Can I till sod : Tillers and Ploughs  -- Tractor Attachments Implements 3ph Discussion Forum and Review Can I till sod : Tillers and Ploughs -- Tractor Attachments Implements 3ph Discussion Forum

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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Tillers and Ploughs Forum

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 02-18-2002, 10:34 Post: 35696
Mrwurm



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 Can I till sod

My 3 acre lot was originally a farm field. The guy who built the house never finished the lot. Furrows, bumps, dips, you get the picture. He just let grasses and weeds grow in and then started cutting that stuff. Here's where I come in. I bought the house and property and find it too bumpy to mow. It's hard on me and the equipment. Previous owner put in allot of trees and landscaping that I do not want to disturb. I thought if I bought a tiller for the tractor I could till up some areas and then smooth it with my york rake(with gauge wheels). Will this work or will the clumps left behind by the tiller be too large to rake out smooth? I would then use the tiller in the future only for the garden (about 60 by 40).






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 02-18-2002, 11:54 Post: 35700
BillBass



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 Can I till sod

A good tiller run at a slow ground speed will grind up the soil so that it can be raked as smooth as a baby's behind. Moisture content will affect it a lot. Too wet or too dry and it won't till well. That just takes a little practice. Maybe 2 passes, one crosswise to the other.
The trees are another problem. The feeder roots are generally fairly shallow out to about the drip line. You could possibly damage your trees if you till to deep and too close.






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 02-18-2002, 12:09 Post: 35701
Mrwurm



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 Can I till sod

Ok, if I till up the turf and rake it smooth, will the grasses and various weedy stuff return or will I have to seed. It cost me $500 to seed a big area last year and then most of it died because I had no way to water it. I don't need a fine lawn. I just need something green and smooth enough to drive a mower on.






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 02-18-2002, 12:31 Post: 35702
BillBass



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 Can I till sod

You can be sure the weeds you don't want will come back. Any thing that grows in the area and puts off seed will likely come back fairly quickly. That includes grassy weeds as well as broadleaf weeds.
If you have desirable grasses that sprout from roots as well as seeds, such as burmuda, you should probably till when you would expect the weather to be fairly cool and wet so that the tilled roots will not dry out and will come back fairly quickly. Best time would probably be mid spring since burmuda begins sprouting when the weather is fairly warm. Spring rains would give the roots time to settle and start to reestablish. You don't want to rake up all the roots when you smooth it out.
If your grasses are seed type, and I'm no expert on grasses, then I would guess you should probably till when the grass goes to seed.






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 02-19-2002, 05:03 Post: 35717
TomG

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 Can I till sod

If the lawn is good enough to qualify as sod, it might be a little difficult to work. Sod often is cut and removed before doing other preparation. I think that if you're going to smooth out the lawn with tiller rake or other implement, the sod probably has to be removed first. Discs and plows will cut sod, but I don't think tillers or rakes work very well.

An alternative with sandy soil and if the land isn't too furrowed might be to get a very heavy roller and roll it every spring. It might smooth out to an acceptable level in a few years.

I don't have a disc, plow or tiller or rake. What I did to make a sizable garden was to cut the sod with my box scraper scarifiers. After cutting, either the scraper blade or the loader blade was able to peel the sod and pile it at one end of the plot.


At that point I could have hauled the sod away and many pieces were large enough to easily use elsewhere. However, I decided I didn't want to give up the top-soil and green fertilizer the sod would provide the garden. I cut the sod into the soil using a walk-behind tiller. The garden isn't that big, but it took many many passes with the tiller to cut the sod chunks fine enough. If you run a tiller over sod, expect to get a bunch of small chunks that would have to be removed before reseeding. I suppose the rake would do a decent job of removing them.






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 02-19-2002, 07:53 Post: 35723
CAGranat



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 Can I till sod

I have five acres that I put into lawn last year. The land was part of a farm, similar to what you describe. The process I used was to spray it with Roundup, wait three weeks, till it (60" tiller on a 28HP IH), wait two more weeks (for weeds to germinate), till it again, drag it (used an 8' long 6x6), then seeded it. Tilling that much area does take a while but, the area is now free (mostly) of bumps. In the areas that did have grass, I just went over it with the tiller slowly. The second time around I didn't have to worry about chunks of grass.






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 02-19-2002, 15:25 Post: 35728
MarkS



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 Can I till sod

I tilled up a 5 acre field to smooth it out several years ago. The field had Corn planted in it two years prior to my tilling. I made one pass very slowly, then a second pass in the other direction. The clums of Grass (weeds actually) were no problem after the second pass. Its now very smooth to mow and very few problem spots. Again, moisture content is critical when tilling, too wet is more of a problem than too dry in my opinion, but when the ground gets dry it gets very hard in many areas where the soil is high in clay.






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 02-21-2002, 08:33 Post: 35772
craigs
2002-02-21 00:00:00
Post: 35772
 Can I till sod

I have a JD4100 (compact) with a rototiller on it, and have used it to tear up just about everything. On the rototiller I have, if you have the "door" down (closed), it fluffs up the soil to feel like you are walking on pillows. The door down keeps the chunks in, until they are torn up. It doesn't sound like you have sod, since you haven't mowed it. But it does chop up the sod pretty good too. Of course, a good way, would be to Run it with the door up, which would spped up the first pass, then come along with the door down, to help level, fluff, etc.
As for moisture content, I am told that if you can stick the soil together like a hard snowball, it;s too damp. I live in a damp area, and have tilled it lightly damp, though. I have also tilled in a "burn pile" last fall after a mild freeze - top few inches around the pile was frozen, but found out the tiller loved to chop it up too. This was kind of neet, because it acted like it was dry. It wasn;t a seriously deep freeze though.
The only drawback I have had is finding all of the previous owners dump/scrap piles. I have had to cut a lot of chickenwire, barbwire and old electric/phone wires off the tiller.






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