you adding tons of new baseball mix?
Or does your current baseball field have
humps and valleys in the dirt?
the truck dump the dirt in several 2-4 yard size piles.
This makes it easier
to spread the baseball
dirt and do some of the work by hand.
Move and spread
dirt by hand that goes right next to the grass edge. Prevent
lip build up on your infield and ensure it is level in this area.
Spread it and then use a lawn roller on it to pack it down here.
all the dirt: option 1 - Use shovels, wheelbarrows,
and field rakes to move, spread, and level.
Hand spreading 27
tons of dirt is a big job. Too big for me. You can see from
this picture that just spreading some in front of second base is a big
all the dirt: option 2 - Use a tractor with
a loader to spread the dirt. A
tractor is certainly the fastest way to move the baseball dirt, spread
it, and mix it in. The rear tiller also helps level the dirt
mix after you mix it in.
Whether you move and
spread by hand or with a tractor, you probably will not yet have a completely
firm and flat surface. This can be accomplished with a series of
leveling and dragging devices. Or with laser leveling. I'll
leave the laser leveling for the moment and talk about what you can do
baseball dirt: option 1 - The spike drag. This is a heavy
metal drag. The spikes are really long bolts sticking out of the
metal frame. These don't bend for nothing.
The spikes break up the top two to three inches of the dirt mix. You can
also flip the spike drag over so the spikes are up and the flat side is
down. Dragging with it like this helps level the dirt.
Drag slow to medium
speed. Not too fast or you actually cause more lumps and bumps.
baseball dirt: option 2 - the leveling rack.
This is an attachment you can pull behind your tractor or riding mower.
The device has some
spikes in the front to loose up the baseball mix as it passes over it.
Then the device has a wide metal plate that can be raised and lowered
to scrape high spots and spread dirt in low spots.
It comes with a hand
control so you can raise and lower the wide metal plate via a hydraulic
piston as you pull it. Nice.
If the dirt mix is
hard, just add some weight such as a couple cinder blocks to get the spikes
to loosen it up.
the metal mesh drag to smooth it out.
To firm up the new baseball dirt you need one of two things. Water
or a roller. Rain is best. It settles and firms up and any
puddles or discoloration as it dries shows you remaining low spots.
1. A steam
roller is great for instant firm surface also. Just
roll it twice with a steam roller and you are done.
also helps pack the mix and firm it. You can see from the pictures
that the baseball dirt that was moved, spread, and leveled next to the
grass edge is colored a rich red after the rain. Time your work
and let the rain help you.
Tips and Hints:
Use a tractor with
a rear tiller to mix in the new dirt and existing dirt to get it to bond
together. Otherwise the new dirt just sits loose on top of the older hard
It's also better to
have your new dirt slightly moist and your existing field slightly damp
when you start this.
The finished job.
Flat. No lips. Firm footing. No bad bounces. No
drainage problems after rain.
In this example, the
baseball mix was delivered in late November.
I did the hand spreading near the grass lines in mid December.
I used the tractor to spread, till, and level the baseball mix in early
January. The final leveling was done in mid January. Players
started using the field in early February.
You can take your time during the off season in the south. This
entire job could be done in 1-2 days if needed and then immediately play
See the baseball
ball field project gallery for more examples.