BASEBALL FIELD MAINTENANCE: 3 ways to remove lips
BASEBALL FIELD DIRT: fixing an infield dirt mess
BASEBALL FIELD DIAGRAMS:
measurements you need
IN THIS ISSUE:
Field Projects: rebuilding your mound... sources of mound clay
and the 'how to' steps
Field Improvement - getting the right dirt mix
Do this if you're low on $$ for your baseball field projects
1-17 before; 13-3 after. A better field really does result
in better play.
Three Ways to Remove Lip Build Up
baseball field has 1-2 inch lips on the
infield edges and anywhere from 2-6 inch lips on the outside turf
perimeters. Will the 'mass aerate and roll' technique work
for me? What else should I do? Justin.
The technique I describe where you mass
aerate the lip buildup and then roll the turf is best when
the lip is 2 inches or less and the turf is in reasonably good
to six inches high require more than that. If the lips have grown
past the spec cutouts (which is what usually happens as lips build
– the grass line creeps out farther than it should be) then
I would first use
a sod cutter to just cut the lip back and totally remove the
lip to the spec cutout. This might be all you have to do.
However, even after
sod cutting you might still have a smaller lip remaining. You
can either aerate and roll or use the hose technique where you
use water to blast some of the dirt out.
you still have a large lip after using the sod cutter, then you
can use the sod cutter to cut under the grass, gently move it
aside (you will replace it shortly), then use the sod cutter again
to loose the dirt, remove and inch or two of the dirt, and then
replace the sod you cut earlier. This last technique works best
if your sod is in reasonably good shape. Follow sod
installation instructions for best results.
And as a last
resort, if the lip is just so huge and the grass at the lip is
not in good shape, just cut it back past spec, remove it all,
out a top soil / compost mix, and reseed the edges. Grow it
level where it should be.
try to work with what I have before removing it and starting over.
Our baseball dirt mix is a mess. Need a quick fix.
school infield dirt needs help. Low spots hold water - it does not
drain. We brought in a truckload of "dirt" and
a truckload of sand. Unfortunately it was not mixed in well. Would
a quick fix include adding
clay dirt? and perhaps tilling everything together and rolling?
or covering existing dirt with 4" of commercial baseball mix?
Based on what you tell me, I would start by mixing,
leveling, and firming up what you have. Use a tractor with a rear
tiller. One that can go 6 inches deep. Mix well the existing silt,
sand, and old baseball dirt. Level it with mass dragging with a
spike drag and metal mesh drag with a leveling bar. Either roll
to firm or else let the rains cause it to firm up.
If the result
is still not good, then I would cover it with 4 inches of good baseball
mix. You will need about 60 tons (yards).
Regarding the idea of a quick fix on a high school field
– you need more than a truckload of dirt to make a difference.
A truckload is anywhere from 6-10 tons. On a high school field this
hardly raises it or changes the mix much. You need to think 30 tons
I just finished
a high school infield where I raised the infield area one inch.
I added 25 tons of 50 percent sand / clay soil and 50 percent crushed
red brick. I spread and tilled it into the top 5 inches. Then leveled
it. Then the rains helped settle and firm it up just in time for
the first practice on February 11.
is a similar project: improving the infield dirt on a senior little
league baseball field.
Field Measurements and Specifications
renovation: mixes, sources, and how to
I have clay bricks, but do you know who has mound clay? Also
any idea how how much clay mix to renovate a full size mound and
two little league size mounds? Can you give me a idea of what percentage
and what type of soil I need for the mound mix? Tom.
Check Sierra Pacific Turf Supply for mound clay. They also sell
the full line of Turface products.
vary. A lot of folks just use regular infield mix on the back and
sides of the mound and use the clay mix or clay bricks on the front
landing area. A 50/50 mix in front seems to work OK.
of clay mix that I have used on a little league field is the bags
of Muddux mortar clay you can get at Home Depot or Lowes. This powdery
stuff by itself is pretty slippery when wet. The key is to mix it
in with the existing mound material. Dig out about 4 inches of the
existing material and add back in as you mix in the mortar clay.
Add by alternating between wetting, adding, tamping, wetting, adding,
tamping, etc. As you add, use a field rake to spread and level.
Then throughout the year, try to keep the mound from drying out
to properly maintain the pitcher's area to reduce injury.
some tips and hints as well as mistakes to avoid when maintaining
your baseball field mound.
a softball field. What should my dirt mix be?
I'm building a high school softball field for our high school. We
get about 20 inches a rain a year here and it's very cold from Jan
to late Feb. and warm to hot in the summers. I'm trying to figure
out what my skinned infield dirt mix should be and what the percentages
should be? Any ideas? Dan
softball can be quite competitive. And competitive softball fields
are usually harder and firmer than what you would have for a high
school baseball field.
So, you want
more clay on a softball field. Up to 70 percent of the mix should
be clay. The rest can be sand.
is that these hard and firm fields don’t absorb water well.
Unless you have a slight slope – one to two percent –
the water just puddles and can take a while to evaporate and absorb
in. The very slight slope helps drain the water off to the side
or to the outfield grass. If you don’t have the slope just
right, then a very good tool to invest in is a large push squeegee.
I use this on one of the softball fields near me in the morning
to push the night rain water off. By afternoon the girls can play.
And if you want
to really get into it since you are building a new field, put French
drains under your infield draining the water out to center field.
Newer softball fields often do that. It also helps to roll the field
when the season starts.
softball field at Siltanen Park in Scotts Valley was a quick one-day
project. We firmed up the field for the college girls. I had
a lot of fun there. The Santa Cruz area is nice to go back and visit.
Low on Money. Do You Donate Products?
little league board was wondering if you donate products to
small, low income leagues such as ours. We do not profit much
as the kids that register with us cannot really afford to even
pay our low registration fees. We will be glad to hang
a large banner or sign in our field showing you support the
kids in our community. Jerry.
I sympathize with
your situation. My favorite projects have been for private schools.
They have the same funding challenges you have. Little or no
money. They need donations to get anything done. I get the most
personal satisfaction out of helping these teams.
But, I do not have
products to donate. What I do is donate knowledge and skills
and abilities to fix and renovate ball fields. I can also help
you raise money (lots of it) for your uniforms, equipment, and
I can tell you that this is the absolute best time to get money
donated. At the beginning of the year, your local businesses
allocate money in their budgets for community support. Ask and
you will receive. But you need a plan before you just
go out asking for money if you want to make the most of your
at this link, skim through, and let me know if you have any
questions. It tells you exactly what to do (and what not to
do) to raise money and get discounted or donated equipment and
materials for your league.
better fields really do make for better play
A college team played on an old, worn out field. I hate
to say it, but it really was bad. During the fall of 2004
they were 1-17 on that field. Plenty of errors, miscues,
bad hops, lost footing, and a few field injuries.
After renovating the field, the team was 13-3 in the spring of
2005. Yes, they got better, but the field no longer was
a factor in play either. Their project included a complete infield
dirt and turf renovation. Interested in what they did?
out this project for a complete infield renovation for a college
Bonus: And I've found that the a planning checklist is
the way to go. It shows me where the priority areas are
for the ball park to be safe and playable.
Yours for better play more often,
Publisher, Editor, & Groundskeeper
Ultimate Baseball Field Renovation Guide