Best way to spread top soil

racerboy

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I had to have install a propane line in my backyard for new a new stove and garage heater. I used my B2601 to dig the trench (~80 ft). Everything went fine, except that my entire back yard is completely destroyed and is a big mud pit (I also had to have a new well installed last fall and that’s where the real damage occurred). Anyway, I want to spread our topsoil to level off my yard and to plant some grass seed. Is the best way to do this is to back-drag with my bucket or do I need some kind of York rake attachment?



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fried1765

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I had to have install a propane line in my backyard for new a new stove and garage heater. I used my B2601 to dig the trench (~80 ft). Everything went fine, except that my entire back yard is completely destroyed and is a big mud pit (I also had to have a new well installed last fall and that’s where the real damage occurred). Anyway, I want to spread our topsoil to level off my yard and to plant some grass seed. Is the best way to do this is to back-drag with my bucket or do I need some kind of York rake attachment?



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Unfortunately, you are not in the best grass planting window (season) of the year.
My suggestion would be to spread your new loam, and grade it,....after it is dry.

Then, spread some annual rye grass seed, with a light application of fertilizer, and let it grow.
You will get quickly growing grass, lots of Spring/Summer weeds, and an area that will hold together nicely, but will be filled with a mix of grass and weeds all Summer.

In the early Fall, lightly till the area, let dry a week or two (to kill weed seeds), and seed with a high quality seed mix.
Do not waste your money on high quality seed at this time of year,...... unless you have an irrigation system.
With Fall seeding, you can achieve a very nice final lawn.
 
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The Evil Twin

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A rake would be my choice. However... I don't have one so I would be, and will be, using a box blade. I wouldn't use a BB on my lawn if it were already in decent shape due to damage or smothering by laying it too thick. The area I need to do is barren. The plan is to use the BB to mix the native soil and topsoil.
If ya have neither, then bucket spread would work. Might need to rake by hand in some areas.
You're in NJ, so I see. You might be able to get away with it before summer heat. I sure hope I can. Wife is sick of muddy paws. Just take care and watch the weather. We can still get a good hard freeze that would kill tender grass roots.
 
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GreensvilleJay

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when, WHEN, the ground dries up......
grab a bucket of topsoil
drive to furthest point
slowly backup and 'tap-curl' the bucket. you'll get real good at dumping 3" evenly at the end of it....
when empty, repeat until it's all done
then hand rake,run empty lawn roller over it
'make pretty' if needed
add seed
run empty lawn roller over it (presses seeds into soil )
LIGHTLY water..keep moist.
come fall, top dress more soil and reseed
come next spring, top dress more soil and reseed
 
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racerboy

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Appreciate all the responses. I don’t have a box blade or a rake. Also seems like I should just let the topsoil sits where it is until we get a stretch of dry weather. 😕 Should I cover that with a tarp?

What exactly is a ‘tap curl’? I’m still learning how to use my tractor.
 

racerboy

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Here’s another shot of some of the yard I want to have grass in. You can still see excavator tracks from yesterday when he moved all the rocks into a wall. there was no grass here previously but since they had to clear a path for a new well line, I want to make it ‘green’
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And my wife is also tired of muddy paw prints!
 

B737

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drop piles with bucket, landscape rake to spread, spread seed by hand or machine. Optional to roll it with empty roller.

do not waste time "hand raking" anything, that is ridiculous armchair advice.





 
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fried1765

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drop piles with bucket, landscape rake to spread, spread seed by hand or machine. Optional to roll it with empty roller.

do not waste time "hand raking" anything, that's effing ridiculous armchair advice.





Landscape rake is good choice, but OP states in post #5 that he does not have a landscape rake.
Don't know if it would be possible to rent one in his area or not?
 

Elliott in GA

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You may find that back dragging with the bucket flat on the ground in float does a good job of spreading and flattening loose soil that you have carefully, gradually dumped in your work area.
 
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North Idaho Wolfman

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It wouldn't hurt to tarp the pile, that way when the ground dry's up enough to drive on it your good to go.
The tap and curl or more appropriately the tap an uncurl, means to load the bucket with top soil, pull up the the farthest point and slowly back up and uncurl the bucket in slow tapping motions on the joy stick to shake a evenly spread the top soil on the ground.
Have the bottom of the bucket at eye line to see what's coming out and at what rate, when you get a good feel for the dump rate you can do it lower and don't need to look at it.
You can make a simple drag out of a piece of chain link fence, to distribute the material around and level it.
Broadcast or drop some seed and then run over it with the chain link drag to slightly cover the seed and you should be good to go.
 
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The Evil Twin

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Edit- NIW beat me. Anyhoo....
Well....since there is nothing there now you dont have to be an artist with it. Spread it best you can with the bucket. What i believe Jay is referring to with tap curl is essentially shaking the bucket with the curl/ extend control (stick moving away/ towards you) to shake out the dirt.
I would cover the dirt pile if it's rainy. Uncover if dry. It's a pain, but dry will spread better for you. Turn it over a little too so the pile has a chance to dry within. Is it necessary? No. But it will help prevent clumping. That can be smoothed and spread with the bucket though.
Hand raking is not armchair advice when the OP does not have a 3p rake to ensure healthy and uniform coverage.
Is the ramp so you can bring the Duc inside 😉
 
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DustyRusty

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I had the same situation about 20 years ago before my Kubota. I used an old Bolens tractor and a york rake and just kept going over the soil until it was smooth and rock free. Spread triple 19 fertilizers and seed with a walk behind spreader and in a couple of weeks I had grass growing. At the time, I didn't use much topsoil because of the cost, and there was no easy way to spread it. Kept it fertilized for a number of years and it looked great until I had heart surgery and couldn't put the effort into it. Now it is green with mostly weeds.
I still have that original CAT 0 York rake, and also a CAT 1. Bought a rototiller, so I might give it another go next fall.
 

racerboy

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Edit- NIW beat me. Anyhoo....
Is the ramp so you can bring the Duc inside 😉
Lol. The ramp is for one of the dogs (she has a hard time with steps) but I do like that idea!
I call the shed I just built my temporary Duc pond
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racerboy

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I’m not opposed to getting a landscape rake, I’m just a little intimidated in removing the backhoe. I’ve never done that. You can never have too many implements, right?:oops:

When my neighbor was putting down fresh stone on his driveway last year, I saw him towing a rake behind his ATV. Is that an option? I would still have to buy the rake (he’s my neighbor, but not friendly).
 
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Fordtech86

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I’m not opposed to getting a landscape rake, I’m just a little intimidated in removing the backhoe. I’ve never done that. You can never have too many implements, right?:oops:
Seems the only logical thing to do would be get another tractor to go with the rake 🤣

you can never have too many tractors, right 😜
 
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Daferris

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Around here in Michigan Sunbelt rentals rents 3pt stuff brush hogs, box blades, rakes ect....
Not sure if they are in NJ but it likely someone rents something you can use with the tractor or the ATV...
 
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GreensvilleJay

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I suggested a hand rake since that area isn't very big and has a LOT of 'obstacles' that'd make using any landscape rake very challenging, unless of course you've done it a lot.
There's no way to justify the expensive purchase of a 'one use' landscape rake for the small area shown in the pictures.
 
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rc51stierhoff

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I’m not opposed to getting a landscape rake, I’m just a little intimidated in removing the backhoe. I’ve never done that. You can never have too many implements, right?:oops:

When my neighbor was putting down fresh stone on his driveway last year, I saw him towing a rake behind his ATV. Is that an option? I would still have to buy the rake (he’s my neighbor, but not friendly).
Don’t be afraid to drop the backho…It’s way easier/quicker to remove a backhoe than adjust the valves on your ducs or that yamahammer for that matter.
 
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North Idaho Wolfman

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I’m not opposed to getting a landscape rake, I’m just a little intimidated in removing the backhoe. I’ve never done that. You can never have too many implements, right?:oops:

When my neighbor was putting down fresh stone on his driveway last year, I saw him towing a rake behind his ATV. Is that an option? I would still have to buy the rake (he’s my neighbor, but not friendly).
The rakes for Quads are lighter weight, but they are much cheaper than a tractor 3 point rake.
On the other hand learning how to get the BH off and setting up the three point is a good thing to know.
 
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