using a Harley rake to finish grading for seed

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Gordons Landscape, May 27, 2004.

  1. Gordons Landscape

    Gordons Landscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 47

    I am using a harley rake to finish grading so I can plant seed. Running into some problems:

    Its rained here off and on for the past couple of weeks making the dirt very clumpy and moist. I am unable to get the clumps out even while making several passes with the harley rake. Should I wait till its dry? How dry is dry enough?

    Also gravel is all over the property (dirt) were I am seeding. Asked the property manager If they wanted to haul in some top soil can't get him to agree on price is there another way besides bringing in dirt?
  2. hickory

    hickory LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    The gravel is fine just so long as there is not a lot of it. After you seed it the soil should be rolled with a hand roller to provide better seed contact with the soil. Once you roll it the gravel will be pushed into the soil. When the grass comes in you won't even see the gravel. Make sure you put down good seed that comes up quickly along with starter fertilizer. Or you may be using a hydroseeder. It's hard to make customers understand sometimes, but you have to just deal.
  3. steve in Pa.

    steve in Pa. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 294

    Lol sorry hickory had to say it. We use to roll every yard we did when my father had the business. He would say the same thing. Since my brother and i took over the business we have not rolled one yard with the same or better results. sorry! Gordon not much experience with harley rake but i do know it should be fairly dry to even get a machine on the yard, so you don't leave ruts. I'm fighting with mother nature the last two weeks to get two yards in. She's not being very cooperative!
  4. SWD

    SWD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 988

    The soil that is clumping is not soil it is clay. I have run my T-5 for three plus years in poor, wet, rocky soil conditions and when I get clumping - it's clay.
    With regards to the gravel, trying raking some of it with the harley to somewhat lower the grade, then try raking what topsoil you do have over where you moved the gravel from.
    The good thing is a little gravel is great for soil porosity and gaseous exchange. What it is bad for is rooting structure. Provided you can rake than cover some of the gravel-and were not talking for an athletic field are we?- you should be okay.
    When removing gravel, do not run the rake at a high pto speed, maybe 400 rpms or so - and your ground speed should be faster- say around 5-6mph-provided you have the room. This technique works very well in moving a bunch of gravel with out having it travel over the drum. Leave your end plates off and windrow the rock, then return and scoop the gravel up with the bucket on your tractor/skid steer whatever. The reason for not using the end plates is the gravel will build up between the plates and float the drum changing your grade.

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