Green Tractor Talk banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I will be preparing an overgrown field so that the landowner can plant grass. It currently has growth about 2-3feet high. We will go through it first and remove any large rocks that might be an issue. I'm planning on renting a brush cutter (the JD dealer calls it a 5' Gyromower) to first cut the growth down. Then I plan on running a JD 655 tiller over it to churn it up. Finally, I will run through it with my York rake to smooth it out and clean it up. I'm thinking after that, it will be ready to seed.

Sounds like a fun weekend but what do you guys think about my plan? Also, the only time I have ever used my PTO was for a posthole digger so any advice on running a tiller and/or mower like this would be appreciated.

Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Depending on how dry it is, keep a close eye on the grill and cooling system, I did this with a neighbor about 10 years ago to control a little
over an acre of blackberries straddling our property line, and actually overheated my 770 to the point of it shutting down on me twice, the
only times it ever did that.
First time was on seeds that got thrown up by the brush cutting, the second time by fine dirt during the second or third pass with the tiller.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,258 Posts
Sounds like a neat project. But your estimate on one weekend sounds off to me unless it is a very small field - that is a lot of work you have planned.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,285 Posts
I'd have someone walk that field before you cut it. If you've got vines growing (like poison ivy, buckthorn, etc..) you'll probably want to pull them. Otherwise you run the risk of cutting and then tilling them in they'll just root themselves all over.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
592 Posts
I suggest using Roundup first, let it dry down good and then burn it. I don't know the area around the property, but if can.....spray, burn and then till. From my experience, this will be your best way to do the job. You will not have to rent the mower, you will find any objects, weeds will be dead and you will have clean ground to till. Consider planting grass in the fall, as you will have a higher success rate with the cooler weather and the ground will hold the moisture better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,426 Posts
My buddy prepped his yard for SOD by applying grass/weed killer in ample quantities. He didn't burn it because it's near his house. He then tilled it up.

If you have a York rake, I would go through it before you till. It will be good at finding rocks, roots, debris. I use one on my bare lot I am trying to prep to one day hold sod (I am having a house built etc) and can tell you the landscape rake really does a good job of getting rocks etc. Once you rake it, then till it up. You can use the rake to smooth out the tilled dirt if you want afterwards if it isn't smooth enough for you.

Depending how big the lot is you can do this in a weekend but it will take most of it.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,191 Posts
Some parts of Connecticut can be pretty rocky. You're received some pretty good advice but I'd run a middle buster or a single bottom plow through the area to loosen things up and uncover any large stones or roots just under the surface. Had the same idea about tilling some areas around my property. First pass with the tiller was "uncomfortable" to say the least. Many large rocks & roots that were cause for concern.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
770 Posts
Hit the grass/weeds at max rate with Glyphosate, a week before mowing.

Mow, and apply again to anything that comes up after a week.

Then till, and wait a week. You may very well have to kill more crud coming up.

There are going to be late season perennial weeds in the soil, rhizomes from pest weeds, as well as lots of annual junk just waiting for the soil to be disturbed.
Kill it all now, before it takes over the new lawn.

Follow planting, with a good lawn pre-emerge until the grass is established.

It's not going to happen in a day or even a weekend, unless you want to battle weeds for control of the lawn.:unknown:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
352 Posts
Have done this many times when I was on the farm as boy and my choice would depend on how large the field is. For a small area a tiller is OK but for a larger area it is slow going particularly if ground is hard. For a larger area use a cultivator followed by harrows (after you deal with the grass). Cultivate and harrow in both directions. What size land we talking about here? If land is hard then would go with a plow first then disc the furrows then harrow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the great input. The field is only about 1.5 acres so I don't think it will take too long. I'm hoping the ground is not so hard that the tiller won't break into it. This used to be a small farm so I'm thinking the ground might be softer than typical New England soil. We will go through it pretty well first for rocks and such but I'm sure I'll hit some with the tiller. By the way...what happens when you hit a rock with the tiller? Does it just ride over it or do I have to worry about breaking the tines.

Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
352 Posts
For only 1.5 acres your plan should work fine. Most tillers have shear pins for each set of tines so the pin should (at least in theory) break before the tines do. Since most tillers are expensive though and somewhat involved in that they have a gear train, I would be nervous about using one in an application where I knew for sure there would be a lot of rocks. If there are only a few here and there then it should be ok. Going with a few shallow passes rather than a single deep pass may allow you to see any rocks that are submerged below the surface. If you have problems or think you will encounter rocks then consider using a simple cultivator and take several passes...they have less problems with rocks than a tiller will.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BigJim55

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,852 Posts
I did this to about a 1/4 acre this spring to plant a little corn patch. The ground was hard as stone in some spots. I sprayed the area with roundup and waited a couple weeks. It was all dead. I ran through it with a single bottom plow and tilled it. I had a problem with all the grassy weed roots. They were balled up all over the place. I tilled it in both directions and at angles. I wound up tilling it 8 times before we could plant corn. It was still pretty rough.

When I plant grass I like to finish the area by using a garden tractor to pull a bed spring over it to smooth it out. Sounds stupid, looks stupid, but works great.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
352 Posts
Hi Gwood...please let us know how it goes. Would love to hear how it works out and best of luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,980 Posts
If the tiller has a slip clutch I would recommend loosening the clutch, slipping it to condition the clutch surface then readjust it. If your tractor is hydrostatic then you may need to ride the brake in hard ground, the tiller can easily propel the tractor forward faster than you will need to be going. Sounds like these guys have been around the block more than once with their spraying recommendations, seems to be good advice.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BigJim55

·
Registered
Joined
·
651 Posts
I'd have someone walk that field before you cut it. If you've got vines growing (like poison ivy, buckthorn, etc..) you'll probably want to pull them. Otherwise you run the risk of cutting and then tilling them in they'll just root themselves all over.
JimR- I like the idea of walking/riding ahead on an ATV to locate unknown surprises like posts, wire, vines, etc. It's be a real shame to be spending otherwise productive tilling time untangling the tiller tines from a previously unidentified hazard.

It would be a worse shame to have a leaning post puncture your radiator..

Brian
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Ok. So I finished round one for a friend of mine. You can see how tall the brush was that I cut by looking at the edge. The entire area was 3-4ft tall. The brush cutter didn't even know it was cutting anything. The tiller worked hard getting over all the rocks but did an effective job. Then it took a lot of passes with the rake to get all the cut grass and rocks raked up. In the end I think it looks pretty good and will use the same method to finish the areas I didn't have time to get to. The order of the pictures didn't come out right but you get the idea.
 

Attachments

1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top