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-   -   tilling backyard (https://www.diychatroom.com/f16/tilling-backyard-206198/)

spooky1985 09-07-2014 11:28 PM

tilling backyard
 
I have a 50x15 área of dirt that i want to prepare for grass seed. This dirt has never been worked on and is super hard. I rented a rear tine tiller and it barely dug into the dirt. I want to till at least six inches deep. Ive also dug up dirt with the mattock in some areas. Any ideas on how to till this dirt or should i just keep breaking it apart with the mattock?

Bud Cline 09-07-2014 11:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spooky1985 (Post 1399910)
I have a 50x15 área of dirt that i want to prepare for grass seed. This dirt has never been worked on and is super hard. I rented a rear tine tiller and it barely dug into the dirt. I want to till at least six inches deep. Ive also dug up dirt with the mattock in some areas. Any ideas on how to till this dirt or should i just keep breaking it apart with the mattock?

Let the sprinkler run on it for an hour or two, turn it off, then let it soak for another hour or two. Then try the tiller again.

spooky1985 09-07-2014 11:35 PM

No sprinklers yet. Just dirt.

Bud Cline 09-07-2014 11:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spooky1985 (Post 1399914)
No sprinklers yet. Just dirt.

Say what? What does that mean?

oh'mike 09-08-2014 07:20 AM

Like Bud suggested---soak the soil ---let it sit--soak it again--let that soak in--then try the tiller again---

once you do get the soil tilled nicely--add some sand and compost or manure (horse manure is usually free)--that will help keep the soil from compacting again.
.

DexterII 09-08-2014 09:03 AM

Manure is definitely a good and inexpensive supplement to heavy soil, but, if available, I prefer cow over horse, as it typically produces fewer weeds. If neither is a readily available option, a local mill or nursery will have alternatives, such as bagged manure, Canadian Peat, etc., depending on your area. It's not going to change your soil over night, but keep working it with the tiller, and it will come around. Our soil test as "sandy loam", and it is tillable as long as I stay on it, but let it set for a few months and the tiller does not want to dig in this time of the year when the sun is beating on it the hardest.

spooky1985 09-08-2014 09:42 AM

Thanks for the feedback everyone. I will keep spraying the dirt and tilling it.

Bud Cline 09-08-2014 02:03 PM

You may want to take a few samples for testing just to see what is there and what supplements your soil could benefit from. Throwing random supplements into your soil based on something you heard on an Internet Forum may be a mistake.

Tilling your soil will also turn up old dormant weed seeds that will now grow because they have been exposed to daylight.

Do you have something like a County Extension Office or Agent in your area or maybe a college with an agriculture department that can test your soil for you and recommend some proper ammendments?

DrHicks 09-13-2014 08:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spooky1985 (Post 1399910)
I have a 50x15 área of dirt that i want to prepare for grass seed. This dirt has never been worked on and is super hard. I rented a rear tine tiller and it barely dug into the dirt. I want to till at least six inches deep. Ive also dug up dirt with the mattock in some areas. Any ideas on how to till this dirt or should i just keep breaking it apart with the mattock?

Not sure where you're located, but in mid-to-northern climates, the soil is softer in the spring than the fall.

Pat Martin 09-15-2014 06:07 AM

Bud's right here you know. If you want to be growing something here as well, it may be good to work with what the soil is right for.

And colors in the garden always changes your mood :)

But maybe I just say that living in quite a concrete place at the moment.

KayWashington 12-12-2014 12:56 AM

Hi guys, since you're talking about tiller. Can you please help me out which is the best one to buy? Planning of getting one with a good quality. Thanks a lot!

oh'mike 12-12-2014 06:25 AM

A rear tine tiller is what you want---I had a Troy Built for a long time---I replaced that with an Earthquake brand---both were 5 horse power--

How big is your garden?
The rear tine machines do not require as much strength to use as the front tine units.

TarheelTerp 12-12-2014 10:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KayWashington (Post 1488929)
Hi guys, since you're talking about tiller.
Can you please help me out which is the best one...?

Hire it out or rent a machine for the day.

DrHicks 12-13-2014 11:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KayWashington (Post 1488929)
Hi guys, since you're talking about tiller. Can you please help me out which is the best one to buy? Planning of getting one with a good quality. Thanks a lot!

This depends ENTIRELY on how much tilling you want to do, and where it will be done.

I've got a 3' tiller mounted on the back of a John Deere garden tractor. It's awesome, but doesn't work in small areas (obviously). Plus, to buy the equivalent today would cost you about $4,000.

If you're just looking at some small flower garden areas, a Mantis (or similar) would be good. If it's a moderate sized garden, you might want to consider renting a tiller or hiring it done (as was previously mentioned).

oh'mike 12-14-2014 06:13 AM

Dr.Hicks makes an excellent point---What sort of gardens will you have?


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