When Should I Roll My Lawn? – Garden Care

Whether to roll the lawn or not is one of the most debated topics about garden practices. Some people are for it, while others are against it.

So, before we get to when you should roll your lawn, it is good to know why you should or shouldn’t roll your lawn care.

The reason some people are against lawn rolling is that it compacts the soil.

Healthy soil is made up of around 50% open space. This space, also referred to as pores gets filled with water and air, depending on the moisture level in the soil.

Besides, roots grow into these spaces and not soil. Therefore, if you compact the soil, the pores become smaller, which makes it difficult for air, water, and roots to move freely.

As a result, you put a strain on the roots and the plant as a whole. And when it rains, water won’t be able to penetrate the soil which leads to runoff.

With such impacts on the soil and grassroots on the lawn, it may seem as if rolling your lawn is a very bad idea. However, it is not as you can roll the lawn in some situations.

These are as follows:

During The Laying Of New Sods Of Grass

One of the best times to roll your lawn is when laying new sods of grass. It doesn’t matter if it’s on a golf course, football pitch, or on your lawn rollers.

Rolling will help the new sods of grass to take root and promote deeper root growth. When sods of grass are laid on the surface, there are usually air pockets that develop. This delays the sods of grass to get established and start flourishing in their new setting.

So, when you roll the grass, the roots stabilize quickly as they bond with the soil.

What’s more, rolling new sods of grass has no huge impact on the lawn as it would when rolling on already-grown grass.

After Seeding Or Re-seeding

Another instance where you can roll your lawn is after seeding or when re-seeding. If you want to ensure that the seeds that you spread on your bare lawn get into contact with the soil, then you need to roll.

This process makes sure that seeds are in close contact with the soil and that germination will take place. Note that seeding and re-seeding are two different things.

Seeding takes place on a bare lawn while re-seeding takes place on a lawn with deteriorating grass. Use the right types of rollers for the best results.

The roller used for re-seeding should not be very heavy, like the one used for seeding as you may suffocate the old or worn-out grass on the lawn.

After Significant Mole Activity On Your Lawn

Even though moles are beneficial to the soil, they can be a nuisance to our lawns when they create bumps. Mole activity is rampant in winter when the soils are moist.

To get rid of the bumps, you can decide to roll the lawn for an even and beautiful-looking lawn.

After Winter

After a particularly unpredictable winter, rolling might also be beneficial. Apart from moles messing with your lawn by burrowing the soil and creating bumps, heavy snow can also pile up and cause an uneven lawn.

This is also referred to as soil heaving or frost heaving. Rolling is one solution for soil heaving, which can be caused by a winter with many mild periods and colder bursts.

To get rid of this swelling that leads to an uneven surface, simply roll your lawn. This will level the surface and make your lawn look adorable once again.

Person mowing a lush green lawn with a push mower, creating a striped pattern, indicative of prime lawn rolling conditions.

In Spring

Regardless of the lawn problem that you’re facing, you will have to roll the lawn during the spring season. Some people believe that rolling their grass lawn each spring is an integral part of good lawn maintenance.

This is important because the grass will be coming out of its dormant season and entering the growing phase. At this stage, the grass is vibrant and can put up with the stress that you put it to.

Due to the grass’s recent emergence from dormancy and the roots’ active growth, spring is a good time of year. Additionally, the soil will be moist and not dry or waterlogged.

Rolling your lawn in the winter can be hazardous due to the possibility of frozen ground. In the summer, the soil may become overly hard, putting more strain on the grass than it can withstand.

In short, you should not roll when the grass is already going through a hard time, such as in hot summers or cold winters.

Late Summer to Mid-Autumn

Late summer to mid-autumn is the ideal time to seed your lawn. Additionally, rolling your lawn is advisable when the ground is damp but not soaked.

Rolling won’t be very effective on a lawn that is too dry, and if the grass is too wet, you risk compaction problems and ineffective aeration.

Tips On Rolling The Lawn

If you want to succeed in rolling your lawn, there are several things that you need to do. These are as follows:

  • Roll at the right time. As discussed earlier, it is vital that you roll at the right time so that you don’t put more pressure on your grass or lawn. Springtime is the best time to roll your lawn.
  • Avoid using a roller that is too powerful on most residential lawns.
  • Always use a light roller to prevent putting more pressure on your lawn and soil. And if you’re re-seeding, use even a lighter roller, a half-filled water roller, or a pedestrian lawn mower roller. For most home lawns, you shouldn’t require anything more substantial.
  • After rolling your lawn, ensure to aerate the lawn. This will help to counteract the effects of soil compaction. It will not solve the effects of compaction completely, but it will relieve your lawn.
  • Instead of buying a roller, it is best if you hire one as you will only be required to use it once a year or so.
  • Don’t make rolling an annual thing as you will be putting pressure on your lawn. Instead, only roll when you face one of the challenges that we’ve discussed above.
  • Don’t roll your lawn if you aim to flatten the lawn. The best way to flatten the lawn is by adding or removing soil.
  • Never roll your lawn if the area has clay soils. This type of soil is poor in drainage, and rolling will only cause them to become worse.

Bottom Line

Rolling your lawn may not be the best solution for your lawn, but in some situations, it is. Always roll your lawn for the reasons that we’ve highlighted above. Don’t roll your lawn because it is uneven.

Furthermore, use a lighter roller so that it does not have a huge impact on the soil. Roll the lawn in winter when the grass is preparing to grow and not in summer or winter.

We wish you all the best as you take care of your lawn!