Lawn Rolling – Now is the time, or is it?

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.

The Pros

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 Cons

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.

Your Choice

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.

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