Rolling sod after installation

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by dstew_mo, Apr 2, 2004.

  1. dstew_mo

    dstew_mo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Should sod be rolled over after installation to get all the air out? I will have a pro install my new yard and they highly recommend this step, and of course they charge extra $$$ for it. I remember this being done when I first purchased my house. Does this make a big difference? I am a penny pincher now and i would like to save some of my hard earned money.
  2. mbricker

    mbricker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    Get the air out? Is that what they told you? Well, I suppose in a sense that's what the roller does--it presses the sod roots down for good contact with the soil. It also smoothes out some of the ridges and lumps. Are you going to mow this lawn yourself? There is a definite difference in quality of cut achievable on a smooth sod job vs. a sloppy job. But if you picked your sod layers by low price, I doubt you will get a good job. All sod is not laid equal, contrary to what some might think.
  3. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    Absolutely you should roll it after installation. We get our installs slightly damp then roll. Like Mbrker said it's for good soil contact. You shouldn't count on rolling to take out any bumps ...that should be taken care of before the sod goes down.
    He is going to charge you extra? Of course the cost of rolling is built into our sod installs but to have it as an option is ridiculous. It should not be an is a necessity! Sounds like your dealing with a half azz company ...perhaps your getting what you paid for. A half azz job.
  4. myoder

    myoder LawnSite Member
    Messages: 140

    What company makes a ride on roller for sod? I was reading a sod installation manual and it tells you to use a ride on roller rather than one you push by hand so you don't disturb the sod you just laid with your feet from pushing and pulling... where can I find a roller like this?
  5. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    We use a power roller but not the kind you sit on . That size of roller would be overkill for your basic residential job IMO.
  6. myoder

    myoder LawnSite Member
    Messages: 140

    What does the power roller look like and what is it? Stupid questions.... thanks I thought I would be overkill too but i was just curious
  7. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    This is a picture of the brand we have ... a brower . Now that I see a picture of the 2 side by side a seat to sit on may be okay... the roller itself doesn't look any bigger
  8. Harry0

    Harry0 LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 220

    We irrigate heavy after instalation of sod. We do not roll ever. We have sandy soil here and Ihave never had any problems with sodding. Maybe with heavier soils there is a need-Harry
  9. grassredneck

    grassredneck LawnSite Member
    Messages: 150

    Let me start off by saying I'm a small operation so this may just apply to the smaller jobs. If you prep the ground properly enough. You most likely won't have to roll it. One of the main reasons for irrigating so thoroughly is to wash some of the dirt from the sod dn to the surface which helps root development and does also fill in gaps. I would like to avoid creating compaction stress (more of an issue w/fescue) w/my new sod however insignificant it may be. I've rolled only one sod job and it didn't seem to make a difference so haven't used that roller again. There may be some special circumstance but I haven't ran into a situation where I thought it was necessary. 95% of my time on a sod job is prepping the ground. I have ran into situations where I have some hollow spaces with the hard Ga clay so I just fill in those w/sand-top soil mix. Typically, I only install 7 pallets or less on my jobs so there may be some advantages for a roller on the bigger jobs. Only use the rolls-have found the squares to be too time consuming and the use of the rolls means less seams=less weeds . Then again, it seems as if I'm a little high on bidding sod jobs so I explained to a few cust that I go the extra mile on the prep w/a layer of top soil and sand if it's called for and it frequently is here in Ga
  10. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    You have two things going on here. One is soil/root contact and the other is compaction. At first, sod roots have so little soil contact that it must be kept moist from the top. It will not draw water from the soil below until the roots get growing down into it. At the same time, any voids under the sod will dry it out and kill those roots.

    In most cases, if you have a finely graded surface and a carefully installed sod lawn there will not be any voids after the soaking from watering. If you use a heavy roller on a soil that compacts easily, you make it moredifficult for those sod roots to get quickly and deeply established in the soil. The problem is magnified because the sod roots are receiving so much water from above that the roots are not chasing water deeply into the soil.

    One of the biggest complaints about sod lawns is that they are shallow rooted. One of the reasons why they are shallow rooted is the methods that we use to install them. The second is how we manage water after installation. If the water comes on every day, it is always on the surface and that is where the roots will grow. If water is not always on the top, the surface roots can't sustain. If moisture is present deeper, roots in that area will continue to develop. The result is a deeper rooted lawn that has a better survivabilty during dryer and hotter conditions.

    Mowing short also slows the necessity of deeper rooted grass while longer grass tends to root in deeper and protects the surface of the soil from drying out.

    None of this matters if the grading is rough and the sod is thrown down. In that case, I'd roll.

Share This Page