Maintain Your Baseball Dirt

Maintaining Your Baseball Infield Dirt
 
Providing adequate baseball field dirt maintenance is key
to a safe and quality baseball experience
 

 

well maintained: level and a clean edge

Why you do this

Give your athletes the opportunity to perform at their highest level. Reduce compaction, bad hops, and puddling after it rains.

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.

How you do this
  1. Remove the bases and any junk from the field like sticks, rocks, or grass clippings.
  2. Lightly moisten the infield skin or dirt area in preparation for dragging.
  3. Nail drag or spike drag slowly.
  4. 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.
Tips & Hints
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Plastic fan rakes work better than metal. Less damage to grass roots when getting the dirt back on the infield skin.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
Mistakes to avoid
  1. 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.
  2. Biggest mistake - not dragging before or after games and practices. Just letting your infield dirt go to pot.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

 

What you're going to do

Maintain your infield dirt to ensure good footing, true and consistent bounces, and proper drainage if it rains.




dragging over the edge
does this



pulling a nail drag




rolling annually



this edge is actually a
three foot wide hump
in the grass made from
years of dragging over
the edge....

but this is very fixable.
See fixing lip build up.


Baseball Dirt Maintenance
   Analysis  |  Correction  | Basepath  |  Lip Buildup  |  Homeplate  |  Infield Maintenance   Pitcher's Mound  |  Warning Track

Home  |  Free Newsletter  |  Contact Us  |  FAQs  |  Baseball Blog