To lawn roll or not?

I need to fix a yard that has ruts due to moles and erosion that increased the depth of the ruts to be deep enough to twist an ankle. I figured that I could roll the lawn to decrease the depth of the ruts and then fill in the remaining crevices with topsoil.
I do have a septic system, so one question I have is whether or not to use the roller over the septic, or just avoid that area.
Are the rollers available at the local lawn and garden (280lbs when full of water) effective or what weight range do I need to consider (I have a lawn tractor to pull it with)?
Or should I rent a roller from a supply store?
Should I avoid the septic area, or is it all right to roll it once every x-number years?
Will the roller (at whatever weight) do the job of compressing the lawn, or should get topsoil first to assist with the leveling process?
Should I aerate any area prior to rolling, in order to get more compaction in the trouble areas?
TIA, Dave
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I think the kind of roller that can be handled by an individual will not be much use in removing ruts. I would suggest, as the easiest fix, you overfill the ruts with top soil, then roll the area, but be prepared to do it again next year after the dirt has had time to settle. I think that's pretty much what they do with gravesites.
If you have the time and energy, a better solution might be to rototill the whole area (destroying the grass, alas), then smooth the surface, then roll it and reseed, or sod if you wish.
I have no experience with septic, so I won't venture a guess as to how much weight it can support.
tom snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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On Sun, 6 Apr 2008 07:37:34 -0700 (PDT), "tom snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com"

Rolling is not good for a lawn because it causes compaction, not what you want for a nice lawn. Besides, I think it's easier to fill in the low areas with 1" or so of topsoil. I use a bow rake. Do this twice a year and you should be done in a year or two. Once you have thick grass growing there should be very little erosion, if at all.
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Phisherman wrote:

Strange how the very best grass surfaces, such as tennis courts, golf greens, and the estates where they play croquet, are all rolled.
A lawn does need to be aerated, but the only way to prevent heaving of the soil, particularly where there is freezing, is a program of rolling. Thats not to say you can't have a lawn without rolling, but without rolling the soil will not be smooth. Having said that, I don't roll my lawn regularly, but when I put in a new lawn, I roll to get a smooth surface, then live with the lumps that develop.
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Rolling is not meant to fill voids... it's best to fill and then roll... and then perhaps fill and roll again.

More important is the weight of the vehicle pulling the roller.... septic fields should easliy support the roller but not a vehicle heavier than a typical garden tractor.

Whether to rent or buy really depends on how often you intend to use a roller... for a one time use it's best to rent but if you intend to follow a program of rolling then it makes more sense to buy.

When to roll depends on the factors that determine soil condition; soil type; temperature, moisture content, etc. Obviously you don't want to roll frozen or muddy ground. And there is no rule that says the roller needs to be filled to the maximum weight. It's best to use minimal weight and make many passes, overlapping and criss crossing.

Lawns should always have a regimen of aerating whether rolled or not, plugging is best.
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In article

I have rolled my yard in the past, When the yard was too dry, rolling did nothing. When the yard was too wet, the lawn mower would create deep ruts. Those perfect days when just right, still did not do much to the yard. A 280 lb roller will need lots of rolling. I had a 500 lb water filled steel roller. A waste of time, money and energy six years ago. If you do roll, the septic field should hold up, septic tanks ????
What did help, was getting a heavy commercial zero turn mower with two large tires. Over the years my yard has gotten smoother while mowing. So no more lawn rolling for me.
I also have a septic field, no problem with the new mower going over field. I put semi-easy to remove raised patio blocks over the septic tanks, so I do not need mow over or to dig when cleaning the tanks every two to three years. If I did it over again, I would use a large fake plastic boulder instead of patio blocks.
Enjoy Life ... Dan
--
Email "dan lehr at comcast dot net". Text only or goes to trash automatically.

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