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Seeking Advice on Brush Clearing to Plant Grass/Sod

Seeking Advice on Brush Clearing to Plant Grass/Sod


Old 09-15-13, 03:02 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Havre de Grace, MD
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Seeking Advice on Brush Clearing to Plant Grass/Sod

Hello all - after living in our home for almost 10 years, my wife and I finally motivated ourselves to start clearing some of the brush from behind our house. Ideally, we would like to plant grass or lay sod to extend our yard a bit, and plant some decorative plants on a new border between yard and woodlands. So the last couple of weekends we have cleared all of the brush, but there remain a number of roots and stumps ranging in size and scope (probably about 2 dozen stumps and a buttload of weed/brush roots). I started to dig up some of the stumps this afternoon. I think I managed a whole 6 in 3 hours. There has got to be a better way (at least I hope!) So first I would like to see if there are any recommendations (i.e.: rent a stump grinder for the day, etc.)?

Once we have the larger stumps removed, I was thinking that we could rent a tiller to till the area, followed by an application of weed killer. Then we would apply some topsoil followed by either planting grass or laying sod (any advice here)?

Oh! And we also have this massive boulder that I would like to move to the our front yard - but have no idea how to safely move it (it can be seen in the 1st picture).

Thanks in advance!

Here are some pictures of what we have now:

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Old 09-15-13, 03:43 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,400
If you have weeds then do your best to kill them now. If you plow them under they may come back to haunt you.

Thirty minutes each to dig out those little stumps isn't bad. I wouldn't even consider a grinder for those little things. What I have done with similar size stumps/roots is to use a sidewinder grinder (I used a 4-1/2 inch model) with a small circular saw blade. It is dangerous as all get-out so if at all possible use the grinding wheel guard and be sure to wear a full face shield. Leather chaps and gloves are also a good idea.

It will take a BIG tiller to deal with a lot of roots. Moving that rock shouldn't be all that difficult as it doesn't look all that big in the picture. Worst case is needing to rent a tiny walk-behind loader.
Old 09-16-13, 04:54 AM
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I'd consider renting a bobcat to move the rock and help loosen and remove the roots/stumps.
Old 09-16-13, 07:55 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2013
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Around here we have company's that have a mulcher attachment that goes on a skid steer.
It would go though that whole area in less then an hour and grind anything in it's path down to ground level. I've seen them go though far worst area then that and it looks like a park when they got down.
The mulcher is quick detached and the bucket put on and they can move that rock any place you want it.
Old 09-23-13, 11:12 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Havre de Grace, MD
Posts: 50
Thanks all for the responses. Looks like we will be renting a skid steer with a mulcher attachment. Will be me first time operating one - can't wait!
Old 07-17-14, 09:17 PM
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 4

I have a similar project and I'm curious as to how this worked out for you. how did the skid steer and mulched work out? I have an area that I'm going to kill the weeds, but then have all these small twigs and branches on the ground.

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