Lawn rolling is an intermediate-level landscaping technique that can help create a smoother, greener lawn. The premise is simple enough, a rounded weight that flattens the soil it passes over. But to utilize it effectively, it must be applied at the right times, in the right way, with the right frequency. Read on to learn the fundamentals of lawn rolling.
Rolling should be done on an “as needed” basis. Some recommend a regular rolling on a biannual basis to avoid over-compaction. Achieve best results when soil is damp, but not completely saturated. Decrease frequency with soils higher in clay content.
Simply spreading grass seed on top of soil or an existing lawn produces a poor germination rate. In order to increase the rate of germination, begin with a light watering just prior to seeding. Fill your lawn roller to approximately ¼ capacity with water or sand, and only roll over each area one time.
Before laying sod, aeration is important. This can be accomplished with a lawn aerator (spike or plug), or by lightly tilling the soil. Be sure that the lawn is clear of any debris including rocks, sticks, and trash, which create a barrier that prevents the sod from taking root. Lightly water the prepared soil before laying the down the sod. Immediately roll the newly-placed sod using a moderate weight, then follow with another light watering.
Uneven bumps and depressions can be frustrating, creating trip hazards and causing unnecessary difficulty when mowing. Make your lawn manageable, useable, and beautiful by adding or removing soil and rolling the area to smooth it out. First, take a carpet knife and make a delicate, vertical incision around the affected area. For bumps, gently remove a few inches of the soil around the edge. For depressions, add additional soil in small amounts. Lightly water and roll; repeat periodically as needed.
Other lawn rolling applications:
Flattening mole tunnels
Professional-looking striping after mowing
Improving lawn drainage
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Author: Brad Turner