Lawn Rolling: What It Is and Should You Do It

What is Lawn Rolling?

Lawn rolling involves rolling a heavy cylinder over the lawn to press down and flatten the soil and grass. This serves several purposes:

  • Flattens out any bumps, dips, or inconsistent areas to level the lawn
  • Pushes grass seed into better contact with the soil for improved germination
  • Removes air pockets in the soil to encourage deeper root growth
  • Compacts and firms up loose soil for a more stable surface
  • Smooths the lawn for a consistent, even appearance

Lawn rollers are typically filled with water or sand to make them heavy and provide maximum compaction. Hand-powered and tractor-pulled models are available. The weight of the roller compacts the soil as it rolls over the lawn.

When Should You Roll a Lawn?

The main times to use a lawn roller include:

During Lawn Installation

Rolling a newly laid sod lawn helps adhere the grass tightly to the soil below. It removes air gaps under the sod that can dry it out. Rolling pressed seed into the soil also improves contact for better germination.

After Aeration

A core aeration treatment pulls plugs out of the lawn to relieve compaction. Rolling afterwards will flatten the lawn and push the soil cores back into the holes.

Before Overseeding

A lawn roller can push existing grass down to allow better seed-to-soil contact when overseeding thin or bare areas. The rolling presses the seed into the soil for better germination.

To Flatten Bumps

Occasional rolling helps smooth out any soil heaving or inconsistent areas that may develop over time. It levels the surface for an even, consistent lawn.

Pros of Lawn Rolling

Some potential benefits of using a lawn roller include:

  • Evens out an uneven lawn with bumps or dips
  • Provides a smooth, consistent surface for mowing and play
  • Pushes seeds into better contact with soil to aid germination
  • Removes air pockets that can dry out sod or inhibit root growth
  • Firms up loose, soft soils for better stability underfoot
  • Compacts soil after aeration to flatten cores back into holes
  • Gives sod a flattened, adhered appearance after installation

Cons of Lawn Rolling

Some drawbacks or disadvantages to lawn rolling include:

  • Can excessively compact soil if overdone, inhibiting root growth
  • Doesn’t affect thatch buildup below the grass blades
  • May not significantly impact lawn smoothness in all cases
  • Offers only a temporary solution to bumps that may reappear
  • Can push weed seeds further into soil potentially aiding germination
  • Hand-powered rollers require labor to move across the lawn

Lawn Rolling Tips

  • Only use a roller on dry soil, not when wet or overly saturated
  • Make 2-3 passes in different directions for thorough coverage
  • Adjust roller weight if needing more or less compaction
  • Perform in early spring or fall on actively growing, non-dormant grass
  • Alternate rolling with aeration to avoid excessive soil compaction
  • Test a small area first to ensure the desired smoothing effect
  • Let newly rolled sod or seed areas dry before watering again
  • Roll sod immediately after installing for maximum adhesion

Should You Roll Your Lawn?

Lawn rolling can provide some benefits but may not be necessary in all cases. Healthy lawns with an even appearance typically do not require rolling. It offers the most value on new installations or bumpy areas. The drawbacks of compaction also need consideration.

Focus more on proper mowing, watering, fertilization, and aeration practices for improved smoothness. But targeted rolling is a valid technique when preparing to seed or lay new sod. It can help adhere and establish the grass. Just take care not to overdo it.

Evaluate your specific lawn conditions and needs. Rolling likely makes the most sense as a periodic maintenance practice on uneven spots or as part of lawn renovations. But the effects are often temporary. For many lawns, proper ongoing care provides adequate smoothness without rolling.

Frequently Asked Questions About Lawn Rolling

How much does a lawn roller weigh?

Lawn rollers are typically 100-150 lbs when empty. Filling them with water or sand can add 500-1000 lbs for a total weight of 600 to 1,150 lbs. Hand-powered models may weigh around 75-100 lbs total.

When is the best time to roll a lawn?

Aim to roll in early spring as growth resumes or early fall prior to winter dormancy. Avoid rolling during summer heat or on frozen winter soil. The grass should be actively growing for best response.

How long should you roll a new lawn?

Make 2-3 passes over a newly laid sod lawn for about 15-20 minutes total rolling time. Go in different directions to get thorough soil compression. Excessive rolling can be damaging.

Can rolling a lawn flatten mole hills?

Yes, lawn rolling is an effective way to temporarily flatten and smooth mole hills and tunnels. The weight presses the displaced soil back down. Fill deeper tunnels before rolling.

Should you roll a lawn before or after mowing?

For best results, roll the lawn before mowing. This allows the grass blades to stand upright to get flattened by the roller. Mowing after rolling can remove some of the soil contact.

Can over-rolling a lawn be harmful?

Yes, excessive rolling can overly compact soil, reduce oxygen levels, and inhibit root growth. This can weaken the grass over time. Alternate rolling with aeration to avoid compaction issues.

Does rolling a lawn help with drainage?

Rolling minimally impacts drainage. It may temporarily flatten areas that collect water. But compaction can reduce infiltration. Focus more on aeration if drainage is a major concern.

Will lawn rolling remove bumps permanently?

No, lawn rolling typically provides temporary smoothing of bumps. The soil and grass can rebound over time. Proper maintenance and occasional re-rolling help sustain results.


Lawn rolling can provide a useful smoothing effect on bumpy spots or newly laid sod if done properly. But many lawns have adequate smoothness without rolling when cared for correctly. Consider your specific conditions and needs. Targeted, periodic rolling has valid benefits but should not be overdone. Weigh the pros and cons, and combine rolling with aeration and proper cultural practices for best lawn quality.

What is Plagiarism

Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s work or ideas as your own, without proper acknowledgement or citation. Some examples of plagiarism include:

  • Copying text or content word-for-word without using quotation marks and citing the source.
  • Paraphrasing someone else’s writing without properly crediting the original author.
  • Using statistics, facts, or other information without acknowledging where you obtained them.
  • Submitting someone else’s work, such as an essay or assignment, as your own.
  • Reproducing images, videos, or other media without permission and/or attribution of the source.
  • Purchasing a paper online and turning it in as if you wrote it yourself.

Plagiarism is considered unethical, academically dishonest, and often illegal. It violates copyright law when material is used without obtaining proper rights and permissions. It also violates academic integrity policies when students submit the work of others as their own original work.

There are serious consequences for plagiarism. Students who plagiarize may fail assignments or entire courses. It can lead to academic probation, suspension, or even expulsion. Professionally, plagiarism damages credibility and reputation. Legal consequences also exist when unlawfully using copyrighted material without proper attribution.

Plagiarism can be avoided simply by acknowledging where information comes from. Any borrowed content from third-party sources must be clearly referenced. All quotations, statistics, and unique ideas not your own should be attributed to the original author and publication. This ethical citing of sources gives proper credit to the authors of the content you are referencing.