- How To Roll Out A Grass Lawn
- Is it Good to Roll a Lawn?
- How to Properly Roll a Lawn
- The Pros & Cons of Lawn Rolling
- The Pros
- The Cons
- Your Choice
- Roll lawn or not?
- To roll or not to roll?
- So when should you roll Your Lawn?
- What is the best time of year to roll?
- When is rolling not helpful?
- Some other tips
- Not an annual necessity – but useful in specific circumstances
- LUMPY BUMPY LAWNS: Rolling not a good idea for lawns
- Lawn Roller Tips and Advice
- Choosing a Lawn Roller
- Lawn Roller Advice
- What is a Lawn Roller?
- When to Use a Lawn Roller?
- Brinly-Hardy Lawn Rollers
- Our Lawn Rollers Have These Five Features
- Other Brinly Lawn Care Attachments Make Working in Your Backyard a Cinch
- Garden Myths – Learn the truth about gardening
- Lawn Roller
- Lumpy Lawns
- Should You Ever Roll?
- The 6 Best Lawn Rollers
How To Roll Out A Grass Lawn
Many lawn fans consider taking the time to roll out a grass lawn every spring to be an essential part of proper lawn maintenance. But others consider lawn rolling a unnecessary and even damaging practice. So what is the answer? Is it good to roll a lawn or not?
Is it Good to Roll a Lawn?
Rolling a lawn should not be done yearly, but there are some situations where rolling your lawn is a good practice. Times when to roll the lawn are:
- Rolling a new lawn after seeding
- Rolling a new lawn after sodding
- After a turbulent winter, when fluctuating temperatures have caused some soil heaving
- If your lawn has been made bumpy by animal tunnels and warrens
Other than these times, rolling a lawn will not help and will only create issues with the soil in your yard.
How to Properly Roll a Lawn
If you find that your lawn is in one of the situations for when to roll the lawn listed above, you will need to know how to properly roll a lawn in order to prevent doing damage to the soil below. Follow these steps to roll out a grass lawn without problems.
- Roll a lawn when the ground is damp but not soaked. Rolling the lawn when it is soaked will encourage soil compaction, which makes it difficult for the grass to get the water and air that it needs. Rolling the lawn when it is dry, will not be effective in pushing the seed or grass roots into contact with the soil.
- Do not use too heavy of a roller. Use a lightweight roller when you roll out a grass lawn. A heavy roller will compact the soil and only light weight is needed to accomplish the task anyway.
- The best time when to roll the lawn is in the spring. Roll your lawn in the spring when grass is just coming out of dormancy and the roots are in active growth.
- Do not roll clay heavy soil. Clay heavy soil is more prone to compaction than other kinds of soil. Rolling these kinds of lawns will only damage them.
- Do not roll yearly. Roll your lawn only when absolutely necessary. If you roll out a grass lawn too often, you will compact the soil and damage the lawn.
The Pros & Cons of Lawn Rolling
Now that the growing season has begun, homeowners may consider rolling their lawns. A lawn roller is a device that consists of a large tube with a mounted handle unit for pushing or pulling. Some people believe that taking the time to roll out a grass lawn every spring is an essential part of proper lawn maintenance. Alternatively, others consider rolling a lawn is a great idea in theory, although it is unnecessary and often quite damaging in practice. So who is right? Here are a few lawn rolling tips.
Lawn rolling can be helpful for a spring lawn maintenance schedule if you are trying to remove minor bumps or smooth out uneven lawn sections. If you are trying to level out an uneven lawn, you’ll need to add soil first to any hollows before rolling. If you want to keep your lawn level for the longer term, you can add an annual light top dressing each spring as a fantastic treatment to prevent minor cracks or dips in the lawn. This top dressing helps to keep your lawn level and maintains a good quality soil texture. This method is perfect for having a nice even lawn to walk on plus ensuring your mowing job is safer and easier.
Lawn rolling can also be used for the single purpose of preparing a bare area for planting. Another acceptable garden practice for lawn rolling is when a new seedbed is being established. In this case, a light roller is used to ensure the seed is firmly in contact with the soil to increase the germination. Although rolling isn’t really necessary for this purpose since you can rake in the seed to make contact with the soil, it will not cause much harm either. Additionally, rolling can be used when a sod lawn is laid down. The rolling will help the sod lawn take root into the ground that will encourage the roots to grow deeper into the dirt underneath.
The biggest obstacle and complaint that is suggested by lawn care experts is that lawn rollers compact the soil and squash all the soil particles together. This method creates its own set of problems because the air spaces necessary for good root growth are eliminated. The result of compacting the soil means that water can’t penetrate the soil because it is too pressed down and there are no holes for the water to move into, which causes run off.
The water never penetrates deep into the soil to get at the roots for providing moisture. It has a tough time penetrating the top compacted layer, and therefore, does not easily move between the layers of varying soil types. The run off takes any nutrients along with it and gets washed down the sewer. Rolling eliminates the necessary aeration that is required for a lawn to grow healthy and lush. Because of this compacted top surface layer, lawn rolling puts tremendous stress on the lawn first thing in the spring when the lawn is in its major growing period.
When you think of a golf green, you think of perfectly manicured lawns that are smooth and pristine; however, it’s not the same as lawn rolling your home lawn. Unlike your lawn that sits on a mixture of soil types that are easily compacted, golf greens sit on a special sand base chosen for its ability not to compact.
The soils of golf greens and your lawn can’t be compared, so the lawn rolling practices will be different. Even with the special sand base, the greens are rolled several times a week and regularly “cored” to allow for expansion of the soil and the introduction of water and air.
Putting greens are intensively managed grass surfaces that are fed, watered and treated for disease regularly. The rigorous management of the green is geared to making the golf ball roll better by having a firmer surface and treading a fine line between optimum grass health and playing surface.
Although there are pros and cons as to whether you should or should not roll your lawn, a lawn roller can be used in a variety of ways to create and maintain an even lawn. However, the final decision is always yours to make and we’re here to help.
Roll lawn or not?
Lawns that are thick and healthy do not need rolling, because the healthy root zone is not prone to winter heaving. If you have had extensive mole activity over a large area, rolling can be used to press the tunnels down. However, if moles are still present more tunnels will appear.
You are correct in thinking that soil compaction will result- so it is a trade-off: do you need a quick way to press mole tunnels down, or do you want soil that has a healthy amount of air spaces in the root zone?.
Here in Michigan the only rolling recommendations I can find in the research are for athletic fields and bent grass greens on golf courses- these techniques are for different types of grass, they have different levels of maintenance, and don’t apply to residential lawns.
Here is an overview of Rolling from the University of Kentucky: “Rolling is not often considered a regular maintenance practice. In fact, rolling wet, heavy clay soils will cause soil compaction and decrease soil aeration. However, on well-drained, medium, and coarse-textured soils, rolling may help:
reduce desiccation in late winter or early spring by pressing frost-heaved plants back into the soil. This process most frequently benefits fall-seeded lawns (so roll the following spring) and sparse turf areas under shade trees.
Well-established lawns are seldom damaged by heaving.
Smooth a soil surface roughened by mole runs, earthworms, and night crawlers. However, rolling will not correct surface undulations caused by improper grading. Firm a loose seedbed immediately after the seed is broadcast. Germination and seedling development are very poor in loose, droughty seedbeds.
With good moisture, a heavy roller will help remove minor roughness in the soil surface. Water-ballast rollers can often be rented. These rollers have a hollow drum that can be filled with water. By increasing or decreasing the amount of water in the roller, you can adjust the weight to give a firm seedbed or smooth a surface. If the lawn is sloping, a small garden tractor may be necessary to pull the roller. Rolling is most beneficial when the soil is moist, not wet.” (end of U of Kentucky extract)
And, here is another opinion from University of Missouri Extension- “Rolling is not desirable for smooth, uneven lawns. Surface compaction is common in many lawns, without adding to the problem by heavy rolling. Rolling moist soil causes maximum compaction — a fine way to build roadways but not soils for turf. When late winter freezing and thawing have resulted in “heaving” young plants out of the ground, or if mole activity is serious, rolling may be required and is acceptable. In such cases, roll soon after spring thaw when the soil surface is relatively dry, and use as light a roller as possible. Don’t roll more than is absolutely necessary.” (end of U of Missouri extract)
Another consideration is soil type. If you have clay soil, recovery of the air spaces will be much slower- perhaps several years- after one rolling treatment. If you have sandy soil, the amount of compaction could be less. A soil test can tell you your soil type, along with pH, some nutrient content, organic content, and fertilizer recommendations If you haven’t had a soil test, you can purchase one from MSU at www.msusoiltest.com
So, if you are satisfied with your lawn there is no benefit to rolling. If your lawn is very lumpy and you want to try and smooth it, rolling can help. You may need to aerate the lawn after it has been rolled in order to help get air into the root zone again. MSU has a nice ‘Home Lawns’ section on their Turf website which addresses all aspects of lawn care. www.turf.msu.edu
Caring for your lawn with the basics recommended at the MSU site above should give you a healthy, thick lawn- assuming your have 6 or more hours of full sun during the growing season. Please write again if you have more questions. Thank you for using our service.
With most gardening practices, there is a consensus over what you should and shouldn’t do. However, with some procedures, there is more of a debate – and lawn rolling is definitely one that belongs in the latter category.
While some people believe annual rolling, usually in springtime, is an essential part of lawn care, others will tell you it is at best a waste of time – and at worst, something that is highly detrimental to a healthy lawn.
Here, we look at both sides of the argument – and deal with the question of when to roll your lawn.
To roll or not to roll?
Before we talk about when to roll your lawn, let’s look at the arguments against the practice to help us understand when it should be done.
When you roll your lawn, it compacts the ground. Healthy earth is made up of about 50% empty space that is filled with air and allows water to seep through when it rains or when you water your lawn.
When grass grows, the roots grow into these spaces – grass roots don’t grow into the soil itself. This means if you compact the earth, the roots have nowhere to grow and will struggle to become established. This will result in a less healthy, less hardy lawn.
This can place extra stress on your lawn particularly in spring when your grass is coming into one of the major growing phases of its annual life cycle.
Another issue that is caused by compacted earth is soil runoff. When it rains, the water doesn’t penetrate the soil but instead washes off the top layer, carrying away vital nutrients as it goes. This means compacting your soil will also reduce its quality as a home for healthy grass.
A related problem is that if water doesn’t penetrate the earth, it will not reach the roots and your grass will not be able to receive the water it needs to live and thrive.
So when should you roll Your Lawn?
With all these reasons why you shouldn’t roll, it might seem like rolling is something that is best avoided. However, there are a few special situations when rolling is required.
One time when rolling can possibly be recommended is after seeding. If you spread new seed over a patch of bare lawn, rolling it can ensure the seeds are forced into close contact with the earth, which aids germination.
Check out this video to see how and why it’s done.
However, a similar effect can be achieved by raking, so rolling isn’t essential, it is simply an optional technique that can be beneficial.
Another time when rolling is recommended is when laying new sods of grass. This will help the grass take root and will also encourage deeper root growth. For these reasons, this is one of the times when rolling your lawn is actively recommended.
Rolling may also be helpful after a winter that brought particularly changeable conditions. A winter with lots of mild periods mixed with colder snaps may cause soil heaving, and rolling is one way to rectify this problem.
Finally, another time when rolling is helpful is after significant mole activity. If moles spend the winter burrowing through your lawn, a good rolling session will help even out the bumps they have created.
What is the best time of year to roll?
Here is something almost everyone can agree on. If you decide you do need to roll your lawn, the best time to do it is in the spring.
This is when grass has just come out of its dormant winter period and is just entering the growing phase, meaning it will best be able to recover from the stresses of being rolled.
Rolling in the winter is not helpful since the earth may be frozen and will be too hard. Similar, in summer when the ground is baked hard, you should avoid rolling. With the earth in this condition, rolling won’t achieve anything and will only damage the grass.
Always roll your lawn when it is moist but not soaked. If you roll when it is too wet, you will compact it too much and will suffer from all the problems discussed above.
When is rolling not helpful?
There are certain problems that some people attempt to rectify by rolling – but in reality, this is not a helpful solution.
For example, if you are trying to flatten your lawn, rolling is not the answer. While you may be able to flatten out a few small lumps or bumps by rolling, if you need to flatten an uneven lawn, you will need to add or remove soil to achieve the desired result.
Some people tend to see rolling as an annual chore that just needs to be done as part of general maintenance.
This is simply wrong, however. Only roll your lawn in the specific situations we discussed above and don’t see rolling as a yearly task that needs to be done systematically each spring.
Another tip is to avoid rolling altogether if you live in an area with heavy clay soil. These kinds of soils are more prone to compacting, and if you roll them, you will make it hard for your lawn to thrive.
Some other tips
If you decide to roll, make sure you also aerate your lawn after. By puncturing holes in your lawn, you will be able to counteract the negative effects of compacting that occur when rolling.
Another important tip is to make sure you don’t use a heavy roller. If you really need to roll your lawn, a light roller will usually be sufficient and will not cause as much stress to the grass as using a heavy roller.
Finally, unlike a leaf vacuum or a lawn edger, a roller is a bulky piece of equipment that won’t get much use. It is something that will cost you money, will take up storage space and will probably only be used once every two or three years.
For this reason, if you need to roll your lawn, you might find it more economical to hire one when you need it rather than buying one yourself.
Not an annual necessity – but useful in specific circumstances
As we have said, rolling is not something you need to do every year; it is something that should be done only in specific circumstances or to rectify very specific problems. Remember that lawns are made up of thousands of tiny plants, and passing a big heavy roller over them compacts the earth and puts those plants under a lot of stress. For this reason, you should think carefully about whether you really need to roll your lawn at all.
LUMPY BUMPY LAWNS: Rolling not a good idea for lawns
Kind of sounds like a song by Billy Ray Cyrus, doesn’t it?
Common questions each Spring are “why is my lawn bumpy?” and “how do I fix a bumpy lawn”? Here is another from one of our customers:
It’s here again! (spring)
Do you think we would benefit from rolling our lawn to get rid of the bumpy areas so it is smooth during the summer?
If yes what will be your cost if you offer this service?
Hey Gillian, great to hear from you.
We never recommend rolling a lawn.
Rolling never achieves what people expect it to do. You would need a steam roller to be able to effect smoothing out bumps, which in turn will severely compact your lawn making it really difficult to grow healthy turfgrass (but weeds would survive…).
The best thing you can do is to aerate regularly, topdress and overseed when needed, manage pest infestations proactively and keep the lawn thick and healthy.
Bumps are usually the result of uneven growth and poor health. When the lawn thickens sufficiently, these bumps are much less pronounced.
I hope this helps, Kyle!
PS: If your lawn is bumpy, a few things to look for are: Different “bunch-types” of grass like Tall Fescue clumps, worm castings from ‘night crawlers’, frost heaving (freeze/thaw) in the soil, animals digging, grub damage, chinch bug damage where the turf has not recovered, excess thatch, not enough thatch, tree roots from large trees or even neighbours trees that cause heaving soil, mowing patterns that never change causing wheel ruts (the list goes on)…
Knowing what is causing the problem, helps you to better zero in on how to fix the lawn and whatever is causing the uneven or lumpy feel. However it is important to note that not all of these problems can be solved easily. Re-sodding, or covering over the problem is only delaying the same issue from happening again and potentially wasting money if you don’t get down to the “root” cause.
Let me know what you see in the comments area and I’ll be sure to respond in the conversation with some good ideas to help alleviate the problem.
Check out another blog I wrote on this by clicking here.
Lawn Roller Tips and Advice
We’ve all experienced a lumpy lawn. Walking across one feels like walking on rocks and stepping in potholes.
Seasonal temperature changes and dogs digging holes are major culprits. Whatever the cause, it’s not fun to roll your ankle. So how do you get your yard nice and smooth?
Instead of digging out lumps and filling in holes, there’s a much easier way to smooth out the bumps on your yard.
Lawn rollers are heavy cylinders that are attached to an axle and either towed behind a garden tractor or pulled by hand to smooth topsoil and flatten out bumpy or irregular yards.
They’re often used when seeding a new lawn as a way to press the seeds into the topsoil and improve the germination process. They’re also commonly used to press freshly laid sod into contact with the soil beneath it.
Choosing a Lawn Roller
Lawn rollers come in two different styles: steel and polyurethane.
Both styles are hollow, so they can be filled with sand or water for weight. Both also can be found in either tow-behind or hand-pulled models. Beyond that, each comes with certain advantages that might make one style better for you than the other.
Steel Lawn Rollers
Ranging from 24″ to 60″ in width, steel rollers are typically heavier and more durable. They’re more stable on hillsides and will not puncture easily.
They are, however, heavier to move and set up. Because of their heavy metal construction, they pose more of a challenge when making sharp turns.
Additionally, they can be filled only with water, whereas poly models can be filled with water or sand.
Despite their weight and the need to use them with water, steel lawn rollers are a strong choice for the most difficult uneven lawns.
Polyurethane Lawn Rollers
Ranging from 24″ to 48″ in width, poly rollers are lighter weight when empty, which makes for easier storage. They won’t rust, they’re better for sharp turns, and they cost less than steel rollers. Plus, polyurethane models can be filled with either water or sand.
The downside with the polyurethane models is that they aren’t as heavy and durable as steel, meaning they have a higher likelihood of being punctured or cracked on sharp rocks or other abrasive debris.
However, if your biggest concern is ease of use, then a polyurethane roller might be right for you.
Lawn Roller Advice
As helpful as a yard roller can be, using it incorrectly can do damage to your lawn as well as to your equipment.
While you’re getting ready to roll, be sure to keep the following two tips in mind:
1. Check Your Roller’s Weight
You want to be sure you don’t select a tow-behind grass roller that’s too heavy for your mower.
If you own a powerful garden tractor or a commercial-grade zero turn mower, you might be fine using larger yard rollers.
If, however, you’re going to be using a lawn tractor or a consumer-grade zero turn mower, your roller should not weigh more than 300 pounds.
Also, it’s recommended that you avoid using tow-behind lawn rollers on hills with steep inclines greater than 10 degrees. Always be sure to tow your rollers across hills and not up and down them. The added weight of a lawn roller can make rolling on inclines challenging and possibly dangerous.
2. Use Your Roller in Moderation
When using a yard roller on a lawn that’s already been established, take great care not to overdo it.
Too many uses can compact your topsoil, making it difficult for your grass’s roots to absorb the right amount of water and nutrients.
If your soil does become compacted, however, you might be able to get it healthy and loose again by aerating it.
By using a lawn roller safely and sparingly, you can flatten your yard and make it easy to walk across. You might find potholes on the roads you travel, but with a grass roller, you won’t have to worry about finding them on your lawn.
NEXT: How to Rescue Your Lawn
What is a Lawn Roller?
Spring is in the air, and it’s time to start working on your lawn. You may be laying down sod, planting grass seed, or smoothing down molehills. No matter which job, Lawn Rollers help you to get the lawn care chores done quickly and easily.
Lawn rollers are cylindrical “mini steam rollers” with added weight (usually water or sand) that help flatten the ground. You can choose a push lawn roller, which requires manual work to roll it across the yard. Alternatively, you can select a lawn roller attachment, which hooks to the back of your tractor and rolls behind you as you drive. While pull-behind rollers are typically more expensive, they do tend to get the job done faster and easier than a labor-intensive push roller. Rollers are typically constructed of either steel or poly, and come in a variety of weight capacities and sizes.
When to Use a Lawn Roller?
- For Sod: Before you sod, you can use a roller to ensure the ground is nice and flat. After removing existing vegetation, tilling, and adding fertilizer, you can roll over the ground to flatten it. You should keep this up until the ground is packed enough so that your feet don’t sink when you walk over it. After laying down the sod and watering it, use a roller to remove air pockets and press the sod down to ensure the roots make contact with the soil. This will help the sod establish itself and lead to better growth.
- For Seed: After you have tilled the ground and spread seed, you can use your lawn roller to roll the soil and make sure the seeds make contact. Rolling after seeding helps press the seed into the soil so that it doesn’t blow or wash away, and it also expedites the seed’s germination process.
- Repairing damage: If your lawn has been hit with frost heaves or mole hills, you can use a lawn roller to repair the damage. You can use a heavy lawn roller to compress hills and tunnels. This method will help prevent the air pockets created from the damage from drying out the grass roots.
Brinly-Hardy Lawn Rollers
At Brinly-Hardy, we sell Lawn Rollers in different sizes and capacities to accommodate your lawn care needs. Our Lawn Rollers ensure that grass seed gets packed down deep within the soil; you can flatten molehills so the ground is level, as well as smooth sod and loose topsoil.
Our Lawn Rollers are easy to assemble and use. We have four different sizes to fit your property’s size and meet your needs:
- 28-gallon Lawn Roller is ideal for a small to mid-size lawn. You can tow it or push it. You can get those hard to reach areas by pushing the Lawn Roller along the edges of your yard, around trees and other landscaped areas. This lawn roller holds up to 28 gallons of water or sand.
- 42-gallon Lawn Roller: This roller tows behind your garden tractor to tamp down loose topsoil or sod. It’s ideal for mid- to large size lawns.
- 54-gallon Lawn Roller: This Lawn Roller makes yard work an easy chore. It works well in large residential lawns. The 18” diameter and 48” length of the roller make it easy to maneuver around the boundaries separating your landscape from your lawn. All of our Brinly-Hardy Lawn Rollers are easy to store.
- 76-gallon Lawn Roller: Our largest roller will handle the toughest lawn jobs such as packing down heavy clay soil and smooth ridges and bumps caused by frost heaving or moles.
Learn more: Is it too early for spring seeding?
Our Lawn Rollers Have These Five Features
Our Lawn Rollers make your heavy-duty lawn jobs easy and quick. You want one of our rollers before spring arrives so you can get that grass seed or sod packed down to meet the soil.
Our rollers come with the following five features:
- All four sizes hook up to your garden tractor as tow-behind attachments. However, our 28-capacity roller is light enough for you to push to get in those hard to reach corners and curves.
- Our rollers are lightweight making them easy to store. When empty, you can easily hang our rollers in your shed or garage to take up minimal space.
- Brinly rollers have round edges so you won’t tear up your lawn every time you make a turn in it.
- Each roller is easy to empty and fill with our extra-large filler cap.
- Our rollers have a scraper bar along the rollers to remove dirt, grass and other debris while you work.
Learn more about Lawn Roller fundamentals in this how-to blog.
Other Brinly Lawn Care Attachments Make Working in Your Backyard a Cinch
At Brinly-Hardy, we design and engineer garden and lawn attachments to ease the load of heavy-duty lawn care. In addition to our Lawn Rollers, you can check out these seven other lawn care attachments to help you achieve a beautiful yard this spring:
- Spike and Plug Aerators
- Tow-behind Carts
- Tow Dethatchers
- Lawn Sprayers
- Lawn Sweepers
- Tow Spreaders
- Push Spreaders.
Check out our lawn seed-planting chart!
Garden Myths – Learn the truth about gardening
A lawn roller is traditionally used in spring as part of regular lawn maintenance. Golf courses do it and they have great greens – so it must be good for your lawn too – right? Wrong. Don’t do it. If you own a lawn roller it is time to find another use for it.
Lawn Roller – not good for your lawn
What does rolling your lawn do to soil? Good soil consists of 25% air and 25% water. The rest is organic matter and minerals. The air and water are critical for plant growth. Soil will only have the right amount of air and water if the soil has proper aggregation. Aggregation is that friable lumpy type soil you find in forests.
Rolling the lawn destroys the aggregation and compacts the soil. Compacted soil contains less air and less water, making it much more difficult for roots to grow. Grass grows better without rolling.
The reason most people roll their lawn is because it is lumpy in spring. Frost has caused some soil heaving and moles dig tunnels making the lawn uneven. We want flat grass again.
The best way to deal with high spots is to wait until late spring, or even fall. Then dig out some soil from under the grass in the high spots. This will lower them for a flatter grass. The opposite process can be used for low spots. Use a flat shovel and lift the grass. Then put some soil under it. Add more soil than you think you need since the soil will compact.
Spots that are slightly low can be top dressed with 1/2 inch of soil. You might have to add more soil every year for a few years to fill the holes left by animals. Don’t add too much soil at once since a thick layer will kill the grass.
Should You Ever Roll?
Rolling can be done directly on the soil when you are first installing grass seed to give you a level bed. But even this will cause compaction.
Some people roll newly laid sod which helps the sod come in close contact with soil so it can make roots.
Both of these applications should be done with a light roller.
Except for these installation steps – don’t roll your grass.
- Photo Source: Northmetpit
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The 6 Best Lawn Rollers
When To Roll A Lawn
Pressing frost-heaved plants back down into the soil can prevent their root structure from continuing to dry out.
Pressing frost-heaved plants back down into the soil can prevent their root structure from continuing to dry out.
Rolling a lawn can have many benefits, provided you know how, when, and what type of lawn or soil should be rolled. Despite common beliefs, rolling a lawn is not always helpful. There are many scenarios in which doing so can actually cause damage or hinder root growth. For example, if you have clay soil, rolling will cause unwanted compaction that can takes years to undo. Rolling a lawn won’t do anything to smooth out uneven patches, either. So, if that is your intent, don’t buy a lawn roller. They are intended to firm or to smoothe the top few inches of soil.
If you plan on seeding a new lawn, a roller can be an invaluable tool. Before you start to lay your seed, you should use a roller to smooth out the soil. This helps to ensure your seed spreads evenly, with less clumping. After seeding, it is beneficial to run a light roller over the area to set the seeds in place. Rolling is also useful when laying new sod. After you have laid the sod, running a roller over it will eliminate excessive air pockets and promote root implantation. However, you should never use a heavy roller on new seed or sod. Rolling your established lawn before mowing can help you get a more even cut, as well. It is a great way to get a professionally manicured look, without actually having to pay the professionals.
Rolling is also beneficial to newly seeded flower beds that have loose soil or that don’t get regular watering. Overly loose, dry soil is not conducive to seed germination or seedling development. Slightly compacting the soil gives the plants a better chance at thriving.
In cold weather climates, lawn rollers can be used to minimize desiccation at the end of winter and the beginning of spring. Pressing frost-heaved plants back down into the soil can prevent their root structure from continuing to dry out. It may also motivate quicker root implantation. Fall-seeded lawns and sparse turf areas often need early spring rolling as they generally experience the most frost-heaving.
How To Properly Roll A Lawn
Now that you have a firm understanding of the correct times to roll a lawn, it’s time to learn how to properly roll a lawn. Generally speaking, you should roll a lawn when the soil is dry, though there is one scenario where rolling slightly damp soil is essential to healthy grass growth.
When laying new sod, you should start by removing an preexisting vegetation and then leveling your soil. Despite what many believe, lawn rollers will not help level a lawn. The only way to do this is to remove or add layers of soil. A lawn roller can help you identify uneven patches of ground, however. Simply level the soil as best you can, then run your roller over it to check for lumps.
Now that you have a firm understanding of the correct times to roll a lawn, it’s time to learn how to properly roll a lawn.
After you have leveled your lawn and removed any existing vegetation or debris, it is time to till the soil with fertilizer. Next, go over the dirt a couple of times with the roller to compact the soil. Do this until the soil is smooth and your feet no longer sink into when you walk on it, then lay the sod. After laying the sod, water the grass just enough to dampen it a bit. Water is essential for sod roots to establish themselves quickly. Make sure not to flood the area, as excess water can actually be detrimental to new root growth and cause root rot. Finally, make one or two passes over the new sod with a light roller to press the roots into the ground.
Planting and rolling new seed follows much the same process, with just a few key differences. As with sodding, remove any extraneous vegetation and debris and level the area. Then, roll the ground to smooth out the soil. Next, spread your seed with a seed spreader. After spreading your seed, roll the soil one more time, before watering it. Watering newly seeded soil before rolling can cause too much compaction, making it difficult for new seedlings to take root. After rolling, water the area enough to dampen the soil, but not enough to flood the area, which can cause seeds to get washed away.
Choosing The Right Type Of Grass For Your Climate And Conditions
No matter how well you care for your lawn, if you don’t plant the proper type of grass seed for your climate and growing conditions, it will never thrive. The first step is to determine which zone you live in: cool season, warm season, or the transition zone.
After determining your zone and identifying which varieties of grass grow best in that zone, you need to take the conditions of your lawn into account.
After determining your zone and identifying which varieties of grass grow best in that zone, you need to take the conditions of your lawn into account. Each grass variety grows best in certain applications. For example, Buffalo grass and Bahia grass are both warm season grasses, but each thrives in different growing conditions. Buffalo grass can withstand near freezing temperatures for short periods of time, making it better suited to northern regions within the warm season zone. It can also withstand extended periods of drought. Bahia grass does extremely well in full sun areas and has little problem adapting to sandy or acidic soil. Unlike Buffalo grass, it doesn’t handle cold temperatures very well and needs regular watering.
In addition to climate and water availability, soil pH plays a major role in how well certain grasses grow. Test your soil’s pH to find out if your soil is more acidic or more alkaline and make sure to buy a grass variety that adapts well to that type of soil. Other considerations should be how much maintenance you want to put into your lawn and how much traffic it will encounter. After looking at all of these factors, you will be in a better position to choose the correct type of grass for your needs.