Should I Roll My Lawn?
Will Rolling My Lawn Flatten It Out?
Surprisingly, a person rolling a lawn looks very similar to a Gnome rolling a lawn.
From time to time, we will get requests to roll a lawn. Most often people want their lawn rolled because it is uneven and they want to level it out. It does seem to make sense that, when a lawn is lumpy, bumpy or uneven, rolling would flatten out the high spots. Unfortunately, rolling a lawn causes more problems than it solves.
So, Why Shouldn’t I Roll My Lawn?
First, a roller like the one that the Gnome is using will not do much to flatten the high spots. It will only flatten about a half inch of the soil and it doesn’t do anything to fill in the low spots.
What the rolling will do is compact the soil in the vicinity of the root-zone. This is bad for your grass and the root zone.
Compaction does several things to your lawn – and none are good. A healthy lawn needs air and water to circulate through the soil – and compacted soil reduces this circulation. Compacted soil also makes it harder for roots to grow and spread out in search of water and nutrients.
Drainage issues can also arise when water cannot easily soak into the compacted soil. Heavily compacted soil will sometimes create areas of standing water.
Rolling the lawn, especially in the spring when grass is just beginning with lawn recovery after a long winter, can also harm the grass.
Aeration – The Opposite of Compacting a Lawn
Aeration is the process of pulling small plugs of soil out of the lawn which loosens up the lawn. All lawns should be aerated annually.
To fix a bumpy lawn, the best thing to do is to aerate the lawn. The process of aeration will help to create extra space for air, water, and nutrients to filter more easily into the soil. This process not only helps with the overall health of the lawn, but also encourages the bumpy areas in a lawn to even out and settle naturally.
Does it Help to Roll a Lawn after Seeding?
Again, it seems to make sense that rolling your lawn after seeding would help the seed-soil contact (which is important). However, it would be better to take a leaf-rake and lightly rake over the seed to incorporate it into the soil. You do not want to bury the seed – you should still see the seed after raking – the raking will just give the seed more contact with the soil. Rolling over the seed will compact the soil which will make it harder for the new grass roots to grow into the soil.
So don’t be a Gnome!
You now have plenty of reasons to skip the chore of rolling your lawn!
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