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Lawn Rolling?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by sulston, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. sulston

    sulston LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    Hey guys I need some advice. I have a customer who wants their lawn rolled for the fact that it is rather bumpy, which in fact it is. Now I know that a lot of you guys are against lawn rolling because of the compaction thing which I completely understand but I'm looking for some advice on what to tell this customer. I know that the lawn did not get aerated for the last 2 years so should I agree to roll it but recommend an aeration with it? Or should I just tell him it's really not a good idea, but then what do I do about the bumpiness? Is there a better way to fix that problem? Any advice is greatly appreciated, I'm just not sure how to go about this. If I'm going to tell him it shouldn't be rolled I'm going to need a good explanation as to why, more than just it compacts the soil. Thanks a lot.
  2. jeffinsgf

    jeffinsgf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    Aerate and top dress would be a better approach. The top dressing material will gravitate to the low spots, wash off the high spots and amend the soil at the same time.
  3. ncls

    ncls LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 442

    Roll the lawn. Customer wants it. Whether you or someone else does it, it will get done. The customer's wallet is always right.:)
  4. sulston

    sulston LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    On the contrary, this is a very loyal customer whom I've had for 5 years now, a good friend of the family for 3 times as long, who values my opinion and trusts my judgement. If I recommend not to roll his lawn, I'm quite sure he won't be getting his lawn rolled, however, I'd like to offer him some good reasoning as to why I don't recommend it. And on top of that I try to build my business on honesty, respect, and expert knowledge on building and maintaining healthy lawns. If I don't believe it would benefit a lawn's health, I would never do something just to make a few extra dollars, plus it would be counter-productive for me when my goal is to create the healthiest lawns possible for my customers. Thanks for the opinion though.
  5. Focal Point Landscapes

    Focal Point Landscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 401

    I like your last response ..... the answer to your question depends on how bad the bumps are , how long the sod has been there , type of soil ,etc. If this is an established lawn , a lawn roller would have little effect - if it were recently sodded , it would help. But jeffinsgf has the only good answer - topdressing with soil or soil and sand mix is about the only way to correct the grade on an established lawn . It is a small job or a huge job , depending on the size of the lawn and the extent of the 'bumpiness'. Good luck on the repair.
  6. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,910

    I'm 80 miles north of you. Roll the lawn it's what we do here. Sell him on aeration later if you can. If you don't roll it someone else will and his opinion of you will also go. We likely have 50 lawns to do when it gets dry enough.
  7. sulston

    sulston LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    OK so say I do roll the lawn. I was planning on doing an aeration/topdressing/overseeding in the fall because I think that's a much better time to do that and I already have others lined up for the fall, would that be waiting too long after the rolling in the spring to counteract the compaction, like is there a possibility I'd see some sort of negative impact on the lawn this summer? Keep in mind it hasn't been aerated in 2-3 years. You obviously do a lot of rolling, do you ever notice any negative impact on the lawn after you do it, and how often do you aerate the same lawn you roll? I just don't want to create any unnecessary problems. Thanks for the info.
  8. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,910

    sulston, I've never aerated a lawn for a paying customer. I live in farm country it just doesn't happen here. The only guys that aerate are the Weed Man and Enviromasters. A few people do their own lawns with rental machines. The lawn will be fine waiting until fall. I have a customer with a private 4 acre golf course and every year he has a guy with a 6' wide highway pavement roller do the course. He has never aerated it and it grows good. They roll it to make it smooth.

    Before the southern guys chime in do a little test. Get two tupperware containers, put some topsoil in them add some seed then sprinkle 1/2" of topsoil on top. Leave the one loose and the other pack down fairly hard with the palm of your hand. See which one sprouts first them see if you can tell the difference in three weeks. Farmers roll wheat and grain crops all the time, think they don't know what they are doing?
    Where do you live in London? I was at Associated Auctions on Tuesday night. I buy quite abit of stuff there.
  9. sulston

    sulston LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    Thanks for the info Cantoo, much appreciated. I hear what you're saying and you obviously have the experience to back it up. I think I'm going to go ahead with the rolling this spring and then do as I planned in the fall with the aerating. I can't believe you have never done any aerating though, I do believe that it is very beneficial for a lawn, whether it gets rolled or not, and there's good money in it too. I guess it definitely depends where you live though and peoples views on thing. Where abouts are you located, I'm just on the east side of London. My biggest problem with rolling is that I have taken soil classes and I have been taught of the serious detriments of soil compaction over and over again, that being said I have no experience with rolling so that's all it is, is theory, and there's a lot to be said about experience. Anyway thanks again and take care.
  10. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,910

    I live 80 miles north of you on highway #21 halfway between Goderich and Kincardine. My brother in law is in Polar Hill. We're in london for sales every couple of weeks. Gardners sale is the 28th but I also have two other sales that day so not sure if I'll be there.
    I have 4 or 5 aerators but don't use them other than to play on my own property. I have a 48" front mount one for my Steiner and 3 or 4 for my tractor 3 point hitch. I have a 48" pull behind with hydraulic lift. If you get the Tri ad I usually have 10 to 20 ads in it.
    I hear you on the lawn rolling but around here if you plan on staying on your seat you better roll. Just make sure the lawn isn't real wet or heavy clay and you should be fine. I rolled the bottom section of my lawn with 6" of standing water several years ago and there was no difference to the eye anyway. I am trying to find the time to make a front mounted roller for my Steiner.

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