Art of the Quick Fix
7, 2007 -- Issue 18
Fields for Better Play
I admit it.
Sometimes I use shortcuts... a quick fix that works for a while.
find myself in a situation where I need to do a 'patch job' to get
by until I can do a better, more permanent fix. Sometimes I
can wait a couple years before I need to go back.
Here's a few problems
I've run into that can be solved with a quick fix::
mound dirt. During spring maintenance, you might find that
the mound seems to have lost some of its dirt during the rains.
I've had to scrape a couple wheelbarrows full of infield dirt from
deep short or second or the coaches boxes to beef up the mound.
I realize it isn't exactly the same composition, but it works until
I can get more mound clay.
on my tractor. Last spring I was all ready to start
on a field when I found that one of the tires was flat. I really
needed that tractor to help haul materials and drag the field.
Fix a flat to the rescue. Same stuff that is advertised to fix
a flat on a car, although I've never used it like that. Just
make sure you use the small can for a small tractor tire. I
keep one in the trunk.
mound holes and lots of loose dirt. You probably know
the best way to
fix the mound is to alternate between moistening, adding dirt
back in, tamping, then moistening, adding, tamping, and so on.
If conditions are right - very hot, sunny weather and you don't need
to use the mound for at least a day, here's a way to firm up the holes.
Rake the loose dirt away from the holes and spread it out. Soak
the hole and the dirt you spread. Let the water puddle in the
hole. Then push the wet dirt into the hole. This will
be muddy. Smooth as best you can. Soak it all again.
Soak till it puddles or runs off. Let it bake for day in the
hot sun. It will be hard. Just rough it up a bit and moisten
before game time.
way to fix mound and batter box holes. This works only
on hot, sunny days. I'm assuming you use the field in the late
afternoon or early evening for practice or games. This requires
that your sprinklers go on at night and cover the mound or homeplate
area. I mean cover it with lots of water. Just rake all
the loose, powdery dirt into the holes and level it out. During
the night the sprinklers soak it. The hot sun in the day bakes
it. It will be nice and firm by the time you need to use it.
weeds growing all over the infield skin. Most of the
time we try to get rid of these in the spring by dragging the field
alot. Spike drag or metal mesh drag. And sometimes we
spray weed killer. But sometimes that doesn't work, or it isn't
allowed. A surprisingly easy way to totally get rid of the weeds
if it isn't as thick as a lawn is to run the thatcher over it.
First lower the thatcher almost as low as it can go. Lower than
you'd ever run it on the turf. Then run
the thatcher on your infield skin, the basepaths, and the warning
track for a quick fix. No more weeds! None. Not even
any loose debris.
just a few of the things I've done in a pinch. Maybe you've
got some short cuts you've used. I'd be interested in hearing
what you've done.
Yours for better
play more often,
Publisher, Editor, & Groundskeeper
Baseball Field Renovation Guide