Gopher Wire Under New Sod!?! Pros & Cons


LawnSite Member
I have a Client in Southern California that requested and was seeking advice about Gopher Wire installed under the new sod. I have heard of tales of Gophers pulling grass downward through the wire, I also have heard of Gophers digging horizontal between new sod and soil just above wire. Does the wire get in the way of irrigation repair later on, digging, etc..Can you guys on the forum give me the pros & cons on this subject. I have never installed wire or seen the use.


LawnSite Senior Member
A few months ago a client had just bought a house and had an unidentifiable leak in her irrigation system. We tried everything to find the leak, listening device, helium gas, etc. Nothing worked, and her meter kept spinning. I told her we were just going to have to dig down and follow her mainlines to locate the leak. Problem was, after we dug through the top three inches of soil, we found hardware cloth/gopher wire I guess you are calling it. It surrounded all the sprinkler heads, driplines, valve boxes etc. It was nearly impossible to dig through that stuff. It was buried throughout her landscape on her little 1/8 acre lot. I realized it was going to cost more to dig through that wire in search of the leak than it would be just to start over from scratch. It was taking us an hour just to dig 2 feet of 18" deep trench. Client agreed to start over, and we installed a brand new irrigation system, bypassing the areas covered in hardware cloth as much as possible.