The 7 Best Lawn Rollers

Updated March 28, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

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Planning on installing a putting green? Do you just like the appearance of an ultra flat surface? Then look no further than our compilation of recommended lawn rollers for the garden you desire. Simpler applications include installing new sod or preparing the ground for landscaping. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best lawn roller on Amazon.

7. Agri-Fab 45-0267

6. Brinly PRT-36BH 690 Pound

5. Agri-Fab 45-0268 Poly

4. Agri-Fab 45-0269 Poly

3. Bon 84-203 Steel

2. Brinly PRC-24BH Combination

1. Brinly PRT-48SBH

When To Roll A Lawn

Rolling a lawn can have many benefits, provided you know how, when, and what type of lawn or soil should be rolled. Despite common beliefs, rolling a lawn is not always helpful. There are many scenarios in which doing so can actually cause damage or hinder root growth. For example, if you have clay soil, rolling will cause unwanted compaction that can takes years to undo. Rolling a lawn won't do anything to smooth out uneven patches, either. So, if that is your intent, don't buy a lawn roller. They are intended to firm or to smoothe the top few inches of soil.

If you plan on seeding a new lawn, a roller can be an invaluable tool. Before you start to lay your seed, you should use a roller to smooth out the soil. This helps to ensure your seed spreads evenly, with less clumping. After seeding, it is beneficial to run a light roller over the area to set the seeds in place. Rolling is also useful when laying new sod. After you have laid the sod, running a roller over it will eliminate excessive air pockets and promote root implantation. However, you should never use a heavy roller on new seed or sod. Rolling your established lawn before mowing can help you get a more even cut, as well. It is a great way to get a professionally manicured look, without actually having to pay the professionals.

Rolling is also beneficial to newly seeded flower beds that have loose soil or that don't get regular watering. Overly loose, dry soil is not conducive to seed germination or seedling development. Slightly compacting the soil gives the plants a better chance at thriving.

In cold weather climates, lawn rollers can be used to minimize desiccation at the end of winter and the beginning of spring. Pressing frost-heaved plants back down into the soil can prevent their root structure from continuing to dry out. It may also motivate quicker root implantation. Fall-seeded lawns and sparse turf areas often need early spring rolling as they generally experience the most frost-heaving.

How To Properly Roll A Lawn

Now that you have a firm understanding of the correct times to roll a lawn, it's time to learn how to properly roll a lawn. Generally speaking, you should roll a lawn when the soil is dry, though there is one scenario where rolling slightly damp soil is essential to healthy grass growth.

When laying new sod, you should start by removing an preexisting vegetation and then leveling your soil. Despite what many believe, lawn rollers will not help level a lawn. The only way to do this is to remove or add layers of soil. A lawn roller can help you identify uneven patches of ground, however. Simply level the soil as best you can, then run your roller over it to check for lumps.

After you have leveled your lawn and removed any existing vegetation or debris, it is time to till the soil with fertilizer. Next, go over the dirt a couple of times with the roller to compact the soil. Do this until the soil is smooth and your feet no longer sink into when you walk on it, then lay the sod. After laying the sod, water the grass just enough to dampen it a bit. Water is essential for sod roots to establish themselves quickly. Make sure not to flood the area, as excess water can actually be detrimental to new root growth and cause root rot. Finally, make one or two passes over the new sod with a light roller to press the roots into the ground.

Planting and rolling new seed follows much the same process, with just a few key differences. As with sodding, remove any extraneous vegetation and debris and level the area. Then, roll the ground to smooth out the soil. Next, spread your seed with a seed spreader. After spreading your seed, roll the soil one more time, before watering it. Watering newly seeded soil before rolling can cause too much compaction, making it difficult for new seedlings to take root. After rolling, water the area enough to dampen the soil, but not enough to flood the area, which can cause seeds to get washed away.

Choosing The Right Type Of Grass For Your Climate And Conditions

No matter how well you care for your lawn, if you don't plant the proper type of grass seed for your climate and growing conditions, it will never thrive. The first step is to determine which zone you live in: cool season, warm season, or the transition zone.

After determining your zone and identifying which varieties of grass grow best in that zone, you need to take the conditions of your lawn into account. Each grass variety grows best in certain applications. For example, Buffalo grass and Bahia grass are both warm season grasses, but each thrives in different growing conditions. Buffalo grass can withstand near freezing temperatures for short periods of time, making it better suited to northern regions within the warm season zone. It can also withstand extended periods of drought. Bahia grass does extremely well in full sun areas and has little problem adapting to sandy or acidic soil. Unlike Buffalo grass, it doesn't handle cold temperatures very well and needs regular watering.

In addition to climate and water availability, soil pH plays a major role in how well certain grasses grow. Test your soil's pH to find out if your soil is more acidic or more alkaline and make sure to buy a grass variety that adapts well to that type of soil. Other considerations should be how much maintenance you want to put into your lawn and how much traffic it will encounter. After looking at all of these factors, you will be in a better position to choose the correct type of grass for your needs.


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Last updated on March 28, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.


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