BASEBALL TURF: Ten
steps to get ready for spring
BASEBALL DIRT: Add this to make any mix even better
TOPDRESSING FOR THE INFIELD SKIN: Need a local supplier?
IN THIS ISSUE:
best fertilizer early in the spring... what is it?
the yearly cost to maintain a field
Need a pro to build or renovate your field? Check here.
The 10 Step Turf Maintenance Program
a complete program of baseball turf maintenance, follow this
10 step process.
This process is ideally done 3 to 4 weeks before
your spring season starts. You
can also do this before summer tournaments and in late fall
when you are done for the year.
step is described including bonus tips & hints as well as common
mistakes to avoid.
what you do:
Once your field is dry enough, start
your baseball turf maintenance by mowing your turf.
In the early spring and fall, cut it a bit shorter than you normally
do. That allows for 3-4 weeks of growth. Next,
mark your sprinklers so you don’t hit them when you aerate
is followed by adding topdressing if possible. Usually a dirt
mixture that includes sand is best.
seed the turf.
Now the magic
the turf to blend the seed and dirt, to smooth the surface,
and to force materials into the aerification holes.
above process has been completed, fertilize
the turf and start
watering. After about 2 weeks spot
seed any areas where there is thin growth.
Once the turf
has grown to 2 to 3 inches, it is time to start regular mowing.
P.S. If time
or budget prevent you from doing all 10 steps, then the very best
thing you can do for your turf is to core aerate. This alone
will do wonders for your grass.
What Your Dirt Mix, Adding Conditioner Will Make It Better
I've been helping the local high school and small town little league
with their fields. I have golf course experience so I'm pretty good
at the turf but have a question regarding the skinned areas. I'm
in Iowa and the choice for infield skin is limestone since it's
plentiful and cheap. It does vary quite a bit in hardness however.
The high school uses a softer brownish limestone. I'd like to have
a little firmer surface and was wondering about tilling in clay
but I'm concerned about it's playability after rain since the budget
won't allow a cover. The limestone drains very well (as well as
the underlying soil). Doug in Iowa.
I checked with some pros I know in your area about their limestone
infields. They see the following benefits with the limestone: it's
easy to maintain, drains well after rain, and is cheap to buy more.
Notice how none
of these benefits are about the players and the need for firm footing
and true and consistent bounces.
I talked to four guys who take care of park and rec fields, little
league fields, and high school fields. They all till in calcined
clay such as Turface or Diamond Pro to help get a better playing
surface. If you haven't already done something like this, start
by adding 2 tons and nail dragging into the top 1 1/2 inches to
The calcined clay helps with moisture management.
Hope that helps. Have a great spring season!
Need a Source for Good Topdressing for the Infield Skin
"I have been
up grading a college level infield for two seasons AND now need
the best grade infield clay for the top 1/2 inch layer/
What is available in or near Texas to complete this important project.????"
Mike Schmidt in Texas
If you've spent quite some time grading a college field, then you
probably have it level the way you want it. It would be time for
a quality calcined clay topdressing / conditioner.
Start with two tons. Space the eighty 50 pound bags on your infield,
including 2 for the base paths and 4 for home plate area. Dump the
bags, spread with rakes, and then nail drag into the top inch of
our infield. Go slow and work it in. Then drag with a metal mesh
drag and water. All set!
Two sources for you in Texas (or just about anywhere in the US)
1. Turface - go to http://www.turface.com.
There is a product locator on the website. Enter your zip code and
it will tell you about distributors nearby.
2. Diamond Pro - go to http://www.diamondpro.com.
There is a distributor tab at the top. Enter your state and it shows
all the distributors for you.
Have a great spring season!
Best Fertilizer Early in the Spring
" We thatched and seeded earlier. They are putting infield
this week and hopefully edging and making the warning track. What
kind of fertilizer do you suggest?" Dean Perkins,
Cool season fertilizer is best right now.
I use the Turfgro brand, 21-4-7, from Horizon. It is a good mix
of organic and inorganic that won't burn or make the grass grow
too fast. It is high in iron to make it nice and green. Due to price
increases in the potash, many fertilizers now have '0' in the middle
- so you might find 21-0-7 instead. Have a great spring season!
the Yearly Cost to Maintain a Field
"We are a small baseball club in No. Virginia looking to build/renovate
some baseball fields. Do you have a business model that shows the
costs per month/year to maintain a field? I need to submit a proposal
to our board and was looking for a template to start with. Off the
top of my head I am guessing there are fertilizer, mowing, irrigation,
infield, warning track, etc., costs, but have no idea what those
costs are, and what other costs I might be missing. Any help you
could provide would be great. Thanks" David Lerch from
An ongoing field maintenance plan could include:
Spring - core aerate ($100 a day to rent), fertilize, seed, topdress
as needed; add more baseball dirt as needed.
Fall - core aerate, fertilize, overseed, topdress as needed
Winter - depending on climate - either do nothing or fertilize
If you need to do some 'one time' work like cutting sod or edging
the field, then you need another $120 to rent a sod cutter or lawn
edger (unless you know someone who has one.)
Seed costs about $70 for a 50 pound bag.
Fertilizer costs between $20 and $35 for a 50 pound bag.
Topdressing (topsoil, sand, compost mix) is about $25 a yard.
Baseball mix varies from about $30 a yard to $40 a yard.
So, the big question is how much of these do you need? It depends
on the size of your field. Check this link for assistance with this
I'll leave the math to you!
Who Build and Renovate Sports Fields
fact is not everyone has the interest or time to tackle ball park
upgrades or renovation on their own.
The good news is that there are professionals out there that can
do the work for you. Here are a few that I have had contact
with. I don't benefit where you use them or not. Just
passing these on if it helps someone out there.
Ohio region - Troy
Frazier - Athletic
field maintenance and development services specializing in baseball
fields and drainage in the Ohio region.
http://www.fraziersfieldrepair.com & http://www.gameonred.com
North & South Carolina, Georgia
- Alan Wilson, CSFM - Athletic field contractor providing construction,
renovation, and maintenance services for athletic facilities in
SC, Western NC, and eastern Ga. Helps
maintain over 300 athletic fields in these areas from Minor League
Parks, the Carolina Panthers NFL Club, Colleges of every size from
USC to local Tech juco programs, around 60 high schools,down to
Parks and Recs and Little league organizations.
Contact Alan at: wilsonandAssociates@alltel.net
Yours for better play more often,
Publisher, Editor, & Groundskeeper
Ultimate Baseball Field Renovation Guide
The baseball field maintenance handbook is finally done! So,
the ultimate baseball & softball field maintenance handbook
will be available in March. It is titled: Transform
Your Baseball Field into a Winning Field: Helping
You Master Field Maintenance.
The table of
Safety and Playability Matters: You Decide How Much
Ch2: Transform Your Baseball Field into a Winning Field
Ch3: Develop a Sports Field Improvement Plan That’s Right
Ch4: Turf Maintenance Made Easy
Ch5: Baseball Dirt and its Condition
Ch6: Using Proven Equipment
Ch7: Using Quality Materials
Ch8: Keeping the Momentum Going
Appdx: checklists, case studies, diagrams, worksheets, & examples
Bonus: How to Fund Your Baseball Field Improvements