If you haven’t aerated and re-seeded your lawn yet, you’ll want to get going on that soon! Here in Charlotte, homeowners are practically down on their knees begging the fescue to grow in the obstinate clay soil. The best way to coax the grass into growing is to lay down lime (to neutralize acidic soil), aerate and seed - and right now the temps are perfect. You want the soil to be just warm enough for the seeds to germinate but not so hot that the baby grass will be scorched to death. Our mild fall weather is perfect grass-growing weather for fescue, and you’ll find your browned out grass will turn lush and green if you take the right steps.
Tips for Protecting Your Plumbing While Aerating
However, as local plumbers, we’ve got a word or two of caution we’d like to share. Find out how you can protect your plumbing while helping the grass grow.
1. Protect Your Irrigation System
Irrigation heads are especially vulnerable when aerating. Locate all irrigation heads and make sure they have retracted completely. Having problems with pop-up irrigation heads that aren’t retracting properly? Learn what to do here.
2. Prevent Damage from Heavy Equipment
Now, a few of you may aerate your lawn using aeration shoes like these, but most of us use heavy equipment that can easily damage pipes. Check the path of your water main (track it from the sidewalk to the house) and remind the aeration company to go easy on that path (or be careful in that path if you are aerating on your own). Unload the machinery on your driveway or in the road instead of right on top of your water main, and run the machine such that you don’t ever actually run over the pipe path, if possible.
3. Avoid High Water Bills by Using Smart Watering Techniques
If you water midday (especially on really hot days, when we hit the upper 80’s), you’ll lose a good percentage of your water to evaporation. Water your lawn first thing in the morning, before the sun is beating down upon us, and set a timer if you need to move a sprinkler. Water again in the evening, again when the sun is low. Water twice a day (ten minutes is all you need if you follow these instructions) until the baby grass has reached the same height as the mature grass.
4. Check the Backflow Preventer Assembly
Make sure it is in good working condition since you’ll be watering a lot. Have you gotten your backflow preventer assembly tested this year? Remember: irrigation systems in Charlotte must undergo backflow testing once a year (it’s the law and it’s for your safety).
5. Check Your Lawn for Signs of Water Main Damage
After aerating, check for signs of cracked pipes or broken irrigation heads. If you see water pooling in your yard, you probably broke a water main. If one part of your lawn is greener than the rest (and happens to be along that pipe path), you also probably have a cracked pipe that should be fixed.
6. Winterize Your Irrigation System
Around the first of November you’ll want to winterize your irrigation system. Don’t know how to winterize your irrigation system? Learn how here.
Need a Charlotte Plumber?
Concerned you might have a water main break? Give us a call at (704) 846-5371 or use our online submission form and we’ll check it out right away. We look forward to working with you!
Quick question & answer: What is the best way to protect my plumbing while aerating?
The best ways to protect your plumbing while aerating are to protect your irrigation system and prevent damage from heavy equipment. You can also avoid high water bills by using smart watering techniques. Check the backflow preventer assembly and check your lawn for signs of water main damage. Lastly, winterize your irrigation system.