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tomf
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Made up my mind on new tractor lawn rakes, photos

We had a big wind storm, and the branches and downed stuff to rake on the lawns is way more than ever before. I am thinking of getting some kind of a towable lawn rake, but all I can find are dethatchers and landscape rakes. There are some for the 3 point hitch on the tractor and some for the riding mower. Of course the riding mower ones are much less expensive, I like that, and for doing lawns they may be enough. Does any one know how well any of this stuff works at raking up the yard? I have a sweeper that picks up leaves, but it will not scoop up all the small branches. I am afraid the 3 point landscape rakes would rip up the lawn, and I am not sure spending that much is some thing I want to do right now.
Last edited by tomf on Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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tomf
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I have been to a few sites researching what I need. I went to the store and looked at the low cost $100 ones that are towed by a riding mower and they just will not get the job done, and they are made for de-thatching the lawn. This brings the selection to 3point hitch rakes, the is a landscape rake, a wheel rake that puts things into hedge rows, and a pine straw rake. The pine straw rake would work for raking the lawn, but I may be able to use the landscape rake, if so it could be used for a number of other jobs,such as leveling plowed and tilled areas, cleaning up brush, and therefor be more useful.

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tomf
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Dillbert
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from my limited experience . . .

a rake will have wide / stiffer tines designed to ride "at the surface" and collect stuff. problem: unless they are angled, the stuff just collects and collects and collects and there's no place for it to "go" - most rakes I've seen in the 3 point style are aimed at smoothing out the (lawn) surface for reseeding.

I have a de-thatcher tow behind. the tines are not wide - the tines are spring steel round rods aimed at plucking out matted material in the grass. I have to put weights on the tray to make them work effectively.

working right, the thatching functions quite well. it comes to the point I have to "lift" (by built in handle) the de-thatcher to leave the clumps of stuff - which I later "pick up" via the mower / bagger attachment.

it will "rake" up twigs / branches, etc. regrets to say, "picking up" that kind of stuff only results in a more frequent need to lift the de-thatcher tines to "dump" the accumulated 'raked up' mass.

personally, anything the mower doesn't chop up / bag either gets left on the lawn, or the ultra-biggie chunks I pick up manually and toss into the woods...

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tomf
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I have been picking up the big branches and mowing the small ones, but there are so many of them that it has gotten a bit much to do. It also puts lots of fir nettles on the ground. I have been using the sweeper to pick up the leaves, or mowing them and sending them into the side of the lawns. You told me about having to lift the tow behind unit, this makes the 3point ones even more attractive in that they can be lifted by the tractor. The one I am looking at can be angles, and even turned around so as not to dig in so much. There is a wheel kit for them that keep them level, but that is an added cost.

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tomf
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After getting a number of replies from people on Tractorbynet.com I decided the landscape rake is to much for a lawn as it can rip it up. The Pine straw rake could work but it is only good for raking. I decided to go cheap and found a rake and thatcher that tows behind a riding mower at Northern Tool. If it turns out to be not enough I am not out that much. I am sure it will be useful.

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LA47
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The best and cheapest method we have found is to hire a couple of neighbor kids to pick them up. :lol: We 'had' 3 very large and old Golden Willows. They were mainly dead and were not worth saving. They were the worst for dropping branches. We also had to remove 4 fir trees, one was huge, in the front yard. All were diseased. I was upset about that but they couldn't be saved. Soo, we bought a place, in the winter, with these 'beautiful' trees and by mid-summer only have one nice sized fir tree left. :( We are also left with 3 willow stumps that are 4' to 5' around! :shock:
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rainbowgardener
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See the stump removal thread that is going on. The only DIY way I know of to remove stumps that big is to burn them out.
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LA47
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I read the post about it and was interested. I've planted some small things around it but they could be moved. Should I check with the city to see if this is allowed? I wanted it out at the time but there's no stump grinders in our neck of the woods and I was afraid of the hole that would be left if it was dug out with a backhoe. We were really to busy to worry about it last year so just cut it off ground level. The thing is about 5 foot across and I would really like to landscape my front yard.
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tomf
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As you live in the city, you may not be allowed to burn, you can rent a small backhoe for the day at a cost of $145 to $250 for a larger one. You need a 3/4 ton truck to haul the larger one. You can get top soil from a local and a PU truck load would not cost too much. If you get a backhoe, get used to using it where you will not hit something!

If you are in no hurry, you can drill holes in the stump and put fertilizer down the holes, or buy stump rot. It will take time but the stumps will rot out much faster than by them self.

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tomf
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I wish I could find a local kid to do some work, like cleaning the beds, and weeding. I have a some what different approach to yard work as I have much more to take care of then when I lived in the city. I mow the acres of lawns with a tractor and a 6’ PTO finish mower, and then I edge with a ridding mower. This is why I am hoping the small tow behind rake will be enough to do the job.

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rainbowgardener
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Personally, I live 4 miles from downtown. I didn't ask any permissions. I don't know what the city would have said, nor do I care. It wasn't a bonfire, it was charcoal briquettes. They weren't going anywhere.

I also have a firepit in my backyard in which I regularly burn stuff. I guess the city doesn't care about those, because they are popular items in the home improvement stores.
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tomf
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It may be best to ask if there is a fine for burning? Rainbow gave me an idea, put some rocks around them and call it a fire pit.

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tomf
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On the hiring kids issue, I don't know any, but the two woman that live out on the main street have a field that is getting over grown. I was thinking of asking them if they would like to make a trade, I would use my tractor and brush mower to mow the field in the spring in exchange for some work around my place. To have some one come in it would cost them $60 an hour, and it is a big field. So it would be a good deal for them, besides they are nice people and I like them, we could both benefit.

Well it will take about a week or so for my rake to come and I will let you know how it works.

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tomf
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I got this one for the lawn tractor and I had to put it together, it had instructions as good as the ones from Ikea. 1st photo.
I ordered a landscape rake yesterday that will go on the 3 point of the big tractor, I will pick it up Monday. A landscape rake is a heavy duty rake, it will rake everything, rocks dirt, branches, I can even use it on the road, and it will level things out. The landscape rake can rotate 180 deg. It will look like this 2nd photo.


Image

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