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To roll or not to roll?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by lewdo, Mar 25, 2006.

  1. lewdo

    lewdo LawnSite Member
    Posts: 86

    I wanted to pose this question to all of our experts. I read a post earlier about a lawn renovation and was kind of puzzled by the amount of comments about NOT rolling a lawn after reseeding.

    I don't have the years of experience that many of you have, but I am a degreed horticulturist. In my studies I was taught that when seeding it was imperative that the area be rolled after seeding. This is required for good 'seed to soil contact'.

    I might have misunderstood the other posts or maybe that they were only referring to not rolling lawn after over seeding.

    Please give your opinions.

  2. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,697

    You can roll a seed bed to insure good seed to soil contact, but it should be done with a light roller. Or you can do what I do - instead of rolling, I rake the area lightly to ensure seed to soil contact. Most of the recent threads were on rolling a lawn to remove frost heaves or other soil imperfections, especially in the spring when soil moisture is at it's highest. Rolling lawns in the spring causes more problems than they fix, both long and short term, and should be avoided.
  3. chriscraft

    chriscraft LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 390

    When we do our rennovations we do not slit seed. We ahve solid clay under all our homes under 35 years old. we do multiple aerationd (4) then seed . we have hundreds of thousands core plugs all over. we then seed and topdress b4 rolling to plant the seed lvl the turf and flatten the 1/2 million plugs . any seed not in the aeration holes is them permanently affixed to the plugs and becomes almost part of the top most layer. We find in this way that wind birds wash out will not occur after seeding. We do not roll lawns unelss we rennovate, and if the customers insists on rolling for a bumpy lawn we will not do it on dry soil and will never never roll a lawn unless we aerate it 1st. You cant roll dirt into dirt, its like putting 2 gallons of milk in a 1 galllon container.
  4. baddboygeorge

    baddboygeorge LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,249

    we seed straw an roll been doing it that way for 20 plus years works well try it!! see ya george
  5. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,226

    what kind of renovation are you talking about? if your talking complete rip out and start over how much more seed soil contact can you get. slit seeding the seeds are droped in the grooves. aeration the seed is broadcasted in the holes.

    as for the advice chriscraft has been givin on rolling totally wrong.
  6. chriscraft

    chriscraft LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 390

    Our rennovations are taking an existing poor lawn (thin) and giving it a makeover , so to speek. 4 aerations, 6-8 lbs of seed per 1000, 40lbs of gypsum arounf here (all caly) per 1,000. starter fert, topdressing (1 yard per 1,000), and rolling. We do not do complete tearoffs, if we did we would sod. it works well for us
  7. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,697

    You better be doing soil testing! I've tested hundreds of soils (in college) in your area for years and have NEVER found a sample in that part of Mich. to have acidic soils. In fact, most of the clay soils in that area are in the 7 -7.8ph range. They need acidifying!!!
  8. chriscraft

    chriscraft LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 390

    We use lime for ph specifiacally, calcium sulfate for the breaking up of clay soils. MIch State recommends 100 lbs per 1,000 sq feet for heavily clayed soils, we use 40. as for ph on lost of our soils we do test and they range from 6.5-7.5
  9. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,697

    For lawns in that part of MI, the optimum ph is 6.2- 6.5. Why would you be liming a lawn that is at the upper end (6.5ph) of the optimum spectrum??? As far as for relieving clay soils, gypsum is ph nuetral and should have no effect on soil ph.
  10. chriscraft

    chriscraft LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 390

    Did i say we lime lawns that are 6.5 ? i diddnt say that. i said if we use lime specifically to raise ph, so if a fescue prefers a ph of 7,0 and the soil under heavily shaded pine areas is 5.9 or near large arborvites we would use lime to correct the ph suitable for the specific cool season grass we use. We use gypsum specifically for heavily clayed soils. our ph tests on our mich lawns in our area are always 6.0-7.0 and the ones we use gypsum on twice a year 40# per 1,000 are still in that range

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