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Old 05-16-2008, 04:10 PM
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Rolling Sod after Installation?

Is it necessary? How can I do to explain to my customer why it isn't necessary and why we don't do it?
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Old 05-16-2008, 04:59 PM
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In my opinion it is necessary. The rolling brings the roots of the grass into firm contact with the soil so that soil moisture is available to the roots and the sod can "knit" with the soil sooner. Rolling isn't for smoothing out the bumps. That is done by proper site preparation before laying the sod. If you don't roll it, explain to the customer that you are cutting corners on doing a proper job.
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Old 05-16-2008, 09:09 PM
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Even though the sod company I just bought from says it's not necessary, why would you not? I rented a roller from Home Depot for $10. I put a kid behind it for another $10 for an hours work. Granted, it was a small area, but seems to be a poor choice of a corner to cut.
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Old 05-17-2008, 07:34 AM
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You could make the arguement that sod is essentially a bare root product being watered from above, so that you are not looking to force soil to soil contact to promote water transfer from soil to root zone. You are also soaking the sod constantly which is going to give it full wet contact with the soil.

One of the problems with sod is that because it only gets water being applied directly to the roots initially it does not root as deeply as a grass that has to get water in the soil. It is not because the plant is smart or lazy. It is because roots grow where the water is.

If you understand that water from above is what is going to supply the sod until it roots in, it would follow that the next important thing is to get the roots into the soil so that you do not have to continually supply the water from above. Anything that you can do that inhibits roots entering the soil will prolong the need for water from above. Compacting the soil would impair the roots from entering the soil.

So let's deal with reality. Rolling soaked sod on soaked soil is not going to make it or break it. A small water filled hand roller is not going to tighten the soil so much that the roots won't penetrate. Reality is that if all the other prep was done right, a hand roller will have little influence on the sod at all.

So, if you buy the argument that soaked sod and soil do not need to be pressed together for water transfer and that ease of root penetration into the soil is important, what would be a logical reason to roll it?

Answer: If your customer believes it to be important and it is a quick and easy process, it probably of greater value for you to roll it and make them happy than LOOK like you are trying to cut a corner (whether or not you are).
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Old 05-17-2008, 07:46 AM
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I agree with AGLA. I have put down a lot of sod and have never rolled it and never had any problems. That said, if it were really important to making a customer happy it wouldn't be a big deal to do it.
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Old 05-17-2008, 02:20 PM
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when i die, i want agla to write my obituary.
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Old 05-17-2008, 08:01 PM
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I've heard and read both aides of the argument, and we have done it both ways.
The end result has always been the same.
If you are watering the sod enough to keep it from drying out, then we have seen the same root growth on rolled vs. unrolled sod.

It doesn't take that much time so I price it in anyways.
It also gives me an extra line or 2 on my estimate!!!
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Old 05-17-2008, 08:04 PM
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Old 05-17-2008, 09:19 PM
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As always Agla makes a well thought out, educated and sensible post. But I am still going to give my sod a light rolling after I lay it. I agree rolling isn't absolutely needed but it is still the best horticultural practice. It gets rid of the air pockets that will always be there after rolling out the sod. By Agla's reasoning you also wouldn't have to pack the soil around bare root trees when planting, or rake the outside of the rootballs of tightly rooted potted plant material when planting. Sure if you don't do these things chances are the plant material will survive and grow but you are just giving them a better chance when you go the extra step. Besides it is much more professional.
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Old 05-17-2008, 10:11 PM
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Dan,

I don't disagree with your reasoning, but I do disagree with the analogy of the bareroot plant in the hole being the same thing.

A properly prepared (I did use those words) area is not going to be the same as loose backfill and saturated sod on wet soil will have full contact (no air voids). A big difference is that the entire soil surface will have roots meshing into it in a very short period of time which would not be the case in the planting hole.

Gravity has a big positive influence on the contact in the case of sod as well. If the soil falls away, the sod falls with it and keeps contact with it unlike a root in a hole.

The sod needs to remain nearly saturated until it roots in, unlike the bareroot shrub. That is the biggest difference of all because the air voids come when the water drains from the loose backfill. At saturation, there are no air voids.

I'd still roll it.
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Old 05-17-2008, 11:06 PM
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Agla:
You are right

Quote:
Originally Posted by agla View Post
I'd still roll it.
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Old 05-18-2008, 11:02 AM
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What does the contract say?
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Old 05-20-2008, 11:41 AM
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We soak the heck out of the sod and roll it twice. The last job we did looked a LOT better after rolling.
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Old 05-29-2008, 07:06 PM
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I thought our guys were shortcutting the job and I honestly didn't think there would be any possible logical reason NOT to roll sod, but like just about everything, I have learned that there is more than one way to skin a cat. But, for those of you would DO roll the sod but charge a separate line item for it, how do you charge for it? Thanks!
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