If you have a lawn at home, you’d understand the importance of having it look neat and well cared for, which brings us to the application of lawn rollers. Ensuring you know how to use a lawn roller properly will improve your lawn appearance.

A lawn roller is a cylindrical hollow tube filled with sand or water to help flatten the ground.

How To Use A Lawn Roller | Comprehensive Guide

Lawn rollers range from manual types (push lawn rollers) to engineered types (attached to a tractor or machinery). Although the mechanized rollers cost more, they take less time and less energy to complete and are suitable for bigger lawn projects. Lawn rollers also come in various forms, of which your Lawn has its specific requirements.

So, how do you know which is which? Continue reading this article to learn everything you need to know about using a lawn roller.

Applications Of Lawn Rollers

Since Lawn rolling is not mandatorily an annual practice, there are certain conditions when your Lawn needs some attention:

  • Seeding: When you spread seeds on your Lawn, wind, rain, and other external factors can blow them away or slow down the germination process. A lawn roller is useful to press down the seeds to ensure firm contact.
  • Using Sod: Rolling over a lawn helps prepare the ground for adding sod. After you sod and watering it, use the roller to press out air pockets and tighten the sod.
  • Repairing damage: You may have to deal with pests’ tunnels and uneven ground paths on your Lawn. A heavy lawn roller helps get rid of obstructions on one’s Lawn by compressing tunnels and hills.

Types Of Lawn Rollers

Types Of Lawn Rollers

Lawn rollers can be tow-pulled or manual models, depending on which you may find more comfortable. They are hollow so that they can be filled with water or sand for more weight.

However, the two common lawn rollers’ two common styles are steel and polyurethane, with their benefits for specific types of lawns.

  • Steel Lawn Rollers:

These rollers are typically heavier but more stable and durable to use. They range from 24-60 inches in width and are most suitable for tough lawn projects.

Their downside, however, is that they mostly allow only water as filling, and they are difficult to operate with, as they do not allow sharp turns. Their massive, hard-to-move construction makes steel rollers less functional for small scale use.

Finding the right steel roller that will not rust quickly can be difficult. I usually patronize Amazon for the best steel rollers.

  • Polyurethane Lawn Rollers:

Polyurethane rollers are lighter but not as durable as steel. They range from 24-48 inches in width, and thus, are easier for sharp turns. They can also be filled with both sand and water and easier to store when empty. They cost less than steel rollers and are more suitable for small lawns and manual use.

Nevertheless, these lawn rollers are not as durable as steel. So, there’s a chance that your polyurethane roller will puncture or crack on a lawn with abrasive objects more than steel rollers.

How To Use A Lawn Roller

How To Use A Lawn Roller

Now you know the basics of having a lawn roller. How do you use one?

  • Choose a suitable Lawn Roller

We have divided lawn rollers into two categories on two different criteria: by the style of operation and by construction.

Manual or polyurethane lawn rollers, like this one from Amazon, are suitable if your Lawn is small, requires less stress, and minimal efforts. However, if you’re dealing with a big lawn or with significant obstacles, your best bet will be a tow- or steel lawn roller.

There are also combination rollers, like Brinly lawn roller, that serve as both manual and mechanized tools. Ultimately, choose a lawn roller as you need it.

  • Set up the Device

Most lawn rollers come uninstalled. So you should fix the parts together, or to a tractor, depending on the roller type.

  • Fill it in

Lawn rollers usually come with options for sand or water filling. In either case, fill the drum up with enough material.

  • Work the Roller on the Lawn

Using a lawn roller is most effective after the ground is watered with rain or a sprinkler. The Lawn should remain quite firm, though, as a muddy lawn may affect your work.

Push or pull (with a vehicle) the roller from one end of the Lawn to another. If driving, keep up with a constant slow speed to allow enough pressure on the ground. Also, ensure to spend some time on bumpy surfaces till they disappear.

If your Lawn is new, you should fill in the cracks with dirt before pressing down the soil. Then water the Lawn well before you plant or run the lawn roller.

Read Also: Best Robotic Lawn Mower 2020 Reviews: Top 5 Pick Consumer Reports

Precautions To Using A Lawn Roller

When you start using a lawn roller, you need to understand what to and not to do before and in the process. Below are some tips for rolling out a grass lawn easily:

  • Consider the roller’s weight. When you opt for machined lawn rolling, using a too-heavy roller can stress your machine or damage it. And for both lawn rolling types, the weight of your roller can cause the soil to become too compact.
  • The ground should be damp, not soaked. If you roll on a soaked lawn, the soil will become clumped together, restricting air and water from penetrating the soil.
  • Spring is the best time to roll a lawn. During spring, grass is just sprouting out of dormancy, and the roots are actively growing.
  • Lawn rolling is not for clay-heavy soil. To avoid damaging your Lawn, avoid clay-heavy soils, as they compact faster than other soil types.
  • Don’t roll your Lawn yearly. You should roll your Lawn only when it is necessary. Frequent lawn rolling will damage the Lawn.


Keeping a healthy lawn is a time-worthy task that requires efforts. But, with handy tools like lawn rollers, the job becomes much easier.

However, it all boils down to understanding your lawn needs and how to use a lawn roller properly. If you also don’t know how to use lawn rollers, particularly the heavy ones, you may end up clumping up the soil and damaging the entire Lawn. And, if you don’t understand your Lawn and ignore using a sturdy steel lawn roller on tough obstacles, you can end up losing both the Lawn and the roller.

Pick a roller that suits your Lawn and understand how it works before investing your time- or money- into any lawn roller.  


  1. BRINLY-HARDY CO. Brinly. What are Lawn Rollers? (And When to Use One on Your Yard.) 2019 [] Accessed: 21st of October, 2020.
  2. Sheryll Pineda. Do It Yourself. How to Use a Lawn Roller. 2010. Reviewed in 2020. [] Accessed: 21st of October 2020.
  3. Jake W. Mowers Direct. Lawn Mower Tips and Advice (How to flatten a lumpy lawn). [https://www.mowersdirect.com/stories/903-How-to-Flatten-a-Lumpy-Lawn.html] Accessed: 21st of October 2020.
  4. Renne Miller. SFGate. The Benefits of Using Lawn Rollers. 2018. [] Accessed: 21st of October 2020.
  5. Heather Rhoades. Gardening Know-How. How to Roll Out a Grass Lawn. 2020. [https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/lawn-care/lgen/how-to-roll-out-a-grass-lawn.htm] Accessed: 21st of October 2020.