you're going to do
infield mix to get closer to the right mixture for a safe and playable
Why you do
Most baseball fields
benefit from extra dirt every year or so. It just seems to blow away or
get washed away eventually. Adding the correct dirt mix also helps keep
the entire infield area level.
How you do this
- Order a truck load
of dirt material based on the prior analysis.
- Have it dumped
on the dirt area if possible. Lightly water your existing infield mix.
- Then spread the
new dirt with a tractor or field rakes.
- Fill in the obvious
low spots you typically find at first base and home plate. Second base
usually is a little high on most fields, but if it needs more dirt,
put it on.
- Water the dirt
lightly to hold down the dust..
- Drag with the usual
- Roll if you added
more than 2 inches of material to help speed up settling.
- Water the
dirt as you would before a game.
- Drag again.
bucket & tiller tractor
spreading wth a bobcat
Tips & Hints
Mistakes to avoid
- If you are adding
a lot of new material that didn't exist in the current field, then you
should till it in with a tractor tiller, drag it, and roll it. For example,
if your field is very low on clay, you might add a truck load (10 tons),
till in into the top 4 inches, drag it, and roll it. See example.
- Sand helps with
drainage and helps if bounces are too hard and high.
- Clay helps with
a firm footing and helps if the dirt area is too loose and bounces die.
- Combining clay
and sand usually gets the right combination for drainage, good footing,
and the right bounces.
- Fines (also known
as DG or decomposed granite) is usually granite rock crushed fine. It
might look good, but it does not really help with footing, drainage,
or bounces. It is cheap, so many parks use it. It does work to fill
in low spots, but for competitive play you don't want DG on the field.
The correct dirt mix needs to include some clay.
- Crushed red brick
is also popular if it is mixed in with clay and sand to give it the
'red' baseball infield look. A 50-50 mix of red brick and tan DG is
also sometimes used for warning tracks.
- This area
of field maintenance a frequent topic. See
more info about fixing your field so it has the correct dirt mix in
this FAQ topic.
Some infields are
made totally of DG, fines, or crushed brick. Walk on one of these after
a game on a warm day. It will be like walking on flour dust and you'll
be swimming in it. Don't put this on the field. The correct dirt mix is
made of clay, silt, and sand.
to level this
dump truck with
10 yds of dirt
size of a 10yd pile for
a high school infield
size of a 3 yd pile for
a little league infield
spread clay &dirt on
DG and then till it in
tilling in and dragging
rolling to settle the dirt
doesn't make this better