The Pros And Cons Of Lawn Rolling
Rolling your lawn is done to firm out the grass surface, which is the first one or two inches of the soil. There are various types of lawn rollers used to do this, depending on the type of grass and soil you have on the garden.
Like mentioned, its something many people do every year or so for various reasons, but is it really as advantageous as it seems? Lets check its good and bad points:
Lawn rolling is great for grass maintenance during the spring if youre focusing on removing any minor bumps, or smoothing out uneven areas. Furthermore, this practice is also helpful when preparing bare areas to plant on. Its also used when sod lawn is laid down, which helps encourage roots to grow deep.
However, there are some things to take note of when rolling your lawn. Using lawn rollers might compact the soil, squashing soil particles together. This creates air space issues, lessening healthier root growth. Water wont be able to run through, which isnt good as plants need water to absorb deep down its roots.
With all that being said, lawn rolling is still your choice and is possible to do with minimal issues. This can be done as long as you do it correctly!
What Is The Ideal Weight For Lawn Roller
Most people are wondering how heavy should a lawn roller be. For different lawn rollers, they are carried of different weights. The weights can be in the range of 200-600 pounds.
Nonetheless, the ideal weight for a lawn roller should weigh 300 pounds. This weight is good enough to smooth out a lawn and make it more level without damaging your lawn.
You can if you want to buy a lawn roller instead of rent one.
Can I Have Lawn Stripes Without A Big Roller
Rolling more often than not causes very noticeable striping on home lawns, and many like that look, says Nickolai. But you dont have to use a large roller to achieve it. The stripes come from light reflecting off grass blades bent in different directions by the roller. Miniature rollers, often called striping kits attach behind riding lawn mowers and get the look with compressing the soil.
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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.
Does Your Company Offer A Service To Roll My Lawn
Ask us that question and you may not like what youll hear. The answer is a resounding NO, and there is a very good reason for it. Rolling lawns is still unfortunately a lawn care practice that many homeowners use to try to level out bumpy areas on their property. It seems like as long as companies can sell these gadgets for home use, people will still unknowingly cause stress to their lawns by rolling.
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To Roll Or Not To Roll
Before we talk about when to roll your lawn, lets 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 dont 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 doesnt 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 doesnt 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.
Benefits Of Rolling Your Lawn
If youve ever wondered why it like seems like your mower is jumping around quite a bit, its most likely because your lawn is bumpy.
With all the freezing and thawing that happens during the winter, your soil can actually shift to create uneven areas. The idea of lawn rolling is to remove some of these bumps to level out your yard. It tends to do a good job of compressing some of the loose soil down.
I roll my lawn because I much prefer to have a smooth ride with my mower. It gives a much better cut too! I usually like to do it early in the spring.
Lawn rollers come in a variety of designs. You can choose between plastic and metal rollers that come in different sizes. With most lawn rollers, youll be pushing it around the yard. Some are too heavy to push manually. For these types, you can remove the handle and tow it with a lawn tractor. This is quite useful if you have a large area to cover.
Lawn rollers are very simple to set up. All you need to do is remove a plug on the side and fill up the drum with water. You can put in some extra pounds of water by tipping the lawn roller on its side. Once you put the plug back in, you should be good to go.
Pushing the roller in your yard is a great workout too! It can be pretty tough, especially if youre going up hills. The drum is full of a lot of water and they typically weigh a couple hundred pounds or so.
You can purchase a lawn roller for a reasonable price. I like this poly lawn roller .
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Why Is My Lawn Bumpy
There are a number of reasons why lawns get lumps and bumps in them. The continual freezing and thawing over spring can cause soil to shift unevenly. Wild animals or pets can dig up areas of a lawn. Even walking on it when it is too soft either in the spring or after a very heavy rainfall can cause depressions to form in your lawn. If lumps and bumps in your lawn are concerning you it is best to contact a qualified lawn care specialist near you to diagnosis exactly what the issue is and the best way to deal with it.
Why Do People Roll Their Lawn
Rolling the lawn is a topic thats argued fiercely within the lawn keeping community.
A healthy lawn will have a lot of air and empty space in it.
Rolling your lawn will compact this space and compress everything into your lawn.
The most common time to roll your lawn is right after seeding.
The compression will firmly press the seeds into the soil, giving them a better chance of germinating and growing.
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Why Wont You Roll My Lawn
The reason rolling a lawn is a bad idea is because it compacts the soil. Soil is made up of tiny particles. In between these particles, there are spaces or pores. These voids are essential for a number of things. Pores will help the soil maintain the right amounts of water and oxygen, which are crucial for growing a beautiful lawn. If the soil is too compacted, roots can decompose as they become waterlogged when the soil wont drain. You want moist soil, but it has to drain as well. Compacted soil will also not allow for oxygen exchange, causing root systems to decompose and turf to die.
Does Lawn Rolling Work
In the end, while lawn rolling is not necessary, it can be a useful maintenance tool provided you follow a few rules.
Use a lightweight water-filled roller so weight can easily be adjusted depending on the amount of water used. Start by filling only about a quarter of the roller with water and do a test run to see if this is sufficient to smooth out bumps. If not, gradually increase the water until you find the right weight, one that is enough to smooth the bumps but not compact the soil.
Use a lawn roller after you seed or sod the yard, after cold winters which caused soil heaving, and to correct small bumpy areas of the lawn. Lawn rolling is also beneficial if you are making a playing turf for putting, croquet or cricket.
Other than for these reasons, avoid lawn rolling. If you do decide this method is for you, do so in the early spring and roll the lawn when it is damp, not soaking wet. Never use a lawn roller if your soil is composed of heavy clay.
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The Wonderful Benefits Of Aerating And Rolling Your Lawn
The Wonderful Benefits of Aerating and Rolling Your Lawn
Many lawns benefit from rolling. Through the winter and while the frost and snow leave the ground, our lawns can become very uneven. The thought behind rolling your lawn is that by utilizing a large, heavy machine that rolls over our lawns, the extra water from various weather conditions can be squeezed out, which creates a more level ground.
When to Roll Your Lawn
The ideal time to roll your lawn would be in the early spring while there is still plenty of water in it. Waiting until your lawn is almost dry can cause you to compact your lawn from crushing the air pockets out of the lawn. This action can cause root damage to the grass. Rolling your lawn allows it to be much easier to mow the grass during the summer months.
Aerating Your Lawn
Aerating your lawn has benefits as well. It can control thatch, relieves soil compaction, and reduces how often the lawn needs watering. How often you should aerate your lawn depends on the type of soil you have. With heavy soil that tends to become hard by the middle of summer, you should aerate every other year. However, with sandy soil aeration is needed only every two or three years.
To aerate your lawn, thousands of hollow tines are inserted into the ground, pulling out plugs of dirt. This hole allows the increase in the exchange of nutrients, air, and water between the roots and the surface. The thatch layer is also broken down from this process.
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.
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When Is The Best Time Your Roll Your Lawn
After reading the reasons why you might roll your lawn, one thing is obvious: most of the problems are associated with winter or planting new grass.
This means that theres really only one good time to roll your lawn in the spring.
Rolling your lawn in winter will do nothing for you. The ground will be too hard and frozen.
In the hot summer months, your grass might be struggling and the soil might be baked, so thats not a good time to do it either.
That leaves fall and spring.
That means you can roll it and it still has a chance of recovering from the stresses associated with rolling a lawn.
The best day in spring to roll is when your lawn is wet but not soaking wet. This could be after a light shower or after you water the lawn a little.
If the grass is overly saturated, the rolling process will compress it too much and ruin your lawn.
So How Do I Level My Lawn Without Rolling
There are only two reasons why you may wish to level your lawn, but both have safer alternatives to rolling. The first is to smooth over the worm casts after winter. The best way to smooth these is to put the lawn roller away and, on a dry day, brush them away with a stiff broom or a long cane. Secondly, to eliminate large bumps or mounds. The way to fix these is to operate on your lawn, removing soil underneath the turf as required. I will cover this in more detail in a future post.
For the longer term, an annual top dressing is a fantastic treatment to apply to your lawn to keep the minor cracks and dips filled in, keeping your lawn level and maintaining a good quality soil texture.
If you would like to discuss if you should roll your lawn, top dressing, or would like me to measure your lawn for compaction, then please dont hesitate to get in touch.
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What Are The Drawbacks Of Rolling Your Lawn
Rolling the lawn is good for removing minor bumps in your yard, but it will not necessarily level your yard as such.
You wont be able to do any good rolling in the summertime because the ground will be too hard for it to have any effect. I like to roll the lawn in the springtime/fall when the ground is soft. Its best to do it right after you get some rain, although you dont want the ground to be completely soaked because youll be creating too much compaction.
It can be hard to get the roller into smaller areas of your yard where you have less space. You need to be careful when pushing your roller near to any fence lines. Running into these can cause a lot of damage since the roller is very heavy and has a lot of momentum once it gets going.
Some people like to use heavy duty asphalt rollers to level their lawns but this is not something I would recommend. This is going to create way too much compaction in your soil. Even using a standard push roller can create a lot of compaction. You definitely want to make sure youre aerating your soil if youre going to use one of these rollers.
Rolling your lawn can take quite a bit of time to do, especially if you have a large yard. Things get tricky if you have slopes too. Youll need to push in a criss cross pattern to make sure you smooth out all the bumps. This involves rolling in multiple directions which can take a while.
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 dont 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 doesnt blow or wash away, and it also expedites the seeds 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.
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Not To Iron Out Bumps In Your Lawn
Using a lawn roller to flatten out the bumps in your yard can seem logical. Rolling a heavy weight over the bumps will flatten them out, right? Unfortunately not. It can actually be extremely damaging to your lawn. When you think about it a little more and understand how your grass grows and consider the soil conditions it needs to stay healthy, youll begin to see why its a bad idea.
Youre used to seeing the green blades of grass on the surface, but think about whats underneath. The roots, of course, and they need room to grow and spread. After all, they play a vital role in the health of the plant. Theyre what your grass uses to gather all the oxygen, water, and nutrients it needs to thrive. By rolling your lawn with a heavy roller, youre compacting the soil. The same soil that the roots occupy. As it becomes more compact, it suffocates the roots, restricts their growth, and reduces their ability to gather the nutrients they need. Over time the roots will decompose, and itll leave you with a bigger issue than a few bumps.
So would using a lightweight roller be better?
If they cause problems, why do sports fields use them?