I've pulled out some plants that we don't really like, and we're trying to figure out what to do with the space of land. I'm thinking the easiest solution would be to go out and buy a few pallets of sod and just pack it down to extend the yard space.

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My question is, what can I do about the irrigation lines? I don't want to pull them up, since they're pretty extensive and would likely cost several $100 to replace if we needed to. I'm not sure if drip irrigation is enough to water sod though?

If it's not enough, we can replace the heads on our sprinklers at the edge of the bank so that they spray 180 instead of 90 degree (currently they're only spraying the existing sod) and increase the length of time they're on -- so that's not an issue. If we go that route though, can we just lay the sod on top of the irrigation lines, or do I need to pull them up and cap them off somewhere before laying anything down?

The sod I'd be laying is St. Augustine. I'm in Florida, USA.

  • I would expect with drip and St. Augustine, you would have pockets of nice green and pockets of not so nice green. You probably also need to kill, till, and fill that area before you sod.
    – Web
    Mar 12, 2018 at 16:31
  • I assume kill, till, fill is a pretty common thing I can look up how to easily do? Do I need to actually fill anything other than the holes where the plants were?
    – MrDuk
    Mar 12, 2018 at 16:40
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    MrDuk would you consider replanting the space with different types of plants that you like, rather than sod? Plants will be able to take advantage of the irrigation lines and just need mulch and a little weeding, whereas sod, once established, will most likely require regular mowing. Mar 13, 2018 at 3:14
  • that irrigation system looks like a single hose. .... just pick it up and wind it up like a garden hose
    – jsotola
    Mar 14, 2018 at 1:58

2 Answers 2


I agree with comment by @Web. The work needed to prepare the area for sod would make leaving the drip system in place impractical. That, added to the likelihood of uneven/insufficient coverage if left in place, makes removal the best option.

Before changing 90° to 180° sprayers, or adding /changing your sprayer arrangement, make sure you have GPM available to supply the new array. Drip systems use less water by design, your existing zone must be able to supply enough water or none of it will work properly.

  • Thanks, wrt the sprinklers, the heads that I'd be replacing are in a different zone by themselves, spraying about the same about of grass on the other side (I'd be disabling the drip zone at that point). I think just increasing the angle will be sufficient in that case?
    – MrDuk
    Mar 12, 2018 at 16:43

You are working with a slope. Grass on that slope will look different than the grass above on the flat area. What plants did you take out? From what little I can see, that slope should be planted with a low shrub that will fill that space in without having to regrade, fill and redo the irrigation entirely.

If you do decide to plant grass you will have to grade, compact, possibly top dress and roll again lay the sod (horizontal to the slope)and either before or after your sod installation you will have to add another zone of irrigation heads to your irrigation system...you'll have to set the timer for lots of short soakings instead of just one per day. So if this is say, zone 8, you would set zone 1 to go off for 10 or 15 minutes or what ever the plants in that zone need and then set the zone 8 to go for 5 minutes. Set zone 2 and then zone 8 again for 5 minutes. Zone 3 for whatever that zone needs and then do zone 8 again. You also will have to mow that zone. Kind of steep. How long is that slope and where does it go? Where does excess water go?

What system is it you have? How many zones? Drip will not work for your grass. Was your drip on a zone of its own?

If you were to plant...Lonicera pileata, Box Honeysuckle you could use that drip system. I'd just rake up that bank and plant this plant in your holes. #1 or 1 gallon plants would cost...$10 per plant as an average. Plant these 3' apart offset. Try not to make straight lines. Leave a few 'holes' to plant perennials or a specimen tree. In 2 years those plants would cover that area and be breath taking. No mowing btw. No pruning. Fragrant. Evergreen. Fine texture. Rich green to contrast with St. Augustine.

Lonicera pileata as an example

You should probably consider a barrier strip between the lawn and this bed. pt 2X4'scored to bend (or plastic dimensional lumber 2X4 such as Treks in dove gray, no scoring necessary), staked in place will stop St. Augustine from spreading into your bed of shrubs. The height of these shrubs is perfect to effectively shade out the soil beneath to prevent germination of most weeds.

This bed will need a good soaking and then allowed to dry out before watering again. Unlike your lawn. So it will not be watered of course every time you water your lawn. Perhaps at first when you've just planted until the plants become established but all plant beds should be handled differently than the lawn, different needs. Different watering times different types of fertilizer.

Ace Barberry

  • BTW...do you have security problems where you live? There are other plants such as Ace Barberry that would create a low impenetrable barrier. Ace Barberry is a lovely green, texture...absolutely beautiful low shrub that not even my numbnut retriever won't touch to get her ball...these days, that might be worth considering?
    – stormy
    Mar 12, 2018 at 22:18

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