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When many gardeners mention a lawn roller, they immediately think of large tools that are used to guide and level the lawn. Rolling used to be a typical care step for the domestic grass area, which is nowadays usually only used after the seed has been sown. For this reason, lawn owners are wondering whether this method makes sense at all and whether it can be used later if it was forgotten after sowing.

rolling the lawn

Does lawn rolling make sense or not? This question is often discussed among gardeners and lawn owners. Since the lawn roller leaves a noticeable effect on the ground, it is not recommended to use it in every case. The meaningful use depends on the respective situation. It is not always advisable to use the roller, as it deteriorates the structure of certain soils. The following points address each situation that is a good starting point for leveling the ground:

After sowing

It is always advisable to roll the lawn after the seed has been distributed, as this works it deeper into the soil and is not easily blown away or found food for birds. In addition, there are fewer run-offs, which can typically be caused by watering after sowing. For this reason, rollers are indispensable when laying out a new lawn.

even out unevenness

If your soil is quite loose and this creates bumps, this can lead to numerous hollows. In this case, you should use the roller to touch it up. Unevenness can be repaired very easily with the roller, as the weight distributes excess soil and thus fills holes. If you need to level out unevenness, you should use the roller either before sowing, for example when preparing the soil, or immediately after mowing. After mowing, you can often see how uneven some areas of the lawn are due to a loose soil structure.


Likewise, rolling is an excellent means of improving pest-infested soil. Especially voles and the classic visitors to the lawn, moles, should be mentioned here. These are known for their eager digging of the ground, which is reflected in numerous bumps and embankments. Thanks to the constant force, these are repaired and the animals are disturbed in their work without injuring them. This method is only used when necessary. As soon as the first signs of rooting activity appear again, you should reach for the roller, because that is the best time for it.

It becomes a problem when you have moist or heavy soil that compacts quickly. In this case it would be pointless to roll, otherwise the soil will be even more compacted. In the long run, this leads to extreme compaction of the lawn, which means that a dense lawn cannot form. Therefore, it does not make sense to roll already compacted lawns. It is also not recommended if your lawn is suffering from a disease or infection. Mushrooms in particular are problematic here. So be sure to check the condition of your lawn before using it.

tip: If you don't want to use a roller, you can rake the entire area after sowing and thus achieve the same effect. The individual tines work the seeds well into the soil while the soil spreads easily, creating a naturally level surface.

Roll afterwards

The question of whether it is possible to work the lawn with the roller afterwards is often more important. For example, if you forgot to carry out this work step after sowing, you will definitely want to reach for the roller. But you should be careful here, because even then the timing has to be right. As described above, you may only roll directly after sowing or mowing. For this reason you should wait until the first mowing after sowing, which depends on the height of the stalks:

  • Decorative lawn: 8 to 8.5 centimeters
  • Sports turf: 7 to 7.5 centimeters
  • Shade lawn: about 10 centimeters

In this way you can determine exactly when the subsequent use of the lawn roller is possible. The problem with the subsequent use of the roller is the following:

  • Soil can compact
  • Seed is removed
  • soil dries up

It is ideal if you treat the area with the roller within a day after sowing. You shouldn't wait any longer. After that, you'll have to wait a few weeks until it's time to mow. After this you can apply the roller. You should not walk on the lawn too much while you are waiting until this appointment, as this can lead to abrasions. Sown seeds can be removed with a lot of movement, resulting in gaps in the lawn. Don't forget to water the lawn extensively during the waiting time. To prevent further unevenness during rolling, you should note the following:

  • do not drive tight corners
  • long lanes recommended
  • crosswise and lengthwise

You should pay attention to these points, especially with loose soils, as they can be quite sensitive to the weight and shape of the roller.

tip: If you don't have your own lawn roller, you can alternatively use a board and place it directly on the ground. Now stand on the board and gently stomp back and forth to flatten the soil and incorporate the grass seeds into the soil.

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