Re: Use Landscape Rake to Spread Compost/Top Soil

snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Jay Chan) wrote:

Tie rope to ends of a 2x4 and drag it across the area that has to be spread. You can also use any other heavier piece of wood (or any dimensions) that you might have lying around.
Roland
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Jay Chan wrote:

You could try turning the rake over to get the thinner spread. I use this technique to push soil around my vegetable garden although I am not trying to get a 1/4inch layer it does allow me to push the soil around to level it.
Robin
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I read somewhere that you can tie a rope to an old tire and drag the tire to spread top dressing or level loose soil.
Regards,
Joe Morris
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I see. The weight of the 2x4 will need to be just enough to press down the grass, but still leave some room underneath the 2x4. The depth of the space underneath the 2x4 will determine how thick we want the layer of compost that we are spreading. The space will not only be determined by the weight of the 2x4, it will also be determined by how short I have cut the grass. If I can calibrate the weight correctly, I will be able to spread an even layer of compost and top soil, and I will be able to use this tool year after year.
Does it work for you? How long the piece of 2x4 that you use?
Thanks for the suggestion.
Jay Chan
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Hi Jay, Both the steel rake and the 2x4 sound good to me. I use the flip side of my steel rake for leveling out soil in my garden and amending parts of my lawn. I also use it in spring to rake out the dead grass from winter. The investment is worth it! The 2x4 should be 4 to 6 feet long with rope tied to both ends. Any longer than 6 ft. strikes some vague memory of something I heard about the unweildiness of more length. Maybe it's a physics thing..I dunno. The tire seems like too much weight and too little area treated. Am I making sense? Use the teeth side to rake the soil out after leveling it and to rake the seed in.
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Jayel
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Because you are using the flat side of the landscape rake to spread amendment, you are using it just like using a 2x4. Good. I was under the wrong impression that I should be using the teeth side of the landscape rake. Now, I understand that I should be using the flat side of the landscape rake. Thanks.

The 2x4 idea should work. But I will have to calibrate the weight of the 2x4 and mow the grass to the right height; otherwise, I will not be able to spread the amendment to the correct thickness. Seem like using a landscape rake is easier in term of adjusting the thickness of the amendment.

I don't see how I can use a tire to spread amendment. But this is irrelevant anyway because I don't have a spare tire.

I am not exactly sure how I can use the teeth side of the rake to rake the soil out. Would you please describe the way that you do this? Thanks.
Jay Chan
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Chances are, when you start levelling out your soil, your going to find rocks and other stuff that you don't want in the soil. You can use the teeth side to rake the undesirables over to the edge so that you can discard them. Also, when you apply the seed it needs to be raked into the top 1/2 inch of soil. Read the directions on the bag of seed you buy, and follow them carefully. Do not use high pressure sprinklers to water the seeded area. Use a hand sprayer or a misting sprinkler. DO NOT let the soil dry out while the grass is growing, even if this means watering every three hours!
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Jayel
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Thanks for telling me the "why" and "how" to use the teeth side of the landscape rake.

I have underground sprinkling system in my lawn, and I don't think the spray is high powered. This means I should be safe.
Yes, I will water more often than usual. I am thinking of twice a day. I can increase the frequency to three times a day just to be in the safe side. This means I will be watering the lawn at 8:00am, 12:00 noon, and 4:00pm.
Thanks again.
Jay Chan
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Use a "bow" rake (heavy stell head) upside down to spread the material. Get the widest you can find. $25 - $30 at Home Depot.
BTW, spreading a thin layer of compost on your lawn every year is an excellent way to organicize your yard along with mulching your grass clippings and using an organic fertilizer twice a year.
J. Kolenovsky http://www.celestialhabitats.com
Jay Chan wrote:

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I assume the "bow" rake is the same as landscape rake that has a 4-ft straight metal head - one side has 3-inch teeth, the other side is flat. It costs $39.95 in Home Depot. I believe we are talking about the same tool. And thanks for confirming with another person that I should be using the flat side to spread the amendment. Now, I am confident that I should be getting a landscape rake.

Glad to hear that you also like the idea of spreading amendment on the lawn frequently. My front yard only has 1" thin layer of top soil (sandy soil underneath the top soil); this needs a lot of amendment. I am planning to do this for my front yard at least twice a year (spring and fall) to build up the top soil.
Jay Chan
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