the problem areas
this field, the infield turf area was not level anymore. Low spots
had developed between the mound and third base and between the mound and
first base. Maybe constant foot traffic in these areas did this.
Especially if this happened with the ground wet.
So, what's the best
way to find out where the problem areas are on your infield turf?
What I do is mow it. By hand. If you walk behind a mower you
get a very good feel for the dips, ruts, and high spots. You and
the mower will be able to feel it.
So, as you mow, mark
the spots where it obviously is low. If you already know great.
But sometimes you find more my mowing. I use the sprinkler flags
to mark the areas.
what you need for this project
- Mower to mow the
infield before starting this project
- Infield drag -
the wire mesh type works best for this
- Lawn roller or
steam roller optional
- 2-3 yards of dry
fill sand; for
details about sand selection with this project check here
- Shovels, wheelbarrow,
and / or buckets
- Field rake
- When you start
this process, it's best that your field is not dry as a bone.
In preparation for the rest of the work, water the day before.
- When the grass
is dry, mow it. Mow the grass so it is about 1-1/2 inches long. It's
best if you either rake up the clippings or catch them in the mower
- Roll the infield
turf. This step is optional and works best on slightly moist dirt.
But if you have some really lumpy spots, it will help alot. You
can either use a lawn roller or a steam roller. On this field I used
the lawn roller first. This helped some, but I also used the steam
roller. This turned the lumpy, bumpy areas into more gently rolling
areas. These are easier to fix with the sand.
- Spread the sand
so 75% of the grass still sticks up. You can dump the sand in
small piles and rake it around.
- Then drag the area
several times to level out the sand and work it down to the root zone.
- Water like normal.
- Play on it.
- Repeat the same
process in 2-3 weeks. Most of the sand will seem to have disappeared.
- Keep doing this
till the low spots level out.
Tips & Hints
- You can throw out
some grass seed on the sand before you use the hand drag to level it
out. This can help strengthen and thicken turf if needed.
A light application of fertilizer helps too.
- If you are using
a steam roller, this is a great time to work on fixing any lips at the
grass edges too. See
the section on options for fixing lip buildup on the field for specifics.
Things not to do on this project:
- Don't roll it after
sanding, roll before; otherwise it's like sandpaper on the grass.
It will be stressed it you do this.
- Don't work
with wet sand; it doesn't spread very well. I tried this once
because the sand delivery was wet. It's just a lot more work and it
is heavier when it's wet.
lumpy, bumpy infield
turf area with some
low spots to boot
hand drag to level and
knock down the sand
roller and 13 ton pile
of fill sand
infield turf that is rolled
dry sand on the left
is easier to work with