Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tilling and the harley rake

A cold, blustery day today. Temps in the 30s, mixed rain and snow.

I purchased this harley rake (the thing on the back of the tractor) to grade and rehab land, both for myself and for others. It works very well to spread materials (like gravel, for instance) or on relatively dry dirt, provided there's no long grass. But I'm an optimist, and I did a couple of passes over a part of this pasture I'm tilling for the neighbor. The wet dirt pretty much glued itself onto the action part of the harley and it really didn't do much.

So I got my tiller and tilled it. Using a tiller isn't as fast as using a plow, but it's a little more controlled in this small space, and chops up the grass and stringy stuff so that I can do a pass with the harley rake without the harley getting gummed up too much.

This is what it looks like after a pass with the tiller. The sod is chopped up into fine particals and it's tilled about 4" down from the surface; for the gardening that they want to do that should be fine. The next step is to go back and till the higher parts deeper, maybe 8-10 inches, and then use the harley rake to make it golf-course smooth.

The dollar bill is in there for scale. Dollars are 6" long, so the depth of tilling is about 4".

When I till and harley rake my pastures I do it so that the mobile pens for the chickens are flat on the ground, to prevent predators from getting in, and chickens from getting out. I've also found that depressions can lead to mass smotherings of young birds. They don't tend to pile on top of one another if the ground is flat.

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