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When to Use a Lawn Roller

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When to Use a Lawn Roller

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Overview

Lawn rollers are lawn tools that help to seed and over-seed lawns, lay sod, eliminate bumps, smooth depressions and make stripes or patterns on grass such as those seen on major league baseball fields. A large round container filled with dirt, sand or water can be used to roll lawns, but professional model lawn rollers filled with water are most useful because their weight can be adjusted by adding or subtracting water.

Sowing a New Lawn

Before seed is sowed for a new lawn, use a heavy lawn roller to smooth the soil so that the new lawn will be even and not have bumps and depressions. Water the soil again after the seed is sowed and rolled it a second time with an empty, light roller to push the seed gently into the soil.

Laying New Sod

Before sod is laid, use a heavy roller to smooth the base of the new lawn. After new sod is laid, roll the lawn again with a lighter roller to help the new grass take root. Water the sod thoroughly. Roll the lawn again one or two weeks later.

Overseeding Lawns

Sow grass seeds over existing lawns in the spring after the danger of freezing has passed and the soil is warming. Rake the lawn to remove the dead grass. Sow the seeds. After the seeds are sowed, water the lawn again, and roll it a second time with a light roller.

Flattening Bulges

Cut turf 3 inches around bumps to remove large bulges in lawns. Pull the sod back and remove the excess soil that caused the bump. Replace the grass and roll the spot to smooth out the lawn and re-establish the growth. Water the lawn after the bulge is flattened. If a lawn is simply rolled to flatten the bulges the soil can become compacted in those spots, which can kill grass by blocking water from getting to the roots.

Raising Depressions

Raising depressions is the opposite of flattening bulges. Cut the sod 3 inches around a depression. Pull the sod back and add soil. Roll the spot to flatten the lawn and re-establish growth. Water the area thoroughly.

Creating Patterns

People wanting to have especially attractive lawns roll grass to create alternating light and dark stripes on their lawns. Grass bent in different directions reflects light differently. To achieve these effects, use a roller minus added weight to roll the grass in different directions. This will produce stripes that cross, forming diamond shapes in the lawn.

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About this Author

Richard Hoyt, the author of 26 mysteries, thrillers and other novels, is a former reporter for Honolulu dailies and writer for "Newsweek" magazine. He taught nonfiction writing and journalism at the university level for 10 years. He holds a Ph.D. in American studies.