Maintain Your Baseball Dirt
Your Baseball Infield Dirt
adequate baseball field dirt maintenance is key
to a safe and quality baseball experience
maintained: level and a clean edge
Why you do
Give your athletes the opportunity
to perform at their highest level. Reduce compaction, bad hops, and puddling
after it rains.
How you do this
Proper infield dirt care is really all about moisture management. You
don't want it hard as concrete or as fine as flour dust. Both extremes
are lousy to play on. And the fans and umps hate to breathe dust all game
too. Give them a break as well.
Tips & Hints
- Remove the bases
and any junk from the field like sticks, rocks, or grass clippings.
- Lightly moisten
the infield skin or dirt area in preparation for dragging.
- Nail drag or spike
- Slowly drag the
field with a metal mat drag. This loosens the surface and levels and
low spots. Keep the drag at least 6 inches from the grass edge to prevent
lip build up.
Mistakes to avoid
- Change the direction
of dragging frequently to prevent constant buildup at the same places.
the spiral dragging method is usually the best for not causing buildups.
- Use a field rake
along the grass edge to level it. If dirt gets on the grass area, use
a plastic fan rake to get it out.
- Plastic fan rakes
work better than metal. Less damage to grass roots when getting the
dirt back on the infield skin.
- Don't just drag
before practice or a game. Drag afterwards and you'll have a better
field. If you don't, the foot marks harden from the overnight due or
rain. You'll have to work harder the next day.
- Use a steam roller
on the infield dirt after adding and mixing in a truckload or after
using a spike drag to fill in large indentations. The roller helps the
added material settle so players are not swimming it in. Rolling also
helps provide good footing and bounces.
- Always entering
and exiting the field at the same place with the drag. It's not unusual
for a field to have a lump or high place at 3B or 1B where the drag
always stops leaving a build up of dirt.
- Biggest mistake
- not dragging before or after games and practices. Just letting your
infield dirt go to pot.
- If you pull a drag
behind a tractor, don't drive too fast. It doesn't smooth it out and
causes build up on the turns.
- And, of course
dragging past the dirt onto the grass is a very bad idea and will cause
a lip buildup. If
you end up with a lip at the edge of your infield dirt, check here for
ways to fix it.
you're going to do
your infield dirt to ensure good footing, true and consistent bounces,
and proper drainage if it rains.
dragging over the edge
pulling a nail drag
is actually a
three foot wide hump
in the grass made from
years of dragging over
but this is very fixable.
See fixing lip build up.