I'm planning to seed a small lawn section. I've killed all existing vegetation and tilled the soil. I plan to roll (manually with a water filled roller) and level the soil before seeding. Then, broadcast the seed and top dress with 1/4" of compost. My question is should I roll after seeding and top dressing?

  • Seems to depend where you live - in the UK, rolling is not recommended at any stage during preparation or afterwards, but if you've rolled prior to sowing seed, I can't see any real benefit from rolling after sowing - it should already be as level as its possible to achieve if you've chosen to use rolling, and only the top inch or so is loose and friable, which is as it should be anyway. There's also a risk that the seed and topdressing will stick to the roller and end up unevenly distributed I'd have thought.
    – Bamboo
    Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 12:17

1 Answer 1


Yes yes yes, I've never seen anyone OVERDO rolling a lawn! My only hesitation is what you used to kill vegetation? If it is glyphosate you have to wait a minimum of 3 weeks, I'd go even longer. Rolling is critical for a professional lawn. Good job. Make sure your seed says zero percent weed seed. Do not use peat moss...too acidic and washes away easily. What is your source for compost? Please use a mechanical spreader, never throw seed or fertilizer.

  • Thanks for the answer. I used "solarization" to kill the existing weeds and wisps of grass. I'm getting compost from a landscape supply company. hopefully, it's not full of weed seeds.
    – Pbaz
    Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 14:08
  • Grins, absolutely fabulous Pbaz! Solarization (did you use black plastic or clear, grins)...no matter, that was perfect. Your compost WILL be full of seeds but all soil is. The only thing I've found is the human poo + sawdust DECOMPOSED that is without weed seeds (as well as pesticide residues). One thing I've learned is that WEEDS are just not that big of a deal unless one leaves their garden for a year or two and well, that isn't happening. Weeds show that they approve of the soil and conditions. You are doing the best you can do! Kudos!!
    – stormy
    Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 20:50
  • Are they spraying on the compost? It needs to be no thicker than an 1/8th of an inch otherwise it'll be too deep for grass seed. Here is an idea...have you contacted grass companies that spray on the seed along with proper fertilizer and mulch?? If I did not do sod, this was the best option for seed and assuring great germination, uniform germination as well as protection of the seed. Very very affordable! Use a water hose to make your edges, uniform radius until changing direction. Larger the radius the better. Changes in direction should appear natural...(stream around a boulder?)..
    – stormy
    Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 20:54
  • Spray paint those edges and these guys respect your lines beautifully! After germination and the virgin mow I use a flat edge shovel to trench the outside of the edge by 4-6" deep throwing the soil onto the plant beds. Leave the lawn - concrete edges alone. Doing the edge trench BEFORE spraying would be good if you aren't able to get the mulch I used without weed seeds. Don't want to be throwing any grass seed onto your plant beds...bark is just awful but the finest you can find will work ok.
    – stormy
    Commented Aug 3, 2016 at 20:58
  • Thanks again Stormy. I used clear plastic (6 mil) for solarization. I have only recently read about hydroseeding, and it does sound like a great way to seed a lawn. I'm only doing a small section of my lawn (~200 sqft). Therefore, I don't think it would be economical to do it that way. So, I'm just going to try and do the best I can to spread the compost thinly and evenly.
    – Pbaz
    Commented Aug 4, 2016 at 16:29

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