Use a Thatcher for your baseball field maintenance

Using a Thatcher on your Baseball Field
 
Remove dead grass, lightly till, or rid the skin of small weeds
 

 
Choices and Decisions

The most common use for a thatcher is to remove thatch from the turf in the fall.

These walk-behind machines are self-propelled and spin a series of metal cutters at varying depths to remove thatch - dead grass that accumulates after mowing.

There are at least three more ways you can use a thatcher on your baseball field.

 

Sources and Suppliers

Supplier I've used and am satisfied with: Home Depot Rentals. There are other suppliers, but this is my favorite.



Tips & Hints
  1. Mark sprinklers so you don't hit them when using it on the grass areas. If you have a lot of weeds or thatch to get out, be prepared to rake and remove a lot of piles of debris.


  2. You probably can only get within 6 inches of the fence area so don't try to get too close and run the machine into your fence.

  3. Lower the depth setting to use it for lightly tilling turf before overseeding. Not too low or you wreck the root system of the exiting grass, but low enough to lift up some dirt.

  4. Lower the depth setting to scarify the infield skin. The thatcher does a great job of getting out the smaller weeds that are common on fields in early spring after the rainy season.

  5. If your baseball field is fairly level without much of a lip and if the grass hasn't grown too far past the edge where it should be, then the thatcher can also be used to edge at the grass line.




Mistakes to avoid

  1. Don't forget to mark the sprinklers. Unless your sprinkler heads are two inches below the surface, you can damage them with the thatcher.

 

thatcher at work
thatcher at work; note
the need to rake off
the debris



scratching up the dirt
thatcher set low to 'till'
the dirt a bit before
planting seed


piles of grass to remove
thatching can create
a lot of grass to remove



workers removing grass
helpers raking up the
thatch and removing it


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