Avoiding a Sprinkler System When Aerating or Dethatching

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When your soil becomes compacted and you develop thatch on your lawn, it makes it difficult for your lawn to stay healthy and thrive. The roots have difficulty growing and receiving critical nutrients, water, and air, and you need to aerate and dethatch to help it become healthy again.

You have to exercise caution if you have an in-ground sprinkler system. Continue reading to learn about aerating and dethatching a lawn with a sprinkler system.

Can You Dethatch Over Sprinkler Heads?

If you have sprinkler heads throughout your lawn, you need to dethatch around them. You should start out by marking the sprinkler heads. It is unlikely that the dethatcher will damage the sprinkler heads, but the heads could damage the tines in your dethatcher.

The other factor that you need to consider is the lines underground. If they are located closer to the surface, then your dethatcher could hit them as it goes into the soil.

If you are dethatching, you should begin by marking the sprinkler heads and you dethatch these spots by hand. Then you can do the rest of the lawn with a dethatcher.

Can You Aerate Over Sprinkler Heads?

If you have an in-ground sprinkler system, you should not aerate over the heads.

You need to mark the heads before you start…

It is also important to know how close to the surface the lines are. If they are too close, you may need to aerate by hand to make sure that your system is protected.

Your sprinkler lines should be installed between 15 cm and 23 cm below the surface, which leaves enough room for lawn maintenance, including aerating. The key is to make sure that your lines are lower than the depth of your aerating machine.

Can I Aerate My Lawn If I Have a Sprinkler System?

You can aerate a lawn that has a sprinkler system, but you need to take several precautions. First, you need to mark off the sprinkler heads and work around them. In addition, you need to know the depth of your sprinkler lines. If they are too close to the surface, then you risk cutting them with the aerating machine.

Most sprinkler system lines are between 15 cm and 23 cm below the surface, which is deep enough that you can aerate. If you can safely aerate without hitting the sprinkler lines, you can aerate your lawn.

You can always aerate by hand if necessary.

This is the best option if you have shallow piping for your sprinkler system.

How Deep Do Lawn Aerators Go?

Aerating your lawn helps to loosen up compacted soil so that the roots can grow and receive the nutrients, water, and air that they need. Aerating perforates the soil with small holes to accomplish this.

Most aerators go two to three inches into the soil. They remove plugs of soil to free up space below the surface. You can also use spike aerators that poke holes into the ground but this is a less effective process.

No matter which method you use, it is important to make sure that your sprinkler lines are not too close to the surface.

How Deep Do Lawn Dethatchers Go?

When you dethatch your lawn, you can set the tines on the dethatcher to go half an inch into the soil. This is shallow enough to avoid hitting most sprinkler lines but deep enough to get the job done.

It is important to remember that dethatching involves getting rid of the buildup of thatch, which is caused by dead leaves, debris, and other materials that clump together under your grass. Aerating will go deeper into the soil to decompact it, but dethatching only needs to go about half an inch in.

How to Avoid Sprinkler Heads

When you prepare your lawn for dethatching and aerating, you need to start by marking off your sprinkler heads. The best way to do this is to use flags that sit above each one. Make sure that they are easy to see so that you go around them.

If you know the depth of your sprinkler lines, mark any areas that are shallow. It is also important to know where you have any utility lines underground.

You want to avoid these areas and go back to do them by hand. You can do the majority of your lawn with a dethatching or aerating machine and then return to these areas to work by hand. There are hand tools that can make it easier for you.

Final Words

When you need to aerate or dethatch your lawn, it is important to make sure that your sprinkler system is protected.

You can maintain your lawn, but you should make sure that you mark off the sprinkler heads with flags, as well as any areas where your sprinkler lines are shallow.

You can do the majority of the job with a machine and then follow up around the sprinkler heads with hand tools. Your lawn will get the care that it needs and you won’t have to worry about damaging your sprinkler system.

Here are some of my favorite lawn care products

Thanks a lot for making it to the end of this post! I hope you found it useful. Here are some lawn care products that I use and that I think you’ll also find helpful. These are affiliate links, so if you do decide to use any of them, I’ll earn a commission.

In all honesty, these are some of the basic products that I use and recommend to everyone.

Broadcast Spreader

This Scotts Elite dual rotary spreader is not a professional grade model but it’s excellent for homeowners.

I really like the edge guard on it. It’s really easy to switch on and off so it’s great for going around my driveway and flower beds.

If you’re not looking to spend hundreds of dollars, I’d definitely recommend this model. It spreads out a wide path and is great quality for the cost.

Backpack Sprayer

This 4-Gallon sprayer is my absolute favorite. It sprays for a really long time. I’ve had this sprayer for quite a while and I’ve never had the battery run out.

The adjustable pressure switch is a really import feature to me.

You can order a lot of accessories for this model but I’ve never really found much of a need for it.

Head Aerator

Hand aerators are great for small spots if you’ve got construction debris or a spot that constantly dries out.

You can also fill these holes with organic matter that will hold a bit more moisture.

This one by Yard Butler is an absolute bargain. It pulls nice long cores. I also use it for taking soil samples around the yard!

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