Fix lip build up on your baseball field

Fix Lip BuildUp
on Your Baseball Field
Dirt gets on the grass edge from dragging or from play.
A ridge or lip builds up and causes bad bounces.
You need to fix this.

What you're going to do

Every time you practice or play a game, dirt buildups around the basepaths, around the bases, or at the outfield grass line.

Maybe you haven't been able to prevent the lip by either raking or hosing. So, now you have a lip that is more like a speed bump.

Here's a couple ways to fix lip buildup and get rid of it amazingly fast.

How you do this

Base paths and the outfield grass line of the skin: often these have two problems. The grass has grown past its proper line and dirt has raised it up quite a bit.

Here's what you do for starters. This is often all that is needed to fix lip buildup when it is a wide, gently rolling bump area.

  1. Mark your sprinklers. (there really is a 'best' way to do this)
  2. Mark the proper cutout line. See ball field diagrams if needed.
  3. Use a sod cutter a and cut out the grass and raised area.
  4. Then spike drag the dirt and drag to level your infield dirt.

Infield grass line: often there are two problems. There is a significant lip right at the edge as well as a higher area about a foot or two into the grass.

Here's what to do to fix this or to continue fixing problems above if the sod cutter alone didn't fix the lip buildup.

  1. Mark your sprinklers.
  2. Core aerate the high area. Aerate it about 20 times.
  3. Rake the cores out onto the grass area. Let them become part of the field.
  4. Now you can continue fixing one of two ways.
  5. The slow way is to water everyday for 2 to 3 weeks and the sod with all the core plugs missing will start to lower slowly. Golf courses lower the high spots hit by mowers with this technique.
  6. I never had patience for this. I want it fixed now.
  7. After all the aerating and raking off the core plugs, run a shovel along the grass edge making a small ditch about 3 inches deep.
  8. Mark your sprinklers.
  9. Then run a 3 ton steam roller along the edge. Don't run over the sprinklers. After rolling twice you'll have instant flat ground at the dirt and turf line!
  10. Run a field rake along the dirt edge to rough it up a bit. All done. No more lip.  Check here for more info about using a roller to fix lip buildup.
  11. People who don't see what you just did will be amazed at how much better it is and wonder how you did it.

edged and rolled to eliminate the 'lip'

Tips & Hints
  1. Prevent lip build up.  That's better than having to fix lip buildup later.

  2. Once a week sweep or use a plastic rake to get the soil out of the grass.

  3. Use a hose to wash the soil or crushed brick or fines out of the grass and back onto the infield skin if the lips become higher and wider. This shouldn't be done more often than once a week because it weakens the grass roots. More often and you'll need to put out a fertilizer such as 6-20-20 for the roots.  This is one of the easiest ways to try to fix lip buildup if it hasn't gotten too bad.

  4. The steam roller technique described above works well on softball fields as well as baseball fields. Any playing surface where grass meets dirt and a lip builds up.

Mistakes to avoid

Use a sod cutter too deep when edging and you'll end up with a dip and lip that needs to be filled in with baseball dirt. You want to fix lip buildup, not make it worse.

dirt getting into the
grass area can
build a lip

grass edge with a 3 foot
wide hump and lip...

...fixed instantly by cutting to spec with a sod cutter

hump aerated a
dozen times

cores removed and rolled twice with a
3 ton steam roller

after you eliminate the
lip, you can also roll
the turf to flatten out
bumps and lumps

a nice result with weekly raking and rolling

Baseball Dirt Maintenance
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