Hot Topics: Is Rolling Sod Necessary?

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Original Post: Critical for fresh sod to be rolled?

mossman Member

I just had 1,500 square feet of Zoysia sod laid Friday and the crew did not bring a roller (even though I requested it). Is it critical for the sod to be rolled after laying it? If so, is there a cutoff for when it should just be left alone? (Is it OK to roll it a few days after installation, considering the roots haven't taken hold yet?)

Marq1 Member

It's not critical. I have laid many yards of sod and never rolled. Just give it a good soaking and you'll be good!

marksr Forum Topic Moderator

The builders I painted for in Florida always used sod and never rolled it. That was both on run-of-the-mill homes and higher end homes. As Marq said, getting it well watered is the main thing.

Vermont Member

I know MossMan has been trying to properly prepare for all of these events on his addition, so I wonder if the underlying soil was tilled before the sod was laid?

If it was mechanically fluffed up, then I think it would benefit him to rent a roller and fill it with water, hook it up to the back of a lawn tractor, and pull it around carefully over all of the recently laid sod. Enough money and planning has been put into this project that neglecting this step when you're down at the one-yard line would be unfortunate. If the ground was tilled in advance, then you'll see a distinct change in the lawn as the roller passes over each area.

Pilot Dane Group Moderator

I have never rolled when installing sod. It just needs to be laid flat so the root side is in contact with the ground and watered, watered, and watered for the first week.

I don't water the ground before laying sod as it makes a muddy mess. Immediately after laying the sod, though, I turn on the sprinklers for a thorough soaking.

mossman Member

The soil was not tilled, but they added an inch or two of topsoil / compost prior to bring the grade up. I'm confident the grass will take hold—that's not my concern. My concern is having a nice flat / consistent lawn. The sod came in 16x24" sections, so I essentially have a checker board. I figured rolling it would help squish all the edges down evenly. Otherwise, I'm concerned I'll have a bumpy yard and will have to follow up with topdressing to fill in all the voids between the pieces.

marksr Forum Topic Moderator

As long as the sod was laid tightly to the next one, that shouldn't be a concern.

Vermont Member

"I essentially have a checker board."

How do they suggest you deal with the weeds, which will want to develop in the intervening sections?

mossman Member

They said they'd come out and roll it as soon as they could. Hopefully, rolling it several days after doesn't hurt anything. I've watered it well and it's been raining quite a bit here. I'd hate for the roller to do more damage than good. Should I tell them to nevermind?

I'm not concerned at all with weeds. Zoysia is basically a weed and essentially chokes out everything, which is one of the reasons I love it so much

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