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Regrading a lawn that has an in-ground sprinkler system

My yard has an in-ground sprinkler system. It also has poor soil. I'd like to rip up the lawn and bring in a lot of organic matter and rototill it in and put down a good layer of topsoil and then resod or seed. But I can't have the yard graded or the sprinkler heads will be damaged. I could dig them out and put temporary plugs in them but then how do I find them again after all the work has been done -- they will all be buried?

Any ideas? Thanks.

Re: Regrading a lawn that has an in-ground sprinkler system

Put some scrap metal over the connections. then you can easily find them with a metal detector.

A. Spruce
Re: Regrading a lawn that has an in-ground sprinkler system

Get marker flags and place one at each sprinkler head and avoid these areas with the tiller. You can get close enough to the heads and not hit them without their removal from the ground. Another thing to keep in mind is the depth of the lines. Some areas may be quite shallow and you'll likely hit them with the tiller, this isn't a hugely big deal, as the pipes can be repaired if necessary, but it is something to keep in mind.

With good amendments you won't need topsoil, which is generally 1 part soil of unknown quality or origin, 1 part sand, and 1 part compost. If you were trying to level out a few spots, then the addition of topsoil would be the way to go, but since you're going to amend the existing soil, you can do any regrading necessary at this time, leaving you with the issue of amendment only.

Most municipalities have curbside yard waste pick-up. This material is ground and composted and then offered back to the citizenry at an extremely cheap rate, all you have to do is haul it. Or, you can call a landscape material supplier and get it from them. Second option would be going with commercially produced compost, which is a cleaner product. Either one will be an excellent choice. The next option would be to find a supplier of manure (horse stables are a good source ).

If this were my project, I'd rototill the ground first, then add 3 to 4 inches of organic material and rototill that in well so that it can't be differentiated from the soil. There will likely be some necessary repair of the sprinkler system, do this now. Regrade and lightly compact the soil. Set your sprinkler height at approximately 1/2" above the graded soil and water just enough to dampen, but not make a muddy mess. Install the sod, roll again, water well.

Re: Regrading a lawn that has an in-ground sprinkler system

go to sprinklerguards.net see a new product that will protect you sprinkler head from being broken. i found this web site and i install them myself and they rally work. they save me money on breakage and i get a better spray with no weeds growing to block the spray. they are also green made from recycled rubber tires. it a great.

Re: Regrading a lawn that has an in-ground sprinkler system

If you do opt to remove the heads, measure each head from two fixed points (for example, two corners of your house). Then when you want to find the end of the pipe after all the work, just use two tape measures (might need two helpers) to relocate the pipes, based on the measurements you took before. No need to keep track of angles.

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