in Livingston writes:
I found out
that the people who were trying to take care of the fields here
were adding conditioner to the infields each year but they never
took care of it. Never watered or did anything to groom the fields.
Never added baseball dirt.
but concrete or dust after I groom now. Anyway after all these years
of them grooming and never watering the infields are now 2 inches
lower than they are suppose to be. This year things are gonna change.
I want to get the fields up to the right height again and then im
gonna have a groomer class one Saturday for the people who will
groom when I'm not here.
I know I need
a certain percent of sand/clay/silt for good baseball dirt mix,
not just 2 inches of conditioner right? This year we are gonna try
diamond pro out. Before it gets here im planning on doing a quick
soil test to see how bad the fields really are so I can try and
add what I can to get the right height before I add the conditioner.
I know your site explains how to mix in the conditioner to get the
best of it and I'm gonna follow it. Is there a certain type of clay/silt
and sand I need to be getting or is there somewhere I can order
it mixed already?
What would you
think be my best bet? 1/4 of diamond pro over the clay/sand/silt
baseball dirt is all I need right? I shouldn't need 2 inches of
diamond pro I wouldn't think. I just wanna make sure I get the job
If you hear
of any classes I can take or seminars I can attend to better my
knowledge and won't cost an arm and a leg. If you have any web site
you recommend getting any material or products from I need some
help there too.
- - - - - - - - - - -
I really love your passion for what you are doing.
the best way to think about the situation is to consider what you
want at the end of all the improvements:
infield skin should be at least 4 inches of a good baseball dirt
mix. Ideally it comes premixed and is a combination
of sand, clay, and silt. The percentages can vary because as you
point out it's the watering that really makes the difference. Sand
could vary from 70% to 50%. Clay could vary from 20% to 40%. Silt
from 20 - 30. The variances are OK. Don't get too caught up in it.
Just don't add nothing but sand or nothing but crushed brick or
nothing but conditioner.
If I were you
I would add 10-15 yards of baseball dirt to a little league field
to raise it up 2 inches. Then use a tractor with rear tiller to
till in the top 4 inches so it is a consistent mix. Level and roll
it to firm it up. Add a conditioner such as Diamond Pro to the top
fourth inch and scarify it in with a nail drag. You definitely don't
want to add nothing but 2 inches of conditioner. That would be way
expensive and not the best way to use it.
your investment and the safety of the players. Do this
with some training and education for those who take care of the
fields and with access to the right equipment needed. I like the
idea of some field maintenance clinics to help people do it right.
Otherwise, best intentions aside, some people actually make it worse
and don't realize it.
I'm like you. I like
to work outside. I did a stint as a project manager in the corporate
world. It helped me better plan and organize field projects. But
I like the outdoors. And I too have the added motivation of my own
children playing on some of the fields I still take care of today.
Nothing like that kind of motivation.
As far as ongoing
training, I admit sometimes this is OJT. Or learn as an
apprentice to a seasoned pro. Your challenge is learning a bit on
your own. My suggestion is continue on courageously and don't hold
back asking for what it takes to do a good job. You are a hero.
Soon everyone else there will realize it too. And this is baseball
dirt and grass. Even if you make a mistake, you can usually recover
from it within a couple weeks.
sources for products and chemicals would be local landscape
suppliers. I use Horizon near me. Check their website a www.horizononline.com.
See the kind of stuff they have. I go there just to get it cheaper
in bulk - 50 pound bags of seed, fertilizer, etc.
source of info and education, not just for baseball dirt, for all
around ball park care is the sports turf management association
Yours for better
play more often,
Publisher, Editor, & Groundskeeper
Baseball Field Renovation Guide