Green Tractor Talk banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,148 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I had a Thatcher with my 455s that I hadn't sold. I came across a post on the MTF forum where another Minnesotan was a building a Quick Hitch Mount for the Thatcher, which would allow me to mount it on my 1025Rs. He markets them on eBay, but I reached out to him via the MTF forum PM and purchased direct last February. My intent was to use the Thatcher more for over seeding prep, than for de-thatching.

I removed the 455 mounting hardware and replaced it with the mount from D & L Creative Concepts ([email protected]). I adjusted the mount so both rows of tangs evenly contacted the shop floor. I then removed the setscrew that secures the height control bushing to the wheel pivot shaft. I applied anti-seize to threads to prevent it from corroding in place. With the setscrew and height control bushing loose, I positioned a piece of 1/2' plywood under each wheel and secured the setscrews. This will allow the tangs to rip the top 1/2" of the soil, preparing a seed bed.

DSCN0302.jpg

In the past, I've utilized the tiller to prep for seed, but if the grade is already established, it makes for a lot of work getting it raked back into place. Also, as I'm working on a slope, the tiller loosens it to the point whereas washouts can become an issue in a hard rain. I've also utilized my aerator, but that is the other extreme whereas it doesn't loosen the soil enough.

My first step was to spread the seed, before I did any prep. In this manner, as I run the Thatcher through the soil, it rakes the seed in at the same time. Below is a photo of an area to be seeded with just a single pass through it. I'm very pleased with how the Thatcher is loosening the top soil. I ran the Quick Hitch in the float mode and the restriction of displacing fluid from the cylinder seems to be just the right amount of down pressure. So no other supplemental weight is required on the Thatcher.

DSCN0300.jpg

Once I had thoroughly "thatched" in the seed, I used the tractor to "roll" the soil, by driving over it a tire width at a time, for good soil contact with the seed.

DSCN0301.jpg

I don't have much of a green thumb and would starve to death if I was a farmer, but I'll update how the germination progresses...or fails to.

Below are some additional photos of the Thatcher mounted on the 1025R. A potential drawback to the Quick Hitch mount is you cannot have a mower deck and the Quick Hitch mounted simultaneously, preventing dethatching and mowing simultaneously.

DSCN0296.jpg

DSCN0297.jpg

DSCN0298.jpg

DSCN0299.jpg
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,803 Posts
Way cool mod. I like how you can use the quick-hitch with it. Keep us updated how the seed does.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,078 Posts
This is a great idea. I'm planning to overseed areas of Zoysia grass where I really want tall fescue. My dethatching rake may provide just the right opening in the soil. Please post progress reports. Thanks. Keane
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
700 Posts
Usually you loosen the upper crust of soil with a thatcher, etc, before seeding, not compact it. That being said, as long as it's not sand or gravel, seed tends to grow regardless.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,148 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
That is what I did.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Great post, I had planned to purchase that same exact mount on eBay to use my Quick Hitch for single pass detaching, mulching, and bagging with my Cyclone Rake MCS until I realized the mower and [stock] Quick Hitch can't be mounted simultaneously.

IMG_1108.jpg

That said, from what I can tell it looks like the forward projecting bolts on the end of the mower deck draft arms are what prevents the Quick Hitch bracket from fully seating into position. I'm considering buying a second bracket to modify by cutting out any interference points, since the structural requirements to lift a dethatcher are obviously much less than to operate a snowblower/blade. Anyone tried or considered anything like that before?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,148 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Great post, I had planned to purchase that same exact mount on eBay to use my Quick Hitch for single pass detaching, mulching, and bagging with my Cyclone Rake MCS until I realized the mower and [stock] Quick Hitch can't be mounted simultaneously.

View attachment 613154

That said, from what I can tell it looks like the forward projecting bolts on the end of the mower deck draft arms are what prevents the Quick Hitch bracket from fully seating into position. I'm considering buying a second bracket to modify by cutting out any interference points, since the structural requirements to lift a dethatcher are obviously much less than to operate a snowblower/blade. Anyone tried or considered anything like that before?
That won't get you there. Checkout the last photo in my post. That obstructed slot is what the front draft arm shaft slips into.

Here is what Spartazoo came up with:

http://www.greentractortalk.com/forums/implements-attachments/163106-1025r-mcs-20-dethatcher.html
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,803 Posts
isn't there a factory bracket that allows quick-hitch AND mower deck at the same time?
Nothing I've ever seen from JD. The front draft arms of the mower take up a lot of the real estate where the quick hitch adaptor bracket goes. My thought is the adaptor bracket would have to be modified, if it would even work and be strong enough.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
That won't get you there. Checkout the last photo in my post. That obstructed slot is what the front draft arm shaft slips into.

Here is what Spartazoo came up with:

http://www.greentractortalk.com/forums/implements-attachments/163106-1025r-mcs-20-dethatcher.html
Yeah I've considered the CMP dethatcher which I could just bolt to the front, but at the end of the day I have this great hitch mount with hydraulic lift and angle that sits idle all summer long. It is surprising JD would overlook interference between two staple implements, but nevertheless here we are.

By the looks of it, it seems like you could remove the top half of the rear cross member and notch out the side plates on the standard bracket to allow clearance for both the draft arm bolts as well as the lateral pin. Below is some crude illustration of my thinking...can't imagine it would compromise the bracket structurally considering the entire front cross member and mounting pin would remain in tact to provide ample lateral strength.

Bracketclean.jpg

Bracketmod.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,148 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Germination!

The seed germinated yesterday. It looks very consistent and uniform, so the seed didn't get clumped up by running the Thatcher through it. So far, I'm very pleased with how this has been working out.

DSCN0371.jpg

DSCN0370.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,148 Posts
Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
First Cut

Below are photos of the re-seeded area after the first mow, two days ago. I have a thin spot in the foreground of the first photo and some winter kill in the foreground of the second. It is a never ending battle. I'm going to let the thin areas be until next spring and then I'll overseed and run the Thatcher through them, like I did this spring. Hopefully, by then what I did this spring will be rooted in well enough so I don't pull it up with the Thatcher.

I didn't mow the slope in the background of the second photo. That area doesn't get much sunlight and I don't want to be stressing it. I'm also concerned the climbing force of the tractor or my feet, with the walk behind, will have a tendency to de-root it.

DSCN0379.jpg

DSCN0380.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: Toughsox and kylew

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,803 Posts
Very nice. For the most part it looks like it came in pretty well. Did you fertilize it with anything or just let it grow on its own?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,148 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Very nice. For the most part it looks like it came in pretty well. Did you fertilize it with anything or just let it grow on its own?
I have 'Tru Green Chemlawn" take care of the lawn fertilization and weed killing. Yes, they did apply some starter fertilizer to those areas when they were here about the same time I seeded it.

I'm typically a do everything myself guy. Not so much to save money, but I can seldom hire anything done I'm satisfied with. Lawn fertilizer is one of the exceptions. I did it myself for a few years and would have burn areas were I applied too much and I would never get it applied in the time window I should have because I was busy with other things. Weed killing simply never happened. As far as saving money, I concluded it was less money have them do it, than me. Spraying the structures for spider control is another one of those things I found was cheaper/better to hire the folks that do it for a living. I use Plunkett's for that service.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Toughsox and kylew

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,148 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
End of Season Results

Below are some photos of the areas I over seeded this spring utilizing the Thatcher to provide a visual evaluation. I didn't do anything to it once I thatched the seed in and "rolled" it with the tractor rear tire. I do have a lawn irrigation system that kept it watered. I did add another period of watering through germination and until it was established. I contract with Tru-Green Chem Lawn to perform the lawn fertilization and they did apply starter fertilizer to the seeded areas and did not apply weed controller in the same areas.

The areas in which the lawn had adequate sun exposure are thoroughly established after a season and I cannot tell the difference between the years well established lawn and where I over seeded.

DSCN0442.JPG

The area in which there is dense shade didn't do as well. It is always a struggle to make grass grow in these areas. However, this year's results, over seeding with the Thatcher, have yielded better results than I've had in the past. The real proof-in-the-pudding will be what greens up next spring, after the winter. Again, I didn't do anything with this all summer. However, I did stay off it with the tractor. The tractor seems to "pull" the roots up when turning or climbing a slope with grass that is not established. So I mowed this with the walk-behind and only every other week or longer, rather than once a week as the rest. We had 40mph winds last night and with the overnights lows below freezing, the pine needles and leaves are letting go.

DSCN0443.JPG

DSCN0444.JPG

Overall, I'm very satisfied with this over seeding technique. The seed took well and achieved a high percentage of germination. I didn't have to loosen the soil a great deal to achieve this, which on the slope, greatly reduces the chance of washouts. Further, the ground remains firm so I can mow it sooner with the tractor without fear of leaving wheel ruts.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Toughsox and JKR

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
897 Posts
I like the idea of using the front mount dethatcher to scratch up the surface prior to seeding. My dad was old school and always did it with a rake and than after seeding a landscape rake to get it set in.

He also didn't have a JD tractor with a front mount dethatcher to make quick work :bigthumb:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,148 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I like the idea of using the front mount dethatcher to scratch up the surface prior to seeding. My dad was old school and always did it with a rake and than after seeding a landscape rake to get it set in.

He also didn't have a JD tractor with a front mount dethatcher to make quick work :bigthumb:
I actually spread the seat first, then ran the Thatcher. In this manner, it loosened the soil and lightly covered the seed in one step.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Toughsox

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,148 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Fall 2019 Update

I repeated the process again this spring, spreading seed in my thin shaded areas and then running the Thatcher over it. I'm making progress, as can be seen by comparing this fall's photos to Fall 2018. I utilized a high dollar "Dense Shade Mix" in the Spring of 2018. Last spring (2019) I utilized seed (Landscaper's Mix) from a big box home improvement store (Menard's) that I had good success with other seeding projects.

The grass is a bit thin in the foreground of the photo, below. I had repaired/re-worked the sewer lines entering the septic under the manhole pictured, a couple years before. Some settling occurred as a result of that excavation. I filled in the settled areas this spring and re-seeded. Thus, why the photos foreground is a bit thin.

DSCN0766.JPG

DSCN0767.JPG

DSCN0768.JPG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,896 Posts
I opted for a pine straw rake, which does well for de-thatching, soil prep for seeding and re-seeding, and for raking. The one I got was set up for a 3-pt hitch, but I opted to weld some 2” stock in there so I could just slip it into the receiver on my iMatch. It’s a much easier attachment. I can add varying amounts of weight depending on how aggressive I want the thing to be. That thing has been invaluable for a very wide range of yard tasks, and I’m anticipating even more so now that fall is here (in Minnesota).

Before:




After:



 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top