How to protect sprinkler head from lawn mowers

You are not alone if you are guilty of breaking your sprinkler head during lawn mowing. Sprinklers are a practical and time-saving way to water the lawn but can easily be damaged while mowing. It can be struck by the lawn mowers or any garden cart carrying supplies, and you need to buy a new one. It can cause needless frustration when you can be careful in advance and save time and money.

This article will discuss how to protect the sprinkler head from lawn mowers. We will discuss everything related to our topic, like ways to make it visible or prevent damage while mowing.

We will also suggest some products that can protect the sprinkler head or how to make some at home with a few supplies. So stay with us to know all about the protection of the sprinkler head and its long life.

How to Protect Sprinkler Head While Lawn Mowing?

Protecting sprinkler heads is important. It can easily be run over by a lawn mower while mowing the lawn. Now there are different measures you can take to protect the sprinkler head. Most importantly, what you need to do is to:

  • Make the sprinkler head prominent
  • Use the protectors
  • Trim the area around the sprinkler head with special care
  • Make sure grass or weeds don’t grow around the sprinkler head

So let’s go through each phase and see how to ensure your sprinkler head’s safety and long life.

#Method 1- Making the Sprinkler Head Visible

The most important part of sprinkler head protection is to make it visible so anyone mowing the lawn can see it or at least expect it around.

Anyone can see what lies ahead if you have a pointer around the sprinkler head. So no matter whether your partner is mowing the lawn or any teenager, nobody would accidentally hit the sprinkler head this way.

You can keep different pointers around the sprinkler head depending on how much grass you have or the length of weeds usually growing around the sprinkler head.

Using Landscape Rocks

Using landscape rock is perfect. It is also aesthetically appealing if you decoratively place the rocks. You can arrange the stones around the sprinkler high enough to make it a center point on your lawn.

Still, if you ignore the lawn and mow it once in a while, even these landscape rocks can be covered with weeds or grass. In that case, even rocks may not be visible while mowing.

So what should you do then?

Erect a Flags Near the Sprinkler Head

Using a flag around the sprinkler head is a perfect way to make it prominent. It will prompt the lawn mower driver to be extra careful and ready to protect the sprinkler head while mowing. Any plastic yard flag can be purchased (they are usually very cheap).

Even if you don’t want to buy a flag, you can erect a PVC pipe as a pointer. However, a flag is aesthetically more pleasing than any stick or PVC pipe.

#Method 2 – Sprinkler Head Donuts

Sprinkler donuts are specifically designed to protect the sprinkler head. They wrap around the sprinkler head and add an extra layer of protection.

Sprinkler heads are available in different materials like plastic or rubber donuts and concrete donuts.

Plastic or Rubber Donuts

These are cheap but may not offer a long-term solution. First, they are easily breakable. Even your dog can damage those donuts.

Second, they can easily break with a lawn mower tier that fails the purpose of using the protector in the first place. Lightweight materials like rubber or plastic may also be easily blown away by wind or rain.

Concrete Donuts

Concrete donuts are made of fiber reinforced and green-dyed concrete. They provide maximum durability to a sprinkler head and prevent it from breaking.

A concrete donut covers the sprinkler head and displaces the weight away from the sprinkler head while mowing the lawn. It shields the sprinkler from all sides. Not only are these concrete donuts long-lasting, but they also enhance the lifespan of the sprinkler head.

Make sure you measure the sprinkler head height and diameter before ordering the concrete donut. Buy a donut with at least ½ inches of extra space.

Here is how to install a concrete donut:

  1. Buy the donut size accordingly.
  2. Dig a 1-½ inch deep around the sprinkler head to make a narrow space.
  3. Place the donut on the sprinkler head and push it in the soil with your feet or using a hammer or shovel. Make sure you place the donut head firmly so that it remains firm in its place.
  4. Put soil back on the edges and fill the narrow space around the donut.
  5. Secure it in a narrow space with a foot or any shovel.

#Method 3 – Using DIY Sprinkler Head Protector

You can create a PVC pipe protector at home with a few supplies. Adding a PVC pipe around the sprinkler head not only keeps the dirt and rocks back but also prevents it from striking a lawn mower accidentally.

To add the PVC pipe as a locater, you need:

PVC Pipe

Tape measure

Hand saw


Here is how to install the protector:

  1. Cut the PVC pipe with the saw in 6-inches length. If you have a pop-up sprinkler head, measure the maximum length and cut the pipe accordingly.
  2. Wet the ground around the sprinkler head so that it’s easier to dig.
  3. Dig the soil with a shovel edge around the sprinkler head to fit the PVC pipe.
  4. Push the PVC pipe into the narrow space you have created around the sprinkler head.
  5. Push it inside as deep as you require around the sprinkler head so that it covers it from all sides.
  6. Fill in the gap with soil and secure it.

#Method 4 – Protecting Sprinkler Head Using Swing Joints

All of the above directions were for a fixed sprinkler head. Another way to make sure your sprinkler head stays out of your mowing area is to use swing joints.

The swing joint connects the sprinkler head with the irrigation pipe. It allows enough movement so that you can move it out of the way.

Swing joints are flexible pipe settings that allow you to adjust or move the sprinkler head out of the way when mowing the lawn. Even if someone steps down on the sprinkler head it pushes it down without damaging it.   You can move the sprinkler head out of the way while mowing without breaking it.

Even with swing joints, you need to use pointers around the sprinkler head to put it out of the way while mowing easily.

How to trim around the sprinkler head?

A part of sprinkler head protection is to trim around the sprinkler head carefully. Let’s see how you can trim around the sprinkler head.

Using Hand Clippers

Hand clippers can easily clear the area around the sprinkler head. You can pick any hand clipper and trim the grass around the sprinkler. The process can be time-consuming as compared to using a sprinkler head trimmer or an orbital Sod cutter.

Using Sprinkler Head Trimmer

Sprinkler head trimmers are designed for this purpose. These are easily available in lawn care stores. It’s a small handheld tool with a handle and a circular end with trimmers slicing away the top layer of grass and soil. The tool is designed to be used horizontally.

  1. Place the trimmer’s circular head over the sprinkler so that its head fits in the middle.
  2. Push it into the soil around the sprinkler and twist it around.
  3. The trimmer will cut the grass or weed.

Use of Orbit Sod Cutter

An orbit sod cutter is another tool to remove the weeds or grass around the donut of the sprinkler head. It works pretty much like the trimmer.

  1. Place the orbital sod cutter over the sprinkler head and push it into the soil using some force.
  2. Move the sod cutter back and forth to ensure it cuts the turf or grass.
  3. Pull off the cutter and remove the grass or weeds with your hands.

You can use the orbital sod cutter whenever you trim the lawn to prevent the grass from growing over the sprinkler head.

How to stop grass from growing over sprinklers?

A common problem with sprinkler heads is that grass or weeds may grow over the sprinkler head. They can prevent it from popping up and block its nozzles. Or, in the worst case, it may cover it completely, making it invisible.

A very useful product is Sprinkler buddy. It’s an umbrella-like small tool available with different measurements. The user decides the diameter of the sprinkler buddy depending on the size of the sprinkler head and cuts it accordingly.

Here is how to install the sprinkler buddy:

  1. Use a measuring tape to measure the sprinkler head shaft’s width.
  2. Sprinkler buddy has lines in the middle with measurements written.
  3. Cut the lines with a scissor to the required width.
  4. Attach the sprinkler head in the hole until it touches the top of the sprinkler head.
  5. Install the sprinkler head, attaching it to the underground pipe.

Not only will it prevent the weeds or grass from growing around the sprinkler head, but it will also prevent the lawn mower tires from running over it if installed properly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s answer some frequently asked questions relating to sprinkler head protection.

What is a sprinkler head?

The sprinkler is an in-ground irrigation system for your lawn or garden or even can be used as a fire extinguisher. It’s a system to discharge water all around.

A sprinkler head is connected to PVC pipes with a water outlet. So in the most common words, a sprinkler head waters your plant or grass within a specific area.

How do you create a concrete sprinkler head donut?

We have already mentioned the DIY sprinkler head protector using a PVC pipe. When buying a concrete sprinkler head, you must be careful about the right width or length. But you can also create a concrete sprinkler head yourself. Not only is it cost-effective, but it fits perfectly and stays good for a long time.

All you need is:

  • A PVC pipe to be used as a mold or any other mold (make sure it is precisely the same diameter as you require)
  • A small PVC pipe of a radius little greater than a sprinkler head is to be kept inside the bigger pipe.
  • Concrete mixture(you can use ready mixed cement that requires only water to be added)
  • Vegetable spray

Note: if you are making your mixture from the start, you need to mix one part of cement with 1 ½ part of sand. Mix it with water until you have the right consistency.


  1. Prepare the concrete mixture as the directions say.
  2. Spray the mold generously so that it is easier to remove when the mixture solidifies.
  3. Pour the mixture into the mold and leave it until it becomes solid.
  4. Remove from the mold and place it around the sprinkler head.

Final Words

A sprinkler head can easily be damaged even with all care. You can ensure sprinkler heads’ safety and long life by making them visible with flags or rocks. If you know where the sprinkler head is located, you can avoid the part while mowing and trim it later with hand clippers, sod cutter, or a sprinkler head trimmer.

Donuts or any PVC pipe covering prevents the sprinkler head from getting hit by a lawn mower or any cart. Even with all these cares, keeping the sprinkler head clean for its prolonged life is important. Unscrew the nozzle and remove all the dirt,, or debris stuck in small holes to ensure the flow.

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