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richp

de-thatching, etc.

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richp
All, I have a bad thatch problem in my front yard. Is it worth buying one of those pull behind de-thatchers with the spring tines. I don't know if I should go that way or rent a power de-thatcher. I plan to over-seed the lawn once I get it de-thatched and aerated. Has any one used one of those aerator/spreader combinations? They look like a good design, with the aerator driving the spreader there would be no wheel slip problems. I welcome responses on de-thatching, over-seeding, and/or the aerator/spreader. Thanks Tim

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Kent
pail tim, I have both the pull behing dethatcher&aerator. I have found since I purchased them both 4 years ago the dethatcher gets used about 4 times a season. The aerator I use almost every 3-4 weeks so I don't have to water as much and it also lets the feriterlizer penitrate the lawn instead of running off. I bought Agri Fab brand and they have for the money been ok but I have had to on both reinforce the hitch area as on each they have bent. Not a big deal if you have a welder like myself. I have not used the combination speader-aerator as I personal do not care for combination attachments. When I worked for a landscape company years ago we always used the power rakes or dethatchers which ever some people want to call them. If your grass is not very thick the pull behind will work fine but you will have to put a couple of cinder blocks on it for weight. And just be prepared to do alot of raking with either dethatcher. The power rakes will really tear it up good and in some places maybe to much so you will have to keep an eye on the depth seting. Make sure you put down a slow release fertirlizer just before you seed and keep the seed moist and maybe throw some straw down to help it stay that way. The straw will also help keep the birds from eating all of your seed. I use both the dethatcher and aerator to really loosen the soil up just make sure to put the cement blocks on the aerator also. I don't and never cared for the spug cutter style of aerator as it leaves the spugs of dirt laying on your lawn. I know that I am long here but its one of those days-make sure the seed you buy fits the area whether shaddy or sunny and always use a mix of seed. The mix has a faster growing seed in it that will grow faster to help hold the other seed in place and it will die off later. I would talk to someone about the type of seed verses the type of lawn and soil conditions. You could take a soil sample to a local nursery and have it tested to see what if any menerials or fertilizer-ash-lime or what ever would help with you lawn. Personally I would rent the power dethacher and concider purchasing the others to maintain your lawn once it looks great. While your at it rent or borrow a pull behind roller. Just remember wider is not better its the pounds per square inch that in my opion counts. My dethacter&aerator are always being loaned out, do you have a friendly neighbor with the same problem that would goes halfs. It seems like I am always doing someones yard. I am sorry for being so long and I sure hope I at least answered your -Q's to some degree. I know someone else can help you more Ok everyone can take a big deep breath now -jacks done

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Fred
Tim, I just bought an Agri-Fab 40" dethatcher at a farm store. (Would have bought the 48" if it had been stocked.) While not as effective as a power unit, at about $60 it's reasonable and mine. It also needs two patio blocks and straps for them. The transport wheels are cheesey, I'm not sure how long they'll last. It works fairly well, but I may rebuild it for front mounting so that I can pick up the thatch in one pass. Their site is www.agri-fab.com , but watch it as they have some of their product pictures and some numbers messed up. (They show the same picture for a 40" 'combo' thatcher and for a 40" something else - one has to be wrong; and my thatcher has 20, not 120, tines.) They also have store info on-site.
I'm not qualified to address the other topics.
Fred

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Fred
Fred and Jack, Thanks for your responses. I have looked at the Agri-Fab dethatcher and your right they have some cheap junk wheels on them. Doesn't look right behind a real garden tractor. Think that would be the first thing I'd have to change. How many passes over the same area do you have to make to do a good dethatching job and do you reverse direction on subsquent passes? Also is it better to go for the one with the most tines per foot? Jack, I like the idea of the combo aerator/spreader because most of the drop spreaders I've seen don't have very good drive wheels and on my side hills I think they would slide and slip down hill. With the aerator driving the spreader there would be no traction problem. Also the spreader should make a good weight box when using it only for aeration. What's you opinion on plastic verses steel rollers. On tires, the original B12 turf tires were 23X10X12. I found a set of bearly used 23X12X12 turf tires and they are a very nice size for the B12. It makes the read track just slightly less than the mower width. Tim

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Kent
Tim If I knew you needed a de-thatcher 2 wks. ago 1 went at a sale for $5! It would have fit our "lightweight tracs" in frt with a min. of fab. work and was like new!I'll e-mail you later, next sale is 4-22 by me here. Not to worry if extra weight is needed, I hear someone is renting his out! dlc

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dlcentral
Jack old buddy old pal, When I mentioned steel and plastic rollers I was referring to the lawn rollers that you fill with water for weight and roll your yard. And in the winter you put a spigot in it, put it on your work bench and fill it with Jack Daniels to keep you warm on those cold winter days. Aren't the ones on the decks rubber? Tim

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Kent
but if you don't like to paint get the plastic. But at least you can weld all the darn holes you put in it while you roll your limestone drive way. Clear enough this time. Next time plessseee explain in deeetain whattt you wannt oookk Tim Johnson or should I just start refering to you as TIM ALLEN> in grew about 12 miles from here and is a real good friend. deadhead jack gone and done............

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