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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
although I expect it will be a couple months yet before I can really do anything much outside - i'm suffering from cabin fever so i'm thinking about the stuff i want to do when its time. Aside from trying out my new toys which include an 8" Brinly moldboard plow and a 36" ford/jake tiller.

I also want to 'Roll" about 3 acreas of old meadowland that i've slowly reclaimed over the years. It was covered with brush when I bought the property. I cleared it with a walk-behind brush hog, then mowed it with a heavy duty JD belly mower, and have been mowing it with a JD 316 for the past two years. Its pretty rough - so i bought a 1000 lb roller to use on it this spring (i'll only fill it about half-full for safety sake). But I don't really know how to use one - when is thye best time to roll the property and what kind of "pattern" should I use?

Thanks!
 

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Well, I don't know that there is a lot of rules regarding lawn rolling except that you don't want to use too heavy of a roller. Sounds like you have about the right idea of going 1/2 full on yours. You don't want to roll when the ground is saturated. That causes compaction and can harm the grass. You want just a damp to wet ground. I used to think that the best time to roll would be right as the frost went out and the top inch or 2 of the lawn was really soft, and the roller did the most good in compressing, but that is exactly what you don't want. I would think that if you went 90 degrees to the path you take when mowing would be good.

I know what you mean about wanting to get out and start working in the yard. Seems as that time of year cannot get here fast enough, can it?

There are a couple of lawncare professionals on our site, so I am sure you will get more info on this question.
 

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Kind of depends on your soil type and weight of roller. I have mostly clay soil here. Most of the top soil had been removed in the development and due to lack of time I only broke the surface and tossed down seed. I've regretted ever since not putting down some good soil first. Being so much clay, in the flat areas it gets swampy when wet and turns to cement when dry. My roller I spoke about in the other post is homemade and I don't recall exactly but I think is only around 120-140lb or so. Being light it only really does anything when the soil very wet. My grandfather made it with a handle and pulled it over his yard by hand. I pulled it by hand over this <1/3 acre once and given the slope of the front yard that was enough of that. :D

Here's a picture of it:



I'm not a fan of rolling and only do it when the ground gets so bumpy it gives me a backache riding over it or I have tire tracks to level out. I only make one pass on most of the yard. Wednesday I was flattening back out a spot where I got off the cement driveway into the yard with my pickup during a snow event and that took several passes even with the ground on the soggy side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
cool roller mark! - I wish i had that kind of creativity - I generally struggle just to get bolts out -

The meadow I'm mowing was once (20 years ago) plowed and left fallow - so I can still feel the furrows when I mow - I can't mow much lower than 3" or I bottom out - so I really want to flatten out what's left of those furrows - soil is sandy loam with a little clay. Think i'll try rolling it early in spring and then run an aereator over it.
 
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