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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been seeding some areas and though I'd post some pictures of what is called a tine harrow or chains. As I understand it, these are also used by many to break up manure after it's been put down. I'm not known for flinging the manure (well, not too much) so I wouldn't know about that use :laugh:. What I'm doing with it is mixing up the top layer of the ground after I've put down my seed, lime, and fertilizer.

At any rate, looking at the pictures you can see how I drag this behind my little JD 318. I hang the chains for the towing bar as far behind the tractor as I can so that I can make sharp turns. The tines will pick up all sorts of stuff, such as straw, grass, and sticks as you pull it. Not a problem here, it just helps mix and cover everything. I've used these to clear newly worked areas of sticks.

If you look at the close-up, you can see that one side of the chains has a long tine on it. This is good if you want to dig in a bit, and you can see at the lower right what that looks like. You can also flip the whole thing over so that the long tines are pointed up in the air and have a more gently pull. The more gentle approach might make sense if you were smoothing up a horse arena. My BIL in Wisconsin (Americas Dairyland!) uses a piece of chain link fence with a few old tires on it to do the same task. He as 2x4's bolted onto each end of the fence to hold it all together.

These cost me about $300 8 years ago. I got them to help smooth out about 1.5 acres of hilly area around a pond I was cleaning up. They come in different widths and you can see where I've connected two of these together. They are a bit heavy and awkward to store, and if you get them tangled up it's interesting to get them right again. I could also probably put some weight on the top if I wanted them to dig in more, but they are pretty heavy on their own.

So there you go, when you hear about pulling or dragging a chain, a fence, or a tine harrow this might be what people are talking about.

Pete
 

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Pete,

How well does it work on say, newly tilled soil? Have you tried that? Looks like you are working some pretty hard surface there. Thanks for the info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That surface was too hard for the chains to work well, it's kind of a staging and set-up area. The areas I had been working were tilled, planed, sat for a bit, and then purdyed-up with a landscape rake. Then I put down the seed/feed and used the chains to work in the seed/feed and cover things up. I put a thick layer of hay from the fall harvest (so it has lots of seed in it too) over the areas. The chains alone are not sufficient for soil prep most of the time.

The chains won't dig up ground, but they are great in ground that has been prepped. Sometimes after I use the chains to work in the seed, I roll over it with the 318 (in lieu of a roller) to pack it down.

It's not uncommon when the grass 1st comes up to see "stripes" where the tines where. As things fill in, the strips slowly go away. Water and hay covering things seems to be the #1 factor in how well things go. If you look at the picture with the 318, you'll see grass to the left. That surface was as hard as the one in the other pictures, but it was in a low spot (drainage ditch away from the tractor garage) so the seed got lots of water.

The soil in New England spoiled me, this clay stuff is quite a challenge. Lawn grading, lawn prep, and grass growing is a lot like a game of chess. Learn the rules in an hour, master it in a lifetime (if you're lucky) :mocking:.

Pete
 
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