Using a tiller on tall grass?


Active Member
Way behind in doing anything on the farm as far as plotting goes and a trip over yesterday
revealed tall grass in the plots. I spent about twenty minutes trying to disc one run under and it was
losing proposition.

Now the problem, I trashed my hog last year and my two efforts to fix it have failed. So today I dropped it off at the tractor shop and of while I need it yesterday he can not get to it until next week.

So short of going at it with my Stihl Kombi system with a scythe head I am left only with the tractor tiller.

How will it fair in tall grass? I know I can expect grass to get wrapped around the auger shaft, but will that
cause a problem?

I have sworn off using rye because of the wrapping issue when using a tiller.

How tall is "tall"?
This may be a little outside the box......what are you planting? You may take a look at throw n mow process and see if getting the seed out and then mowing once you get your mower back or spraying even will get the job done. Spraying over the seed should not hurt it if your using gly. It MIGHT be a possibility if your planting small seeds or cereal grains.

Renting a mower an option?

That's a bit tall for even a decent yard mowing machine.

You can try the tiller, but be prepared to spend a lot of time pulling and cutting the grass out of it.

Good luck.
Doing Brassicas in two plots and clover and rye in two others.
Throw and mow, throw and grow has never worked for me.

I called the rental center and the only option is to rent a skidsteer with a brushmaster for $375 plus delivery, so
there is no way that is happening.

Nothing like waiting until the last minute, story of my life.

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Any way you could borrow a bush hog and mow before you till this one time? Otherwise I think you are going to be spending a lot of time pulling grass out of your tiller.
Tilling that will suck. Around me there are a lot of old sickle bar mowers laying around....seems like every old farmer has one parked out back somewhere. If you can't borrow a bush hog, you might be able to borrow a sickle bar mower from a neighbor.
I use a tiller on unsprayed fescue in the past but I mowed it short first. I wouldn't try that with 2 feet of growth, would make for some hard work cleaning up tiller and could burn up clutch, or chain. But then honestly, I typically do what I have to do and take my chances. Your call. Anyway local boy would mow it real quick for you for gas+ money?? Farmers are pretty giving people if not taken advantage of.
We all learn from our mistakes. This past week I tilled a 1ac plot that had grass about 5ft tall. I got it tilled just fine however when I went back to lightly incorporate the fertilizer and the urea I picked up alot of grass and it jammed up the tiller really bad. It was so bad I put it away and called it a day. I went back 2 days later to finish my other two plots and had to disconnect the tiller and use my lift boom to get it up in the air so we could get at that mess and 2 of us with razor knives took an hour to cut all those wrapped up weeds from the tiller. I will never do that again. The worst was at each end.
You don't wanna till tall grass. Been there and don't that. Clogs up the tiller non stop. Without a mower I think your best option is spray, wait 2 weeks, broadcast, then cultipack or drag the tall grass to get it to lay over. Might not have the best plot but I think it will work for ya.
With that much standing thatch, throw and mow would work with what your planting. A disk will work, its just not real pretty, but it doesn't have to be. Spray it and wait a couple weeks, if your going to use a tiller. From the tractor seat, a disk looks like it's not doing anything, but all your wanting to do is scratch the hard surface of the soil, so there is no crust. You should be able to get an inch deep without any problem. You can come back and mow any standing vegetation later, if it bothers you. Its a plot, not a golf course.
Well I went to the farm yesterday armed with the Stihl Kombi with the scythe head on it.
After about 40 minutes I surrendered and let the grass win.

I then decided to cut down a tree (it was in the way anyways) and I loaded five six foot logs
onto the disc and strapped them down. I went at the one plot again and after several more passes
I called it a day.

No throw and mow etc for me as I have decided to wait for the hog to come back.
If all goes well I will be in the same planting date range as last year, but hopefully this season
will yield some rain.

Thanks Guys.
Of course my mower is down now or you could have taken it. It will be fixed for next week tho. Also have the belly mower for the kubota
Of course my mower is down now or you could have taken it. It will be fixed for next week tho. Also have the belly mower for the kubota

Thanks John , but I am just going to wait for my hog to come back.
If only we could burn the fields off, life would be so much easier.
A screwdriver and an old butcher knife is about all you can do. This was an attempt in fairly SHORT grass. The tiller works great in killed sod or plowed ground. If it is mowed it has to be short and preferably dry, at least for my tiller.