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Rolling and aerating

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by PHS, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. PHS

    PHS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 724

    I have a few lawns that have suffered from over watering in the past and as a consequence are rutted and divoted from mower wheels and foot traffic. They aren't very big areas, 2K-4K sqft. Later in the spring I was thinking about a selling these customers a 3 step process of renting a water filled lawn roller to flatten out turf area, following up with core aerating (to eleviate general compaction and that caused by rolling), and then topdressing. These are lower maintenance residential lawns.

    My question is if one of those hand rollers is heavy enough (approx. 250# , 24" wide) to do a decent job (assuming the soil is moist)?
  2. Lawncop26

    Lawncop26 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 90

    what shape is the lawn in now, besides what you have stated above? Is there a budget or price range you wish to stay within? Are these lawns in the same area?, I ask because there may be a drainage problem which should be addressed, I find it difficult to see how a sprinkler(assuming no irrigation) caused this damage. I dont think I would use a lawn roller, definately, aerate and topdress, maybe a little more heavy on the topdressing on the wheel marks and foot traffic. Got any pics?
  3. PHS

    PHS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 724

    I was just trying to give some background into what the site is like and these are newly aquired customers. We average 5" of rain per month year around so if you add 3 or 4 days per week of irrigation on top of that so it's prime for damage anytime you walk on it. To get the drainage rate to the point that it could accept that amount of water isn't really in the cards. I wouldn't call the soil poorly drained to begin with but there is surface compaction that needs to be addressed (aeration & topdressing). I don't have any pics but the ridges and divots that I want to flatten out are mostly an inch or less.

    I haven't discussed budgets with them but it's not high. These are just regular low-maintenance residential lawns. I do full-service landscape maintenance with them anyway and could probably get them to plunk down another $300 but nowhere near enough to do a full-scale renovation unless it was really necessary. I was thinking $75-$100 for each of the 3 services. That in combination with the changed; proper irrigation, proper mowing height, and the IPM services the lawn should respond nicely.
  4. turfcobob

    turfcobob LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 878

    PHS, Before you go to the rolling trouble and compact the lawn you may want to try aerating the lawn. Lots, multiple passes and then dragging the lawn. Use a keystone mat and it will move the cores into the low spots as it breaks them up. You may also try top dressing and dragging if the low spots are really bad. But several applications of multi-pass aeration and dragging will level most unruly lawns. I wouls use rolliing only as a very last resort due to the compaction.
  5. PSUturf

    PSUturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 663

    A lawn roller is usually not heavy enough to smooth out ruts in the lawn. A roller that is heavy enough would create some serious compaction. I would aerify and topdress the bad ruts.
  6. PHS

    PHS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 724

    That makes sense. Thanks guys. I'll skip the rolling.

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