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Sunday, September 6, 2015

Rototillering The Front Lawn Soil

My Troy-Bilt Pony rototiller is the type with the digging tines at the rear.  The first kind I bought 25 years ago was a front-tine tiller with free-moving wheels, and those are AWEFUL.  The front-tines jump over everything and you mostly have to hold it back to let the tines dig into the soil (It's like making a mule go backwards).  30 minutes of that, and you have put in a full day's work!

The Troy-Bilt (and this is not an ad for them - I'm just really happy with it) has geared wheels and the digging tines behind them.  So the wheels have a set speed and actually prevent the tines from pushing the whole thing forward (mostly).  So you are steering it more than horsing it around.

There is also a sled-like bar under the chassis that controls how deep the tines can dig down.  Trust me, when the soil is hard it sure is easier to let the tines dig down just 2" rather than trying for 6". 

So I went over the entire front area 1-2" deep for a first shot today.  The area is about 2500 square feet (232 square meters).  It took 1.5 hours.  It was difficult to break down the track treads, but I got most of them turned into pellets.  I stopped for the day.  I was exhausted...

That doesn't mean I wasn't pleased with the results.  The hard-dried track-tread marks were all ground up, and that was all I hoped for on the first run-through.  Tomorrow, I will set the depth sled-bar another 2" lower and see how that works. 

I would LIKE to get the new soil tilled up loose to 6" deep (the maximum depth my hand-managed rototiller will allow) so that the grass will grow deep roots and hold the ground against heavy rains. 

There will be some annoyances.  I already discovered there is a large rock firmly in the ground (meaning I couldn't pry it out with a shovel).  And there are a few places where the rototiller just jumps up suddenly suggesting others I don't see yet.

In hindsight, I wish I had just had the contractor dump the 2 truckloads of soil and spread it out myself.  Spreading the soil by rake and shovel would have been easier than the rototillering.  But it seemed a good idea at the time.

But it will all get loosened enough for planting lawn grass while the weather is warm, so all will work out in the end even if I have to do more after-work than I expected.  Looking at the most positive view of this, I'll just say "Who can't use a bit more exercise"?  LOL!

More tomorrow...

1 comment:

Megan said...

There's always more work to be done, isn't there?! LOL

Sydney, Australia