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I have approximately 2.5 acres of yard that I mow and it is rough. It had gardens, buildings, ditches, septic tanks and the like that were not landscaped afterward so I'm left with humps and low spots throughout. What is the best first implement to get for my 1025 to start this reclamation process? I would like to do small sections at a time so as to not have one big mud hole when it rains.

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I hate to say it, but you may wants both. The tiller to break up the existing grass and roots. A tiller will smooth the surface somewhat, but will not really move much dirt from one place to another. I could have used a blade so many times already! I should have bought one years ago! Best of luck with your project!
 

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Welcome to the forum, Sparkster121. Lots of knowledgeable people here with experience. I wouldn't have any advice on this but I would think as Randy Lang said break it up first then level & smooth. You may want to look at a land plane also as part of the process.

Good luck.
 
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As a person in a similar situation as you I decided to go with a box blade first. It is cheaper and has more uses than a tiller.
 
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Having both will definitely make life easier but it can be done with just the box blade.

Cut your grass as low as it will go. Then lower the rippers in the BB and rip it many times in different directions. Then after all of the dirt is loose start grading it with the rippers up.

Good luck!


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Discussion Starter #7
I should have mentioned that I do have the standard rear blade and FEL already.

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I say one or the other but what's the use, you're going to end up with both. :dunno: Tiller won't level the ground out after it's used the way you want so if it's one you want...box blade.
 
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I recently bought a box blade and have been extremely impressed on all that it can do. I don't have the tiller so I cant really comment on it. I wish I would have bought this box blade MANY YEARS ago.. so easy to use and so versatile.
 
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Ok, just for fun, I be the contrarian. The OP already has a rear blade.

Once my soil has been tilled, it is EASY to level or do whatever I want to do to it.
After tilling, I could pull a simple harrow, or 4x4 cross-ways with a chain attached to each end, etc. Anything like this would level the soil after it is tilled.
The rear blade would do the job too.

So, I vote tiller. Tillers do an amazing job, even on sod...as long as conditions are right. Not too wet, and not too dry.

Of course, if you have no garden, and no long-term use for a tiller, then I might 'switch sides' :)

Tim
 

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I would go with the box blade, then the tiller, then a rear grader blade, oh! How about a plow, then Harrow disc .
I started out like you. Then over the years you my buy all of the dirt tools like I did.
I just needed to save time and get the job done fast and right.
Good luck with your choice

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Having both will definitely make life easier but it can be done with just the box blade. Cut your grass as low as it will go. Then lower the rippers in the BB and rip it many times in different directions. Then after all of the dirt is loose start grading it with the rippers up. Good luck!
I recently bought a box blade and have been extremely impressed on all that it can do. I don't have the tiller so I cant really comment on it. I wish I would have bought this box blade MANY YEARS ago.. so easy to use and so versatile.
I say one or the other but what's the use, you're going to end up with both. :dunno: Tiller won't level the ground out after it's used the way you want so if it's one you want...box blade.
I have both and the box blade is what I'd also recommend for leveling the ground. Milharri has the process down pat.

:munch::munch:
 

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One other option ,depending on expendable cash you like setting around after one job, power rake but there pricey and I've yet to find one used that didn't look like if fell off the truck at highway speed.


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Consider other applications after this task is completed, will you have a need for either piece of equipment? Let that help guide you first.

If the tiller would only be used for this application, consider renting it and using it hard during your rental time. Once the soil is broken up, the box blade will easily move the soil around where needed. When I seeded my yard (4 acres) I rented the tiller, and bought the box blade. I knew for the time I was going to use the BB it would be close to paid off with the rental fees AND it had more utility value after the lawn seeding. For me tiller rent and a BB purchase made the most sense.

Regarding the process, I know you didn't ask, and you may have your process nailed down, here's what I did, and it work very well. I would start the process 30 days or so before your optimum fall planting time. Here in Iowa, that would be around the end of July to have the seed planted and germinated before the winter freeze. For us fall planting of lawn grass is the preferred method.

  1. spray the area with roundup about 3 weeks before you want to work the soil. Killing the surface weeds/grass before attempting to till will eliminate the vegetative clumps when the soil is broken up.
  2. IF you can find some assistance from someone with a disc harrow to do the first breakup, it will help IMMENSELY when tilling.
    • If the disk is not available, drop the teeth on the box blade and drag it through the soil multiple directions to loosen the soil a couple of inches. You don't have to go any further unless you have compaction problems.
  3. It's not that you can't till the area and have satisfactory results, it will till better with a little pre-break-up.
  4. AFTER you have the top layer loosened THEN till. The tiller will go a great job breaking the soil up, but it will be WAY easier if you can get that surface broken up, especially in sod.
  5. Once there's loose soil to work with, level the the yard up, and be prepared to re-till anything that may have all the loose dirt removed.
  6. IF it's too wet, wait until the soil is ready, of course I've never worked your soil, but mine will turn to small clods and marbles that will be with you until the next season, that makes for very poor seed to soil contact.

There's all sorts of tools and equipment that will help with the project, but you can also make equipment from materials you have laying around. For example THE best leveling drag I had was two pieces of an old trailer house frame chained together worked very well. With a little creativity you can save the bank roll, and still have great results.
 
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Howdy, I am not sure all box blades are the same, but mine has cultivator tines inside the box, so it loosens and levels the ground...I would not see a need for a tiller as long as your box blade has the cultivator tines.
 
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