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How to Remove Grass Around Sprinkler Heads

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After a few years, you may notice that your grass is slowly creeping over your sprinkler heads. As you mow your grass, fertilize it and irrigate it, organic matter slowly accumulates outward from the edges of the grass. This allows new grass plants to take root. The same principle causes grass to creep over your sidewalks and driveways. When the grass creeps over your sprinkler heads, it can interfere with their ability to water your lawn. Removing grass over and around your sprinkler heads is easy to accomplish, and there two basic methods for removing the grass.

Sprinkler Head Trimmer

Position your sprinkler head trimmer over the sprinkler head that is surrounded by grass.

Turn the sprinkler head trimmer in a circular motion, and apply downward pressure to cut through the grass.

Lift up the sprinkler head trimmer, remove the cut grass, and discard.

Flat Spade

Position your flat spade in a vertical position 1 inch away from the outer edge of the sprinkler head.

Step on the spade, and sink it into the ground 1 to 2 inches to cut through the root system of the grass.

Lift the spade out of the ground, and repeat the first two steps around the entire perimeter of the sprinkler head.

Remove the grass by hand once you have cut into the grass around the entire sprinkler head. The grass and grass roots should lift away from the soil easily.

Trim Grass From Sprinkler Heads

Turn off the sprinkler system. Wait until the grass is dry to trim it. Remove a 1-inch ring of sod around each pop-up sprinkler head using a sprinkler head trimmer. Turn trimmer's handle clockwise 360 degrees. Discard the removed circle of turf. Insert the trowel's spade vertically into the ground to cut through the sod. Repeat this around the circle. Tamp down any loose soil in the trench. Cut the grass blades around the perimeter of each trench with a pair of grass shears. Do not cut the grass blades shorter than the mowing height of the lawn. Repeat the trimming process each time you mow your lawn.


Check all your sprinkler heads yearly to see if the grass has grown back over them. Remove grass as necessary to keep them operating efficiently.


To prevent wear and tear on your hands, wear gloves when using a sprinkler head trimmer, especially if you are trimming around many heads.

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