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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi folks, I'm looking for some advice from the GTT army.

I am eager to tackle a project that I have yet tried (to this large degree) yet. I have a piece of property up in Maine and want to level an area approx 8,000 sq. ft (80'x100') level to plant some grass seed.

Picture a rectangular piece of property that is approx. 3' at the lowest point. Its highest point I'll need to fill approx 6". I have a box blade and york rake.

My question is; How do I go about tackling this? do I start at the lowest point and work my way up? Any links or info. others with greater experience can offer will be greatly appreciated. Pic not to scale :bigthumb:

level area.png
 

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First, you don't really want it level. You want some slope so water that won't soak into the ground has somewhere to go. You don't need much, but you do want some...

Second, it's easiest to start from a level spot and expand it. I've found getting things level with just the bucket is a bit tricky without being able to approach from different directions to work over holes and hills. The areas I can get two different angles on aren't so bad because if you have a high spot next to a low spot, you just change how you aim at it and can push/pull the material into the low.
 

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First, you don't really want it level. You want some slope so water that won't soak into the ground has somewhere to go. You don't need much, but you do want some...

Second, it's easiest to start from a level spot and expand it. I've found getting things level with just the bucket is a bit tricky without being able to approach from different directions to work over holes and hills. The areas I can get two different angles on aren't so bad because if you have a high spot next to a low spot, you just change how you aim at it and can push/pull the material into the low.
2x!!!!
 

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How do you want to do it? Pull material from the top and move it down to average it out? Or pull material away from the top and make it all level with the bottom?

For that big an area a roller would be handy to finish it off otherwise it will have settled and be lumpy next year. Do you plave to park vehicles/RVs on it? If so you'll definitely want to roller it.
 

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I agree that some slope is nice to have as it helps drain water off. It doesn’t have to be anything major just enough to keep it from collecting water and killing your grass. If I were to do it I'd spray it to kill anything growing. Once it's all dead I'd get something to break up the soil. It could be a disk, cultivator, maybe even a tiller. What you want to do is break up the top layer of soil. With the box blade you can pull high spots into low spots and get everything "roughed" in. I love using an old time harrow for finish dirt work. It acts as a landplane to level out small high spots and breaks up clods into nice soil. Once you've got it all smoothed out you'll want to spread your grass seed evenly. Then I like to run my harrow over it to mix the seed into the ground. After that I run my roller over it and give everything a nice smooth finish. Then water it. I've never done a section that big, but my yard is a breeze to mow with my 60D deck now that I've fixed all my trouble spots. I've used this technique a bunch now and it works like a charm!


-636
 

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I might have mis-read your post the first time. Are you looking to have truck loads of dirt brought in? I see you want to raise the area 6" on one side and 3' on the other. I see you have an 870, box blade, and york rake. Do you have a loader or skid loader available? If dump trucks bring in fill dirt or top soil you'll need something to spread the piles out.

-636
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Gentleman, great answers, that's what I was looking for as I have little experience leveling such a large area.

I agree, my plan from day one was to have a slight slope away from the camp.

Basically it'll be a flat area where I plan to build an outdoor pavilion later on.

No vehicles will be parked here.

Plan was to have several hundred yards dumped in all areas.

I do have a 440 loader and 8B BH on my tractor as well
 

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Set some reference posts

I think you will do yourself a favor by setting some reference posts at least in the corners and mark the level. On a large area, it's really easy to see a piece of land as flat and then find it's not level or worse, slopes the wrong way. The reference posts with a bright line across at the level area makes it relatively easy to get close to a final grade from the tractor seat.

Treefarmer
 

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Beings you have to add the soil anyway, is there anything stopping you from putting down some tile just to help the water drain off? If you plan on making it a useable space having tile might make it same day usable during rainy seasons. That would really help eliminate squishy spots. When dealing with that big of an area you'll always have low spots that collect water worse than others... Just a thought. Once all that dirt is in place adding tile is just that much harder to do.

-636
 

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636 - I'm not familiar with the term tile? I'm getting the idea of what you're saying but not familiar with that term. Is it landscapers cloth? Thanks.
 

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Tile is a plastic tube with perferation to allow water into it. Farms have it to drain wet spot. The stuff in my back yard 6" diameter. uploadfromtaptalk1433441589059.jpg
 

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636 - I'm not familiar with the term tile? I'm getting the idea of what you're saying but not familiar with that term. Is it landscapers cloth? Thanks.
Here is an example from the orange big box store.

Drain Tile
 

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I eneded up getting mine at Tractor Supply, but that's the stuff. Thinking back, I bet I had 4" also. The stinger on dad's trencher isn't that big. There are quite a few places that carry the stuff and the price can swing one way or the other enough to make shopping around worth your time.

-636
 
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