View Full Version : Laying sod and sprinklers

06-08-2012, 03:34 PM
I got stood up by my landscaper....again.
I've had enough already, so I'm ordered up 700sf and change of sod for delivery tomorrow. Ground is bare, and pretty much groomed just fine, but I do have to dig in irrigation pipes before I put the sod down.

Any words of advice from anyone that's done this, and are you willing to come show up and unroll a few? :beer:

06-08-2012, 03:58 PM
Yes - completely install your sprinkler system and heads before laying any sod. Set the sprinkler head height to work with your finished sod height, and set the heads flush enough that you can run a lawn mower over them without snapping them off.

Either rake the surface, or rototill, to scarify it so that the sod grows easily into the dirt. Apply any topsoil (strongly recommended if you're in a sandy area) first. Unroll the sod and jam the 'seams' together as tightly as possible, else the sod will die there. Get a big old bread knife (serrated) to cut the sod where needed.

Water the sod 2x daily (heavily) for 2 weeks - without fail - until it's established. Never mind how much the water will cost ;-)

Caribou Sandstorm
06-09-2012, 09:18 AM
Also don't walk on it while you are doing your 2 week drenching..

Really fit your sod sections together tightly, they will shrink and you will have mini gaps, but you can add seed and soil to this sections.

If you have not bought your heads yet, stop by and look at mine, they work very well. I have a sprinkler guy that is retired but will work with you, you do the work he tells you what to do. I know sounds funny but Bob is a master and can get your valves all set up with your sprinkler box. Money well spent.

06-09-2012, 07:06 PM
Putting in an irrigation system first is key to success. Digging the and burying the hoses will take a little time but do it first. It's pretty simple with the cutter tool and crimping tool. You want a second person to help unspool the hose and let it warm up in the sun a little. You will want to water the new sod a lot. Ideally you want sod that is cut the same day and delivered and installed. Sod sitting on pallets will die quickly. Have a good sharp knife to cut it. As mentioned earlier pack the edges tight together but not so much as to bunch up. If the outer end of the roll of sod is dry soil. Cut it off. Also lad sod like bricks so seams aren't lined up. Take ibuprofen, your back will hurt.

06-12-2012, 12:21 PM
Well, it all went pretty well. Many thanks to those that helped out to get it done. I still need to finish trenching around the side yard and hook up the valves, but the main lines and heads in the grass section are in. I have a little snafu with one zone...maybe too many heads or maybe something else. I hooked up an adapter to stick the garden hose into the head end of the sprinkler pipe. One zone works great, the other the heads barely pop up. I took one head off and plugged the line yesterday and it was better, but still not right. I guess I should have tested that before I put down all the sod, eh?

06-12-2012, 12:27 PM
Sounds like you've got a leak somewhere.. I usually break the little coupler piece (the one you trim to size with a utility knife) that goes between the lines and the head- whacking that sideways will crack it, then you lose all your pressure. This happened this year in my back yard, had terrible pressure, but once I discovered which head was gurgling away, I was able to find the issue.

06-12-2012, 01:44 PM
Leave it on for a while and the leak location will become obvious soon enough.

06-12-2012, 03:35 PM
If it's a good enough leak you can sometimes hear it as well. Since you know roughly where you ran it, try sticking your ear to the ground.

06-20-2012, 03:22 PM
Turned out the garden hose adapter was the problem. Once I got it on the regular sprinkler valve, it's shoving WAY too much water through that zone. I actually have to choke some of the heads down now. I'm glad I didn't have to go digging to find the problem.