FAQ:how to get grass to grow in a large damaged area

FAQ - What is the best, quickest and maybe cheapest way to get grass to grow again in a baseball field?
 
 

 

Oufield grass ruined by soccer or
football playing in the rain?


My school's baseball field was severely damaged by a game of soccer in the rain. There is an entire patch on the left field where the game was held that has absolutely no grass and the earth is uneven thanks to the holes made by soccer players.

I need the field to be in great conditions for an upcoming softball tournament in 4 weeks which is going to be a big fundraiser for my class. What do I do to get grass to grow again?

Unfortunately, this is an all too common problem on fields shared by baseball, soccer, and football.  The other sports don't seem to mind playing in the mud or wet ground.  But this is bad for baseball when it's your turn to use the field.

Here's what to do:

Getting grass to grow:
Water the area so it is not dry and hard, aerate it twice in an 'x' patter with a core lawn aerator, spread topdressing (sand/compost/topsoil mix) on the area at a rate of 1 ton per 1000 sq ft, spread grass seed (mixture of rye and fescue will work) at a rate of 10 pounds per 1000 sq ft, drag the area with the same wire mesh drag you use on the infield dirt (this smooths it out), fertilize with starter fertilizer (6-20-20) at a rate of 5 pounds per 1000 sq ft. Water it every day or let rains keep it damp. Don't let it dry out. Stay off it. After grass has grown for 3 weeks, mow it.

Flattening the ground:
Then before using it for play, roll it with a lawn roller filled with water (it weighs 100 pounds) to flatten out anything not leveled with the drag and the topdressing. Have fun!

I've done this several times. A 50 lb bag of seed is $75. A 50 lb bag of starter fertilizer is $13. I use Horizon or Sequoia Pacific Turf Supply. Rent a lawn aerator from Home Depot for $30. Topdressing where I am costs $25 a ton. Over 5 tons is free delivery.

For in depth instructions and guidance to get grass to grow in the damaged area, see the turf maintenance section

And see the baseball field maintenance equipment section for tips and hints on the equipment you need to use.