Garden Roller Tips & Advice

A garden roller looks a bit like a mini steam roller and it's a wonderful device for getting an unruly lawn flat and even.

Here are a few tips and words of advice which we hope will prove useful for anyone thinking of buying their first or roller, or even if you own one already.

  • The ideal time to use a roller is after a fall or rain when the ground will be moist and soft - using a roller when your lawn if very dry is definitely not a good idea. Equally a roller should not be used on a very wet lawn as this can compact the soild below and impair aeration.

  • A pressure washer is great for cleaning a garden roller drum when it has dry soil ground into it. A quick blast with a jet hose will remove stubborn dirt and debris that has built up on the main rolling drum.

  • Consider carefully which type and size of roller is best for you before buying - if you have a small or medium-sized lawn, a water or sand-filled polyethylene roller will probably be perfect for your needs - and also easier to use than a heavy-duty steel roller which weighs considerably more. On the other hand, if you have a very large lawn a tow-behind roller may be a far better option as trying to roll it with a manual roller with be back-breaking work and will take a considerable amount of time.

  • Garden rollers, particularly manual steel models or tow-along rollers, are extremely heavy and therefore pose a potential risk to young children. Therefore, it is imperative that babies, infants and toddlers are watched over carefully by an adult if they are in an area where a lawn roller is being used.

  • A garden roller is useful for preparing a hard surface for families who like to play outdoor games on a large lawn area such as bowls, putting or croquet.

  • It's important to take soil type into account before rolling a lawn. Rolling will not cause harm to sandy soil but frequent rolling can prove detrimental to clay by restricting air flow and damaging the structure of the soil. It can also sometimes result in pools of water on the surface.

  • A lawn roller is useful for creating the stripes we've all seen on football pitches and other grassed sporting settings. These stripes have an appealing look of uniformity and can create the illusion that a lawn is longer and greener.

  • These gardening devices come in handy for dealing with frost heaving that has been caused by freezing temperatures. Heaving presents itself as swelling of the lawn due to the presence of ice. The bumps and ridges which are caused look very ugly but using a roller on them in spring can usually remove them.

  • A garden roller is a great way to flatten mounds of soil cause by burrowing rodents - they are also ideal for dealing with unsightly mole hills!

  • Using a roller on freshly-laid turf will help get rid of air pockets and assist the sod roots to bind into the soil below. When the sods have taken root, rolling again will encourage the roots to expand.

  • You should never overuse a garden roller as this can stress your lawn and damage your grass, especially in the summer time.