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Old 10-27-2016, 12:27 AM   #1
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Should I use a tiller to level and replant grass


Hi
I just had a 10" diameter tree removed, stump grounded and bush and roots grounded as well. Looking back, maybe I should have just removed the bushes by somehow pulling it out of the ground. The stump grinding machine made a mess of the side of house. The big tree was right at the corner of the house. I'm in the process of raking out most of the stump and roots.

My question is, should I use a tiller to help brake up the soil (hard clay) to make it easier to smooth and regrade the area. Afterwards, should I seed the area and wait for spring. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-27-2016, 07:26 AM   #2
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Re: Should I use a tiller to level and replant grass


http://www.lawn-care-academy.com/clay-soil.html
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Old 10-27-2016, 07:43 AM   #3
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Thanks Joecaption for the link.
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Old 10-27-2016, 12:47 PM   #4
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Re: Should I use a tiller to level and replant grass


Quote:
My question is, should I use a tiller to help brake up the soil (hard clay) to make it easier to smooth and regrade the area. Afterwards, should I seed the area and wait for spring.
Ayuh,.... Stump grinders grind the stump, not all the roots,...

I seriously doubt you could do anything with a tiller, because of all the roots,...

If the grade is to high, a pickaxe, axe, 'n rake might be the only cure,....

If the grade ain't to high, dig out all the stump chips, 'n fill the hole with top dirt, then seed it,...

Much of the grass oughta get a start, 'n you can reseed it in the Spring,...
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Old 10-27-2016, 03:44 PM   #5
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Re: Should I use a tiller to level and replant grass


Stump chips decompose and make great topsoil.
I have people that want me to bring them all I can get to dump in there gardens.
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Old 12-07-2016, 09:27 AM   #6
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Re: Should I use a tiller to level and replant grass


I'd recommend waiting for spring. Add gypsum and water the existing ground over a few days to soften it, then add a couple of inches of quality top-soil and till the top-soil into the existing ground along with a starter fertilizer. Then seed or lay sod.
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Old 12-08-2016, 04:38 PM   #7
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Re: Should I use a tiller to level and replant grass


First, did I miss it, but where to you live - Spring in Mn is diff than spring in FL. Also, decomposition of organic matter happens much faster in warmer weather than cooler weather.

Next, how deep are the chips of ground stump above the clay soil? Also, what kind of grasses do you have in other parts of the yard?

Finally, what kind of tree was there and for how long?

Lot's of unknown variable...but some steadfast rules:

*don't fertilize almost anything until the roots are established
*don't apply seeds until near time of germination, rain water can carry them off, birds eat them, etc

Finally, have you ever performed a soil test?
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Old 12-08-2016, 11:03 PM   #8
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Re: Should I use a tiller to level and replant grass


When you grind out a stump, there is still a bunch of wood there that will continue to decay for years. Any new soil you add in will settle as well. Maybe if you can spread it out and tamp it and stuff, you might be okay. But I know a few people who have holes like that and they keep throwing dirt in, but they can never get it to stay level with the yard. Maybe hard clay soil is a good thing.
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Old 12-09-2016, 12:04 AM   #9
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Re: Should I use a tiller to level and replant grass


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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Stump chips decompose and make great topsoil.
I have people that want me to bring them all I can get to dump in there gardens.
Don't think he wants to wait 10 years.
In the mean time the chips will decompose and put off a gas that will kill any grass. So step one is remove as much of the grinded stump as possible.
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Old 12-09-2016, 12:08 AM   #10
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Re: Should I use a tiller to level and replant grass


Should have added.
Hard clay so till in some actual compost. Then seed in fall. But I would still do a seeding in the spring so you don't have to wait. An again in fall
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Old 12-10-2016, 07:40 AM   #11
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Re: Should I use a tiller to level and replant grass


A ground stump area will take years to finally settle. Fill/level now- and it will just sink every year until all organic roots/matter decomposed. No other alternative. Thats nature. Also, be prepared for those rotting roots to attract carpenter ants, and even termites. Not fun.
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Old 01-05-2017, 05:43 PM   #12
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Re: Should I use a tiller to level and replant grass


I wouldn't use a tiller. Grass does NOT need much depth to germinate and grow. Plus, tilled dirt is going to settle a lot as it compacts.

I'd smooth the soil with a rake, broadcast the seed, scatter 1/4 inch of topsoil on it, then water it twice daily until it germinates. Once daily for the next month.

Just note that, where they ground out a stump, you're going to have uneven soil compaction. This is going to be a multiple-year process.
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