacco but you can find plenty around here also.

    When we bought the property I went to the local Green tractor dealer to price what I needed to flatten, mow and plow snow. His price was just over 35 thousand. I bought the tractor, a 60 "Woods" mower deck, snowplow and the spring tooth harrow for less then 3. Did the job very well. I have now moved on the mowing with a TORO ZTR and plowing with a Chevy, both are much faster and just as much fun in a different way.
  8. Stan MI

    Stan MI LawnSite Member
    from MI
    Messages: 103

    Just to touch on the 2-4-D part.

    I posted a question on this earlier this year in this forum. Didn't get a lot of responses. Look over our heads in the Pesticides forum.

    This has been an excellent year for dandelion growth. Unfortunately I don't like dandelions. 2-4-D does a great job on them, ivy's are tougher to kill off. If you kill off the weeds first than turn the soil you may pull up new seed or even a different type of weed than you started with. I'd turn it first, pick the rocks, let it grow a few weeks then spray it. JMO others may think something else.
  9. Appalachian landscape

    Appalachian landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 453

    wait untill after you build. Big machines and trucks will compact the soil, tear up turf, and leave ruts.

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