How To Prevent Grass From Growing Over Your Sprinkler Heads

I recently picked-up a Rachio Gen 2, the experience of which I shared in this video.

One problem I encounter every season is the loss of my irrigation heads. They are literally consumed by my grass. To the point that I have to go on a search and rescue mission in an attempt to locate them and dig them out.

When they are not totally gone, they are blocked by weeds and grass that deflect the water from casting properly. So Rachio solved my water conservation and efficiency problem, but without a mechanical solution to assure my heads pop-up and cast unimpeded, I am no better off.

To that end, I did a little research and believe I found a very nice solution called “Sprinkler Buddy” that I installed and wanted to share with you, my fellow lawn watering efficiency aficionados. I put together a short video that show this sprinkler head dog collar thingy in action. I’m rocking some rachio swag in the video as well (thanks @franz)!

Hope you find it helpful!



Thank you for sharing that video with the community!

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My pleasure @George. I figured I can’t be the only one with this eternal problem. :slight_smile:

@HDGeekReview Thanks for sharing. I’ve watched a few of your videos now and they’re really great. I don’t know if you take requests, but have you thought of looking at wireless soil moisture sensors ? It looks like it’s a burgeoning market and might connect with others in the Rachio community. I plan to buy the PlantLink Lush when it comes out, hopefully soon. Initially I’d like to compare their measurements to Rachio moisture predictions for my garden and pots. Once I’m done playing with that I’d move the sensors to my indoor potted plants so I stop letting them die. :wink: There are other similar sensors out there that folks have talked about on this forum, but it seems they all have their varying limitations.

Anyhow, thanks again for sharing these videos !


@azdavidr I appreciate your kind words.

I’m certainly not against requests. I generally talk about things I have a personal need for, research and buy. I have not looked into soil moisture sensors. My wife does have a garden that could use one, but it isn’t high on my list at the moment. If I end up getting one I will certainly share what I learn with the community. Thanks for the heads-up.



Interesting product. Will the mower tear these up? Homeowners can also raise up sunken heads with cutoff riser extensions. For rotors I have gone to the Toro T5P Rapid Set rotors. They have an extra inch of pop height plus the adjustment requires no tool just your hands. I encourage everyone to buy sprinkler parts at real irrigation supply houses. You will get better advice and if you have a warranty situation they will take care of you.

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@robertokc Great advice. With regard to the mower tearing these things up. I have not had that problem and I didn’t countersink them as much as I could have. Not saying it can’t happen, I just haven’t encountered it.

In the 6 years I’ve had my grass, I’ve never had the heads disappear on me. There is always a clear defining hole for where they pop up. I wonder if that has to do with frequency. We water so much here in AZ that my heads are popping up every 1-2 days so maybe it’s destroying any possible grass trying to grow over it?

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@Modawg2k Interesting. I lived in South Florida and North Carolina and it happened to me in both places. Grass just seems to gradually encroach on the sprinkler head for me. :frowning:

In fact, I have a head that I can’t find this year. Anyone have any good techniques for finding a buried head?

I know your using the Sprinkler buddy, but for anyone else, I’ve found using a hand Bulb planter a great way to clear grass away from sprinkler heads. Its basically a circular metal tube with a handle to plant flower bulbs, but I found it fits right over the Sprinkler head and with a couple turns of the wrist , it cuts away any grass that’s growing quickly and easily . Under $10 at any garden or home center.



Sounds like a good solution. Thanks for sharing!

For me, I need something that will prevent me from having to periodically search for my heads and clear them out. By the time I remember to clear out my heads, they have been running inefficiently for some time because of the grass that grows around them. And now that I have a Rachio, I want my irrigation to run efficiently all the time. :slight_smile:

You can stand on a head or two that are already coming up it will force more pressure through the one that is not up already.



I like the way you think. I might have to get the wife and kids to help me play whack-a-mole. :slight_smile:

Interesting product, but the fact you need to install from the bottom is kind of a deal killer for me, that means digging down, disturbing the soil and grass around and screwing back in.

I usually use the bulb planter a couple times a season.

I have considered (haven’t done it yet!) clearing out 1-2" diameter around the heads and pouring a couple inches of concrete around them. But I’m sure that would bite me later.

However, my biggest issue is settling of some heads over the years. Certainly I can dig down and put a longer riser on to bring it up, but if it exists, an extension that can screw between the top head portion and the body would be a heck of a lot easier. Virtually no digging since all the work would be done at the top.

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Here is the product I need, however it is too tall. Raise from the top!

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Interesting…but only a concept it seems.

And another. Glad I ran across this post, I am starting to get ideas…

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@Corto, Digging-up heads is definitely not fun, especially when you have clay as I do. But since I have to clear all the heads several times a year, to keep them operating properly, I am OK with digging them up once if it means that maintenance will be a lot easier going forward. Agreed, though. It would be cooler if I could install these without the dig.

With that said, their funnel-like connection seems to discourage being swallowed by the earth. Only time will tell though. :slight_smile:

@Corto, Very cool!

What I do is cut the bottom off a 1 gallon plastic container, or better yet a 1 gal Kemps ice crème bucket, center it over the head, and spray some Round-up in it. Press firmly on the bottomless container to avoid the Round-up weeping beyond the area sprayed.

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