Grass and Sprinklers Part 1

Grass is a part of a yard that is often a focal point. Before installing grass it’s good to do a little planning. Ask yourself a few questions. What will the grass be used for? If kids or other people will be playing on it, you’ll likely need a different type of grass than if it’s simply a visual fixture in a yard. Some types of grass do well at short lengths and cannot tolerate high traffic, but look nicer than those that can. What type of weather will you have? Do you intend to seed the lawn with winter rye during the colder months of the year? How large is the lawn? Some types of grass are lower maintenance and require less water, making them more ideal for larger areas. Other types of grass, while higher maintenance, look better in smaller, enclosed areas.

Once the area and type of grass has been decided, prepare the yard. If you’re planning on having an underground sprinkler system, now is the time to install one. It’s possible to dig through grass, but it’s a lot harder to do than bare dirt, and the ground will never be level afterward, and the yard will look unsightly until the grass fills in.

To lay sprinkler pipe, it’s possible to dig trenches by hand, although this is quite arduous. A better option is to rent a trenching machine such as a ditch-witch that can make short work of the project. Even a medium to large size yard won’t require more than a day on the machine if the lines are planned out enough ahead of time. Dig the trenches a little deeper than the pipes will need to be, so that the bottom of the trench can be filled up a little to create a good bed for the pipes. This will minimize breakages. If possible, run the trenches around future patio sites or other concrete fixtures. In the event that a pipe ruptures, the patio won’t have to be broken up to access it. When laying the actual pipe, keep a piece of duct tape over the ends until the actual moment of gluing, so that dirt stays out.

Sprinkler heads should be chosen based on the size and shape of the yard. Small yards will grow will with small spray-type sprinklers, but larger yards might need larger reciprocating sprinklers, similar to what one might see on a golf course. The size of the yard and the type of sprinkler will dictate the placement of the corresponding water lines, so proper planning is in order. If the grass is near a patio or outdoor fireplace, most likely spray sprinklers will be ideal.