Tool for burying dripline in lawn

Last year I put Netafim Techline CV dripline on my front lawn, just on the surface of the grass. It has worked reasonably well, so it's time to think about making the setup permanent.
I'd like to bury the dripline with minimal disturbance to the turf (and minimum labor!) to a depth of no more than a couple of inches. First thought was to pry a slit in the soil with a shovel and simply tuck the line in, then tamp the soil back down. Much easier said than done. Even with considerable prying, the slit is too narrow and closes up before the line is put in. Roots make digging a narrow trench fairly destructive; the kerf is apt to be about as wide as it is deep and hard work to boot.
Does anybody know of a tool for this purpose? I'm aware of vibratory plows, but that seems like overkill if the goal is just a 2" burial depth. Some kind of tool that I can either stand on to press a slot in damp soil or a spreader-like tool similer to an inside out post hole digger might work, but I've never seen such a device and don't know what it would be called. A shovel with a blade about 1/2" thick would be a start.
When it's damp the soil is fairly pliable and there are no rocks, so some kind of soil pusher or piercer has a decent chance of working. Digging in the usual sense promises to be much harder work and there are close to 2000 feet of line to bury. The OD of the dripline is only about 5/8", so the actual volume of soil to be displaced is rather small compared to what is typically moved by digging.
Thanks for reading, and any guidance!
bob prohaska
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bob prohaska wrote:

They make a scraper that looks like a hoe , only straight instead of at 90? to the handle . Use one to make 2 parallel cuts about 2 or 3 inches apart , lift the strip of turf out - might have to use a narrow blade to cut under the turf - lay the hose in and replace the strip . Might have to remove just a little dirt to make room for the hose .
--
Snag



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On Mon, 4 Apr 2016 01:36:51 +0000 (UTC)
<snip>

There are some tools like that but they are hard to find for sale. Here is one that is grossly over priced but should give you an idea of what to look for:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
You might get this Fiskars model to do same:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
To make these work you push/step on them into the soil to the depth you want. Now with the "shovel" still in front of you push & pull the handle a few times. What you hope to achieve is a slot at the top of your slit and a widened area that will fit what you are trying to bury at the bottom. They work pretty well if you have the right soil consistency...
If I remember correctly you are just itching to use a "new" welder. If you could procure a piece of steel long enough to satisfy your depth requirement and maybe 4 to 8 inches wide you could just weld a pipe handle to it and save some bucks ;-)
--
Leon Fisk
Grand Rapids MI/Zone 5b
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I've thought about trying to weld something together but am having difficulty deciding just what....
Trying to pry a slot with a single blade does not work with a shovel, the soil is too elastic and the prying "stretch" of a single blade can't overcome the rebound sufficiently. A blade half an inch thick might be pried enough to yield a three quarter inch wide slit, which could work. Cutting two slits and lifting the sod between needs considerably more width to lever out the plug.
I just tried a ramming tool made with half inch iron pipe having an elbow and short nipple at the end. Using a slide (post) hammer it's possible to punch a dent that's an inch or two deep and holds its shape well enough to let the dripline fit in. The nipple keeps the dents aligned and holds the old dent open while the new one forms. A well- shaped tool of similar pattern might have promise. The pipe fittings are wider than needed, but a weldment could be tailored for a better fit and even curved for going around corners. If the soil is wet the hammering doesn't seem too hard, at least in small increments......
Another respondent pointed out that 2000 feet is a very long way to trench by hand, no matter how small the trench. The truth of that observation is beginning to dawn. The power machines suggested are all so big there'd be very little left of the lawn by the time I got through. One choice is to bury only sections of the dripline where it's an obstacle and save the rest for a more clever idea if it ever comes along.
Thanks to all for reading and sharing your thoughts!
bob prohaska
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bob prohaska wrote:

2000' is a tremendous distance to cut a slit into turf with a hand tool. Automatic sprinkler installers use a machine that cuts a slit and buries the tubing at the same time, similar to how a mole tunnels. It moves along fairly fast, about five feet per minute... a steel point is attached to the leading end of the tube and the machine slits and pulls the tubing through the slit... when done one has to look hard to find the slit. You could probably rent the machine for a day but since you've no experience I would strongly suggest hiring an irrigation installation person. There are several different machines but for 2000 feet I'd suggest one like this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZSn9JKnzPk

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On 4/3/2016 6:36 PM, bob prohaska wrote:

I suggest you rethink your plans for a buried dripline for a lawn. I see two potential problems.
First of all, a dripline tends to irrigate only in the immediate area of the emitters or holes in the line. On the other hand, a lawn consists of numerous grass plants scattered across the lawn area. Thus, the dripline would irrigate only spots or stripes in the lawn. The only way to cover a grass lawn is with a sprinkler system.
Then there is the problem of buried lines becoming clogged. This does not usually happen when a buried line merely feeds an above-surface emitter. With a buried line irrigating under ground, the emitters or holes will eventually be plugged with grass roots or roots from nearby shrubs and trees. With shrubs and trees, the roots might grow until they rupture the line, even affecting it away from the emitters or holes.
--
David E. Ross

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