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311Hemi

Harley rake?

16 posts in this topic

Back yard is coming along after clearing out a bunch of trees. Going to be seeding at some point but everyone seems to say to do it in the fall and not right now.

I have a Bobcat 843 for another week and was going to rent a Harley rake to chew up any remaining grass and to help flatten/level things off. I wont have easy access to it after this.

If I don't see until this fall then there will be weeds that will grow between now and then and the surface will probably harden somewhat over the next couple months. So is it worth doing the Harley rake now.....or do I wait and come up with another solution later on? Do I need to put down a weed killer...and if so now or can I do that later?

Also, any ideas what a Harley rake will do to small roots that may still be in the ground?

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I had a lot of work done in my yard about this time last year. I got tied up and waited a few days after the crew got done to drag it for the final dressing prior to seeding. The soil had hardened in some areas and it was about impossible to break it up. I ended up dragging it for about two days to break up the clumps and loosen the few areas that had gotten compacted. I seeded right away cause of concerns about erosion. I ended up having to water it on a daily basis.

On the other hand about 5 years ago I waited until later in the year when things were cool. Just happened that there was a decent rain right after I seeded and 80% of the material got washed away. After that happened 4 times I finally was able to get fairly decent coverage.

My suggestion is that you seed now given your project’s current status. Be sure to get good seed, use a starter fertilizer, and get some straw and sprinkle it over the area to keep it moist. You probably will have to spot seed again in late August but you really don’t have much choice at this point.

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Is there a need to do weed killer if everything is mulched up. Crab crass and such is/was back there...as were common weeds.

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I'd say your best bet if you're going to seed this time of year is plan on using seeding and erosion blanket. It's a little bit costly to do but you won't have to worry about seeding more than once. The blanket holds moisture in the ground so you might not have to use as much water either. I had a friend who is kicking himself for not using blanket right away. I think he is on his 3rd or 4th try at seeding his lawn.

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If the stuff is ground up you won't need to biff it. You'll have to worry about the crab grass next year becuase the stuff that stops it will also prevent your grass seed from growing.

The erosion blanket is good for a hilly area but IMO too costly for the entire yard. I've really had good luck just putting down straw. It looks like a mess to start out with but once you start cutting the grass it goes away pretty fast.

A guy at the feed mill where I buy my products told me to sow in some common oats with the grass seed. It comes up fast and shades the new grass a bit as well has slowing erosion. I did it and it seemed to help.

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As an ex Golf Course Superintendent, a couple questions come to mind.. The area that you want to seed are you planning to water it or not? That question is to define what type of grass seed to put down.. Is the area Shady or is it sunny mostly? Seeding in the hottest part of the year can be tricky, but it can also be done, plus your lawn can always be over seeded if stuff does not come up. What I would do if I was seeding a new lawn is to spray the area with roundup a week or so in advance of putting new seed down.. This would kill any green leaf vegetation coming up and would not effect the seed.

If you want a fast established lawn use a mixture of annual Ryegrass, Fineleaf Fescue and Kentucky Bluegrass.. The Annual ryegrass will germinate quickly, grow quickly and retain sediments in the area you are trying to establish... it will die off over the winter leaving the Kentucky Bluegrass and Fescue. Between the Kentucky Bluegrass, which like Full sun, and the Fine Leaf Fescue which does well in both sun and shade, the one that will survive the best will take over the area. Personally I wouldnt wait until fall. But I would use a mixture of seed.. Not just one type..

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BTW... If you do go ahead and seed it.. Don't be too quick too mow it.. You will want to wait until the grass has established a good root system before mowing... And when you do mow it, you will want to mow it at a fairly high height.. Probably as high as your mower will let you cut.. use a pushmower.. not a rider...

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The area that you want to seed are you planning to water it or not?

Is the area Shady or is it sunny mostly?

The area I am going to seed (roughly 8000-10000 sq ft) will be mostly sunny. I plan to water it daily. I'm not installing an sprinkler system so I will run multiple hoses to staked 360" sprinklers and probably put on a timer.

Thanks for the info guy!!! I always get some good advice here to complete my big projects.

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Now if you could only get one of us out to help. Talk is cheap. Action is what counts.

You've helped me on the dog forum so consider it pay back.

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Well, the Harley rake is one sweet piece of equipment. The back yard is now flat and ready for seed. Took a little bit to get used to it but once I was it went quick.

As far as seed goes, ow do I tell a difference between good seed and bad seed?

Also, what times should I be watering? Might be seeding this weekend.

I will get some straw to lay down also.

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I go the the Hugo Feed Mill and buy their seed and have always had good luck. The Ag extension service may have some recommendations on the 'mix' of different varieties. I think the major issue I've experienced is shady vs sunny. Wrong stuff won't work. If you go to a garden store or feed mill those folks will get you the correct starter fertilizer, the correct seed, and will sell you the amounts you need. Be sure to have a reasonably accurate measurement of the area with notes on what's shade and what's sunny.

As for watering - you have to do it early or late in the day when the sun isn't going to turn the moisture into steam. I made the mistake of getting one of those tractor type deals and it just tore up the dirt and ended up getting stuck. You have to keep the top 1 inch or so moist and so you need some type of pan or something to tell you how much you've put down. To much and you end up washing the starter fertilizer and seed into the low spots.

You should be seeing green in 7-10 days. You probably will have to do a second seeding in some spots but that's the way it goes.

Good luck.

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I made the mistake of getting one of those tractor type deals and it just tore up the dirt and ended up getting stuck.

Dang, I was going to try this as I have about 12000sq to cover. Guess I will have to buy some extra hoses and timers.

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If you have to do this moving the hose thing it helps a bit to spend money on those quick disconnect devices. Having a shut off valve at the end of the hose also helps.

I had a lot of fun doing the watering thing. When I went to move the hose I would end up dang near falling down cause the dirt got so greasy, and my wife loved the way I would track mud into the house. All those footprints didn't help getting the turf to grow in those areas. I ended up going with some splitters with shut off valves on the main hose and then trying to keep the hoses in place without having to walk out onto the wet area. My wife tried to get me to wear some of those dorky rubber slipper sorts of things but there are limits to what a guy is willing to do. They may have been cheaper than the tennis that I wrecked but at least I maintained my dignity,

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So did you put down the seed in time for the rain on Saturday?

madWith my luck of course it did and boy did it POUR!!! It has not rained like that in a while....and whole back yard was covered in water with some washout in the very back of the yard(slight incline on the back 1/4 of my lot). Luckily I had gotten straw down on half of the new seed (closest to the house), and then was out in the pouring rain trying to get as much down on the rest of the yard as I could. I finally gave up when I saw the rivers flowing. I had a dish out to measure water fall from sprinklers and the dish had over 1" of water after that rain came through.

My dad came over Sunday and we assessed the damage. Luckily the straw held most of the seed so we racked up all the straw and re-raked the entire yard. Put a little more seed down and then covered with straw again. My fingers are crossed for no more rains like that in the next 2 weeks!! Not sure how much it affected the fertilizer....I still saw some beads in the soil.

The good thing is it got the ground saturated so I didn't have to!

1) One question....how much watering do I need to do? The 3000 sq ft by the house (get sun from 10:30-3:00) I have on automatic timers and am doing once in the morning around 6am and once in the evening around 6 pm. I can program for up to 3 sessions....so not sure if I should do less during each time and include a noon hour watering to keep the surface from drying out?

2) My idea for sprinkler on the back half of the lot (8000 sq ft, 80 x 100) didn't work out too great. I may have to do some manual watering or moving of sprinklers. Not sure if I can get by with once a day or will two or three be required? I guess it goes back to what condition the surface soil needs to be in. Does it need to be damp non-stop all day?

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