Learn when is the best time to roll your lawn and why people even do it all.
What is Rolling Your Lawn?
Rolling your lawn is exactly what it sounds like.
It’s the process of rolling a heavy barrel across your lawn. It compacts the ground under it as it rolls across.
For serious rollers, you can buy a machine that looks like a steamroller.
For everyday people, you can opt for a handheld piece of equipment for about a hundred bucks or so like this one from Brinly.
- NEW Easy-Turn Plug: Brinly Rollers now feature a new drum plug design, making filling and emptying your roller quicker and easier than ever
- Push/Pull Combination: Convenient push or tow-behind design provides versatility for rolling tight areas or larger open spaces. Perfect tool for erasing lawn damage from moles and frost, or packing down loose dirt, seed, or sod.
- 28 Gallon Capacity: Sturdy roller holds up to 28 gallons (270 lbs.) of water or sand and is both light enough to push through the yard and rugged enough to withstand towing behind a tractor.
You hold the handle and push the roller in front of you. There are lawn services that offer rolling, but you’ll probably be better off just doing it yourself.
There’s no special form or anything that’s required for rolling your lawn. Just put on a nice playlist to keep you entertained and start pushing.
For best results, play “Push It” by Salt-N-Pepa.
The Problem with Rolling Your Lawn
The roots of your grass will grow in the empty spaces in your soil.
By rolling your lawn, you’re getting rid of these empty spaces and making it harder for your lawn’s roots to grow.
It’s also hard for water to seep into a lawn that’s been rolled and therefore compacted.
If you roll your lawn then immediately water it, you’ll notice the water just runoff and not penetrate the soil.
As you probably guessed, that’s not great.
The biggest problems present themselves to people who roll their lawns too often.
If you roll more than Willie Nelson, then your grass seeds have no hope of growing. With that said, there are a lot of viable reasons to roll your lawn (just don’t over-roll it).
Why Do People Roll Their Lawn?
Rolling the lawn is a topic that’s 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.
After Laying New Sod
Some people might roll their lawn after they put down new sod.
The section of grass isn’t rooted yet, so the idea is that rolling will help press the roots closer to the soil in your lawn.
After a Harsh Winter
If you just went through a winter that had a lot of fluctuating temperatures, your soil is probably crying out for help.
The constant change between super cold, mild, and warm days will result in soil heaving.
This means your lawn is growing on sunken and unstable soil.
Rolling your lawn may get rid of this problem and correct your soil.
Rolling the Lawn Can Get Rid of Moles
Finally, rolling your lawn is a good way to deal with moles.
No, not the moles on your back – the moles in your lawn.
Moles love to burrow and make your lawn into a game of minesweeper. A quick and easy solution to this problem is to roll your lawn.
This will compress and fill in any mounds or holes in your lawn. The result is a flat lawn that is prime for growing grass.
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 there’s 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 that’s not a good time to do it either.
That leaves fall and spring.
If your lawn chemistry is dialed in, and its well fertilized, spring is the time of year that your grass is just going into the growing phase.
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.