What is a Lawn Roller and Should You Use One?
A lawn roller may not be a staple item found in most homeowner’s tool or garden sheds, but lawn rollers can be an effective way to keep your lawn looking its best and add to the look of your garden decor. A lawn roller works by smoothing out the surface of your lawn so that it looks great and grows well. Lawn rollers not only smooth the surface under the grass or sod that is laid but they also help to urge new growth by helping the seed or sod adhere to the soil beneath so that strong roots can begin to develop.
How do you use a lawn roller?
Using a lawn roller is a fairly simply process. If you already have an established lawn but find that you have bumps or bulges in the ground that you would like to flatten out, cut into the lawn just outside of the bulging area and gently pull back the area of the lawn where the bulge occurs. Remove enough extra soil so that when the section of lawn is replaced it lies flat. Then use a lawn roller to completely flatten the area to make it level with the surrounding area and to reestablish a good connection between the grass and the soil so that the roots can continue to develop well.
If you are getting a new lawn going from scratch, a lawn roller is a smart way to get your yard well established. Whether you are planting from seed or laying sod, a garden lawn roller should be used to smooth out the dirt before seed or sod is initially laid. Then once it is laid out, the seed or sod should be watered and then a lawn roller should be used to gently push the seed or sod into the underlying soil so that a strong bond is formed. This will help with strong root development, and ensure that grass seed will not easily blow away and will help your sod to adhere to the underlying soil for healthy growth. You can even add a bit of the best fertilizer for an extra boost in growth.
What type of lawn roller should you use?
There are a variety of lawn roller types and which type you use will in part depend on what you are doing to your lawn. If you are purchasing a lawn roller to occasionally smooth out sections of your lawn or to keep your lawn looking its best, you can probably get away with a push lawn roller. These are not quite as heavy or effective as a commercial lawn roller, but if you are not reseeding or sodding your whole lawn, they should do the trick. For very small sections of lawn, you can even use a hand lawn roller to smooth out the areas. And a quick tip, it’s even better if you scarify your lawn before rolling it for an even healthier lawn.
If you need a more heavy duty lawn roller because you are embarking on a large project or have a very uneven lawn, then you may want to consider a commercial lawn roller rental, since they are rather expensive to purchase and unless you are using them over and over probably do not pay to buy. Commercial models include heavy steel lawn rollers and concrete lawn rollers.
If you are only using a lawn roller for an occasional project, even if it’s not a large project, you may still not want to go out and purchase a new lawn roller. In that case, you can sometimes find a used lawn roller for sale, either at a yard sale or advertised online through a site like craigslist or a similar type site.
Another option is to make a homemade lawn roller. If you can find a large drum or round container, you can fill it with dirt, sand or water to weigh it down and then roll it across your lawn. This will not be as easy as a professional model, but will work well for small areas without the expense of having to buy or rent a lawn roller. Water filled lawn rollers are the easiest to construct because the water can be easily added and removed when needed and water offers the weight required to smooth out the lawn.
Another option is a lawn mower roller attachment which is available to attach to some models of lawn mowers. The lawnmower roller allows a heavy cylindrical roller to be attached to the lawn mower so that the mower can be used to propel the lawn roller. This is not an option that is widely available on many lawn mower models, however.
Other uses for a lawn roller:
Another use for a lawn roller is as an aerator. A lawn roller aerator is a device that looks like a lawn roller but has evenly spaced spikes along the cylinder to remove plugs of grass and soil in the lawn as it rolls over it. This is beneficial for the health of the lawn because lawn aeration helps lawns to breathe and aids in strong root growth.
Lawn rollers can also be used to smooth out areas of dirt or soil before laying patio slabs or other block paving stones.