Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:27 am

No chipper here, and I've got a huge brush pile that grows each year. I'm content to let stuff decompose within and too pull off the top stuff some day to expose some pretty good garden soil. But small stuff keeps on coming -- branches, vine prunings from the vineyard, garden's old stalky stuff, piles of garden weeds, etc. Was wondering about the potential of a flailmower to run over this stuff and to reduce it to nice, beautiful stuff ready for a compost pile. Also wonder about running a flailmower over a furrow of compost that has stalky mulch on top -- trying to reduce the top stuff to more compostable material.

Would a flailmower do this sort of work? Would one hook up to the Cub much like the sicklebar cutter? What, in general terms, would a used one (assuming they're out there --I've never seen one) -- cost?

Just thinking about possibilities. Thanks for any comments. -- DickB

Re: Flailmower

Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:45 am

I would not recommend a cub with a flail mower for brush hogging. Too much work for a limited horsepower machine and a cutter designed for grass. Get yourself a heavy duty rotary cutter and a tractor with about 45 horse and you can get the job done easily. I have a International 444 pulling a John Deere ((I know, bad word) rotary 609 cutter on trailer wheels. That machine eats up anything the tractor can knock down. I use it to keep almost 5 miles or roads clear on my farms.

Re: Flailmower

Tue Mar 19, 2013 6:04 am

The flailmower cuts grass, weeds, and an occasionally small twigs. The residue is quite fine. The problem would be raking the grass clippings (residue) up and transferring to a compost pile. Basically, it's a lawn mower and not a brush hog.

Also wonder about running a flailmower over a furrow of compost that has stalky mulch on top -- trying to reduce the top stuff to more compostable material.
If the vegetation has turned into compost, the flailmower will not work for turning the compost over or incorporating the top layer into the pile.

Hook up. The belly mounted 4 foot flail mower extends to the right of the tractor around a foot.

Re: Flailmower

Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:43 pm

I've used a flail for around 25 years, and agree with what you have already been told.

Re: Flailmower

Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:32 am

I love my flail mower(s) and it's almost all I use these days. I looked down on the poor Lo Boy in the picture and called for backup, I gave up. But, with some determination I was able to get it done by cutting high... just hate to quit. I didn't know the stringy weeds would be so tall, till I got there. They are not good at woody or stringy stuff and do take reasonable power to run.

You could probably do OK with a rotary mower like a C-2 or Woods 42. If there are plants coming back then it's not really a compost pile. There is some very useful stuff on the subject online from state extension services and what not. You may want to get the branches out. Even the small ones take a very long time to compost.

You may be able to use your snow plow to 'stir' and pile the mix??

Re: Flailmower

Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:46 pm

Larry, Maybe you need a sicklebar mower for that high stuff. I've heard enough from you guys here that I've turned away from the flailmower. Perhaps some day a chipper will come up at a good price and I'll go for it. Thanks to all. -- DIckB

Re: Flailmower

Wed Mar 20, 2013 5:51 pm

That area (redoubt) is pretty tight (with a 15' cliff/ditch), the only thing a sickle would be good for is the slight slopes. It only needed a rotary mower ONCE.... It's perfect turf now! :D

Even chipped, the wood takes a long time to compost. But that's your best option.

We chipped huge quantity of wood there, filled up the biggest RO dumpster available twice.... amazing what 60 or so years growth will do. I think there was a discount rate on the dumpster as long as it was all 'natural' stuff.

Re: Flailmower

Thu Mar 21, 2013 6:31 am

Hi All - our quik-hitch flail mower is ok for pencil brush or smaller, but we actually have pretty good results with the 5 foot deck mower raised up - depending on the size of the brush.