Sprinkler System & Core Aeration

Sprinkler System & Core Aeration Core aeration or aerating a lawn is driving stakes or tines deep into the soil and pulling out a core or plug of earth along with the grass. Coring the lawn typically brings up a plug of grass that is ¼ to ¾ inch in diameter and 3 inches deep.  People aerate or have their lawns aerated in order to break up packed soil, which allows roots to grow better and when the root system grows better, it is able to receive the water, air and nutrients it needs to maintain a lush, healthy lawn.

Countless number of lawn care companies use high powered aeration equipment in order to generate rotating tines that plunge deep into the soil, the hole spacing may be a little closer than other aeration systems.

A lawn care company needs to know about a homeowner’s underground sprinkler system before they begin aeration of the lawn. These lawns require special attention and the homeowner is always responsible for marking all the sprinkler heads for the lawn care company.  This could be done by purchasing several of those small ‘marking flags’ and place them next to each sprinkler head that is buried in the ground, or a homeowner could use a bright color spray paint to mark where the sprinkler heads are located.  When a lawn care company knows where the sprinkler heads are located, then they can avoid damaging them with the powerful aeration machines.

Depending on what area of the country a homeowner lives in, there are laws that govern the depth a sprinkler system must be installed. The depth, typically in the 6 to 9 inch range, is well below what many of the aeration machines plunge into the ground and pull out. What is worrisome to the lawn care contractors are the sprinkler heads where the water comes out, not the piping where the water runs through. Although, it would be worth a call to the contractor who installed the irrigation and sprinkler system to find out if there are any areas of the lawn in which they had to lay the piping a little less shallower than normal in order to avoid these areas with the aeration machine. Hopefully, these areas will not be plentiful.

One solution to aerating around the sprinkler heads and sallow areas where pipes are lying would be to use the stabbing method of aerating. This entails using a blade of some sort and latterly stabbing around the sprinkler head in order to cut into the lawn for ventilation; it is the same principle as the coring; only no earth is removed and it’s less deep than the aerating machines go.

Besides larger homes, hotels, commercial property, hospitals, office buildings of various sizes, parking structures, mall areas, stand alone shops and restaurants might all have sprinkler systems that need to be tagged or marked before aeration can begin. Many of these companies and businesses have maintenance people who could mark the sprinkler system for the lawn care company.