Why are customers so obsessed with rolling?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by sulston, Apr 27, 2007.

  1. sulston

    sulston LawnSite Member
    Posts: 52

    OK so this isn't the first time I've posted here about lawn rolling. Previously it was to do with a customer with a bumpy lawn wanting it rolled but I wont go into that. This situation involves a lawn which has some skunk damage and they want it fixed. I was planning on raking it up good to get all the crap out of there then topdressing and overseeding. I've done this in the past and usually just drag a landscape rake over the area I've seeded to get a little better seed to soil contact(I'm just spreading the seed with spreader not an actual machine). So anyway this customer keeps telling me it needs to be rolled also. Do any of you guys roll after you spread the seed to increase that seed/soil contact, does this work better? I've never done it before but I'm pretty sure I've heard talk of it on here before but not quite sure. Can't find anything about it. I appreciate any advice.
     
  2. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,910

    sulston, it's pretty much a standard here too. We use a real light roller to press the seed into the soil. Some guys use a heavy roller but that leads to ridges and it creates more problems. It also helps to keep moisture in the soil. No one uses straw around here so a light packing helps.
    If you are overseeding into grass I would use my heavier roller to keep the worked up area level with the existing grass.
     
  3. sulston

    sulston LawnSite Member
    Posts: 52


    Thanks a lot cantoo, I really appreciate the advice. I am overseeding into grass, it's basically a whole bunch of softball sized spots spread over a maybe 30'x30' area that a skunk decided to dig up. When you say heavy can you give me a rough idea of how heavy you're talking. I have a tow behind roller for my JD that I can fill with sand or water so I can pretty much adjust it to any weight up to about 500lbs. I have hardly any experience with rolling so I really have no idea how much weight I should be putting in this thing. If you could point me in the right direction there I'd appreciate that a lot.
     
  4. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,910

    sulston, the 500 lbs wouldn't be a problem as long as the ground isn't real wet. It will help to keep the soil level. If they are just small spots and only 30 x30 I'm not sure I would waste the time using the roller. Time is money difficult to charge alot for a 30x30 area. I used to have a little 30" wide hand pulled one for small areas.
    My big one that we use for spring rolling is around 1200 lbs when it's filled with water. For grass seeding we don't put the water(900lbs) in it.
     
  5. upidstay

    upidstay LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Posts: 1,357

    I would not roll turf. You're compacting the soil, and that's bad. Aerate and top dress. Rolling is old school, like roto-tilling an area to be re-seeded. Was the thing to do in the 60's, but times change.
     
  6. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,406

    Rolling the turf with a 300lb-500lb roller is putting less pressure on the soil than most adults walking. The weight is distributed over a larger area and can have a gradual smoothing affect on the soil.

    You should still add soil to the skunk tunnels and low spots as they may continue to settle. You should also identify what brought the skunks to that area, which may have been for grubs as a food source.

    Upidstay, why is rototilling no good for seeding and what is your preferred method?

    Kirk
     
  7. upidstay

    upidstay LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Posts: 1,357

    Don't like tilling, because it just seems to stir up weeds. Also makes a big mess, then you have to re-grade, remove rocks and debris. Makes more work than is necessary.
    I prefer to use a slit seeder. If a lawn is shot, spray entire area with round up, let it die, then slit seed in 2 directions, rake off heavy debris, put a light shot of seed down with a broadcast spreader, light shot of lime, label rate of starter. Aerating first is great too. Let the cores sit for a few days, then run the overseeder over it, busts them up and makes a nice seed bed.
     
  8. upidstay

    upidstay LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Posts: 1,357

    One addendum to my last:
    If an area is in very bad shape due to rotten soil, badly compacted,etc., then I like to till. For amending the soil with compost, top soil, and/or for busting up brick hard soil.
     

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