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After sod is gone - loosening soil with sod cutter?

After sod is gone - loosening soil with sod cutter?

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  #1  
Old 07-10-11, 02:48 PM
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After sod is gone - loosening soil with sod cutter?

I'm renting a power cutter this week to start creating a new perennial bed. I want to remove a total of 6" - sod plus (heavy clay) soil and replace with good top soil.

After I take the sod/roots out on the first pass, can I make additional passes and use the cutter to through the soil. I figure it'll take around 3 passes. Once its loose I can scrape the loose stuff up with the bucket on the tractor.

To explain differently, can I use the cutter to loosen the soil instead of using a shovel?
 
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  #2  
Old 07-10-11, 03:59 PM
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I don't know if a sod cutter would do that for you, though I doubt it. Get yourself a pick and use that to loosen up the soil.
 
  #3  
Old 07-10-11, 04:12 PM
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Good idea. I have one but didn't think about it. Thanks.
 
  #4  
Old 07-11-11, 05:32 AM
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Rototiller is the tool for this job
 
  #5  
Old 07-12-11, 08:20 AM
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Good idea - I wonder if it would bit enough into this damn clay without having to turn it first. I guess I do only need to get down 4" past the sod. Maybe one of those big ones?
 
  #6  
Old 07-12-11, 08:24 AM
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Is it a garden tractor...or a real tractor with a bucket and backhoe? Why not just use it to dig it out?
 
  #7  
Old 07-12-11, 01:08 PM
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Yes, a sod cutter works great for loosing up the soil!
 
  #8  
Old 07-12-11, 03:30 PM
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Thanks for all the ideas, guys. I started trenching the outline of the bed this afternoon to prep for the sod cutter and, well, sort of kept going. After 2 1/2 hours I've got about a 1/3 of it dug down almost 4 or 5 inches between the shovel and the pick. I'll either keep going and get a good workout in the process or put the box blade on the Kubota and loosen it up and scoop it out with the bucket. One way or the other I saved the $60 for a 1/2 day of sod cutter and god knows what on a tiller. I'll be sore tonight, though.

Again, thanks for all the ideas!
 
  #9  
Old 07-12-11, 04:30 PM
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You have a Kubota with a bucket? Why would you waste your time with silly tools like a sod cutter?
 
  #10  
Old 07-12-11, 05:58 PM
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I was having trouble scraping the sod with the bucket without tearing up the grass outside the bed. Even in four wheel drive the turf tires spun too much. That said, you're right.
 
  #11  
Old 07-13-11, 03:32 AM
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I've been in your situation before. A front end loader is great but sometimes it's too big and can't get into the places you want. More than once I've felt a bit stupid digging with a shovel when the loader was parked near by. At least shoveling into the bucket means there is no need for a wheelbarrow.
 
  #12  
Old 07-13-11, 08:51 AM
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Yes, Dane exactly. I often feel like a dummy using this thing.

I've figured out a bit of a system now - trench out where I can't get;throw the soil in the middle and scoop with the bucket. One of my problems, too, is that this isn't a very big Kubota - 23h - and with turf tires I don't get much pushing power in heavy clay. Putting the box blade on the back helped with that. In fact, I finally figured out (thanks to my friend) that I could box blade the middle of the bed then scoop. MUCH less shoveling!!

I've got about half of the bed to near 6" deep now. I figure by the weekend if I don't die from heat stroke I should be dumping composted top soil in it and starting to lay out the stacked log fence. I'll take longer than I planned but isn't that always the case?
 
  #13  
Old 07-13-11, 09:33 AM
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Before I bought an excavator I made some attachments for the tractor to help with digging and trenching. I bought an old, rusty chisel plow that had had a hard life. I removed all but the center chisel and torched off the sides of the plow leaving me with a 3point ripper/trencher. I also had a guy give me an old 12" bucket from a backhoe. I welded tabs onto it so it would hook onto the lip of the bucket bucket and a couple chains going over the top of the loader bucket. The 12" bucket stuck well down below the loader bucket and was at a steep angle so I could dig with it to about 18" before the big bucket hit the ground. I could slide it to any position across the loader bucket. It was nowhere near perfect but it was good for getting into tighter spaces and for breaking up hard ground.

I used to have a little Kubota BX2200 and my mother-in-law loved it so much she bought a BX25 with a loader and backhoe. Imagine having one of those for working in the garden and planting flowers.
 
  #14  
Old 07-13-11, 05:46 PM
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Yeah, hard ground sucks and that's all we seem to have here in north central IN.

Wish I had the welding skills and tools to customize my 2350. It is a great SCUT but after 4 years I wish I had gone bigger (doesn't everyone?). The bucket on this one seems awfully small with digging out for a large garden bed and I often wish I had a backhoe for moving trees and, of course, digging out garden beds.
 
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