BASEBALL FIELD RENOVATION: Where
do I start?
EDGING & LIP REMOVAL: It's all about the sod cutter
AFTER IT RAINS: Removing pools of water
IN THIS ISSUE:
together a budget for reconditioning a field
control with spike dragging
The awful truth about chalk dust for foul lines
to mark and cut the outter infield skin grass line
My Field is in Really Bad Shape. Where Do I Start?
I am starting on my eagle project and am planing to redo a field
at my church. It is in really bad shape. If you could help me
it would be nice. Thanks, T.J.
I can help you. You need to create a plan based on what you
are trying to fix. The good news for you is that I have templates
you can follow and fillout to do this.
here is a link to surf through to start with. After you skim
these you probably will have some questions. Send those to me.
Time Favorite Sod Cutter - What Is It?
I am considering
the purchase of a sod cutter, and I am interested to know the make/model
of the sod cutter captioned as "My all time favorite!"
on the edger page. Thanks! Phil
You're refering to the picture and description at:
I really like the Turfco Kiss Cutter model. It is relavitely light
weight, has the 4 pneumatic tires and handles well. There is a similar
model made by Billy Goat. I rent only the Turfco model
for jobs I do.
And just to round this out there is a larger model by Bluebird that
also has 4 tires and works too. I avoid the sod cutters with
a roller in the back instead of tires. This design is often
hard to keep level and straight. You want the best for your
baseball field maintenance efforts.
Have fun with
Removing Large Rain Puddles
I am trying
to find out how we can get a field ready that has large pools of
standing water. HELP! Marty.
A couple ways to deal with pools of water from rain:
1. dig a small
ditch to drain it; an option, but not my favorite.
2. use a squeegy
to push the water off... my choice if possible. I use a floor squeeqy
with a long handle. These are available at Home Depot or Lowes for
about $20. A good tool to have in your baseball shed. The squeegy
can push the water without also pushing so much baseball mix and
making an even deeper area.
Once the you
do either of the above you need to level it out or the water will
pool again at the next rain. You have a surface drainage problem
to fix. You either have to move existing dirt to level it or add
more dirt to fill in the low spot.
Hope that helps.
Have a great spring season!
Together a Budget For Reconditioning a Field
am doing a project on reinstating the college baseball team. I
am trying to compile a budget that includes reconditioning the playing
surface of our field . Can you help me put together an estimate
for the field dirt, warning track surface and anything needed to
recondition the outfield, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.
Nick S., Varsity Assistant Coach
Hi Nick, Here's
some general ideas to start with:
35 tons of baseball mix to the infield - $800
2 tons of Turface MVP to condition the infield dirt - $600
50 pounds of grass seed and 50 pounds of fertilizer to the infield
turf - $130.
35 tons of a decomposed granite mix to the outfield warning track
250 pounds of seed and 250 pounds of fertilizer to the outfield
Rent an aerator for a day to core aerate - $100
Rent a sod cutter for a day to edge and get rid of lips - $85
Rent a tractor with a smooth bucket loader and a rear tiller to
spread and mix the dirt - $300
You probably could use about $100 worth of weedkiller too.
So, there you have it. Hope that helps. If you have more questions,
let me know. This is a rough idea to start with. Don't be
overwhelmed with baseball field maintenance. Take it bit by
Control With Frequent Spike Dragging
I have a huge problem with grass coming up all over the infield
dirt on our little league fields! The parents put new dirt
on the field, but the grass came up through it the next week almost
like it fertilized the field. Can you tell me what to use to kill
and control these grasses? Adam.
The fastest way to get rid of weeds and grass sprouting and growing
in the infield dirt is to drag it with a nail drag or a spike drag.
These are usually 4 feet by 2 feet wood or metal frames with 100+
nails or small spikes sticking down 2 inches. You can easily build
have to add weight to the nail drag to get it to dig in and rip
out the grass or weeds. This also works best if the ground has been
moistened first to soften it up a bit. For example, the day after
a rain storm is a good time to do this.
You can also
spray weedkiller, but it seems that you want the weeds out immediately.
An alternative at the grass edges is to use a hula hoe to get rid
of the grass or weeds growing past the edge.
Awful Truth about Chalk Dust for Marking Lines
am a manager of a little league team and I used some dry up dirt
after a bad storm. To my amazment, the mix contained crystalline
silica, which is found in alot of natural clay products. This stuff
causes cough, dyspnea (breathing difficulty), wheezing, decr (decreased
pulmonary functions), progressive respiratory symptoms (silicosis),
irritated eyes. The material we use to line the field also contains
some of the same ingredience. Are there any products that are safe
for our children to play on without developing cancer. Most kids
play from age 5 to age 20 or more. That's 15 years of inhaling this
stuff before they're even out of college. Glenn.
You are not alone in being concerned about breathing all that stuff
in the chalk dust or line marking powder.
alternative is to use marking paint for the lines. These turn out
very sharp, last through a game, and are easy to remove when dragging
- unlike chalk buildup that is hard to get rid of.
I like the water
based marking paint. I get 20oz cans of white from World Class Paints
for about $2.50 a can. They come in a 12 can case. There are probably
suppliers of marking paint near you. Check it out. You do need a
small push cart the can mounts in. Squeeze the trigger as you walk
a stringer and you get a nice line.
the dirt a bit, then apply the paint. Paint sprayed on dry dirt
is not as solid looking.
to Cut the Outside Edge of the Infield
project on our field is to use a sod cutter to fix the outside edge
of our infield. I know that it should be an arc at 95' from the
pitching rubber, but what is the easiest way to mark it. Straight
lines are easy using string and spikes but curves are a bit harder.
Do you have any tricks for marking the arc? Eric, High School
Baseball in Colorado
Here's how I do it.
Tools required: stringer,
screw driver, can of white marking spray paint - held upside down
to spray, tape measure, maybe a hammer if your ground is real hard.
I tie a small loop at
the end of the stringer line. I insert the screw driver in the loop
and push it into the ground centered and just in front of the pitching
rubber. Hammer it in if it is hard.
Then I walk to the grass
cutout behind 1B holding the stringer and letting it unwind as I
go. I measure out 95 feet on the string. Then with the string pulled
tight I walk the arc and spray white paint as I go. I find it works
fine just to give a squirt every 3 or 4 feet instead of a continuous
line. Then I use the sod cutter to follow the dots to make a perfect
Tip: I do it this way
- going from 1B to 3B since I'm right handed. At the 95 foot length
on the stringer I have the spray can in my right hand and wrap some
of the slack around one of my fingers so I can keep the string tight
as I walk and squirt paint as I go. This defintely works best if
you use marking paint cans that are held upside down to spray.
That's it. A perfect
arc for your high school baseball field.
One more thing.
A mistake to avoid:
Your outfield sprinklers
should be out beyond the 95 foot arc if they were installed to spec.
However, you might want to turn on the sprinklers and mark them
just to make sure they are past the 95 foot arc. If they end up
being closer, you can bet a sod cutter will do some serious damage
to a sprinkler - yes, I've done that.
I've shortened the arc
more than a few times to accomodate sprinklers not in the right
place. For example, I've shorted up the arc by 1-5 feet so the sprinklers
are still 6 inches in the grass past the arc. It's OK to improvise
if you have to.
Have fun with
your next project!
Yours for better play more often,