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  Fake rake
 

The Fake Rake.  (a) Lower left, upside-down view, close up of the non-moving head.  (b) Upper right, right-side-up, distance view of the entire Fake Rake showing the head, the operator handle, and tandem side tension arms.

The head of this rake is about 10 feet long, made of 1" X 4" white wood debris from a roofing project, shaped on one end by cracking it over the knee.  Wire cloth corner from a wall was nailed to one edge, which is not a functional part of the unit.  The operator handle is another 1" X 4" wood debris, complete with splinters, and nailed at the "T" where it meets the head.  The tandem side tension arms are loosely nailed at both ends.

  

Fake Rake (Patent Not Pending)

Philip Busey

The standard garden rake is too narrow to use for shaping and leveling turf areas.  Instead of spanning the undulating hills and valleys and dragging the high spots into the low spots, the garden rake makes its own undulations.

A more effective turf shaper must be wide enough to span the hills and valleys.  You can buy 4- or 5-foot wide aluminum "landscaper rake," but it may not be used frequently enough to justify the expense.

The quick solution is the Fake Rake (see photos).

Although the Fake Rake is free, it is even more effective than true rakes, because it lacks tines, and is purely a turf shaper.  Perhaps you have some loose boards lying around and a few nails?  In 5 minutes you can manufacture a Fake Rake.

The device is not strong enough to drag a lot of dirt, but it is very effective in finding the high areas, and dragging them short distances into the low areas.  The use of the Fake Rake assumes that the planned turf area is basically free of vegetative debris, and that the surface soil is loose.  Once the turf area is shaped and leveled, at night you can go out with a flashlight held horizontally close to the ground, and rotate it at different places to see where you still have humps and valleys.

And once your turf area is shaped, the Fake Rake can be recycled in the fireplace.  Other ideas for projects with the Fake Rake are that it can be decorated with political slogans, to annoy the neighbors, and it is even possible to use it in races and other forms of competition, provided you can find someone to race against.  More likely, you will be the only one on your whole block with a genuine Fake Rake, so when your lawn is planted and you are sitting back watching the sprinklers rotate, or when your friends come to visit and to ask you, "How did you get your lawn so level," you will wish that you had kept a photo of your genuine Fake Rake, like I did.

 

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Phil Busey Agronomy Consulting Inc.
www.philbusey.com

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