Top Dress Your Baseball Field Turf

Top Dress Your Baseball Field Turf
Step five in baseball field turf maintenance is to lightly cover
the turf with sand, compost, or topsoil

What you're going to do

Add material over the aerified turf areas.

Why you do this

Aerification is followed by topdressing.

The product mixture helps resist compaction and helps the root zone of your turf.

This process also helps you smooth out the ruts, holes, and undulations in the grass.

How you do this
  1. This can be messy, but the good thing is that it's OK for this step to be messy. It doesn't have to be exact.

  2. Three yards of topdressing can be adequately spread over a typical high school or college infield. Fill a wheelbarrow or a cart with the material and move it to the infield.

  3. Space out piles 15-20 feet and dump.

  4. Use field rakes to spread it out in all directions.

  5. Repeat until the turf has been covered.

  6. Don't be afraid to put it on thick in low spots.

  7. In a future step the turf will be dragged to smooth out the top dressing and work it down to the soil.
Tips & Hints
  1. A mix that includes some sand works best. A mix that is successful most anywhere is 1/3 topsoil, 1/3 sand, 1/3 compost.  See the section on top dressing mix for additional info.

  2. One purpose of topdressing is to smooth the surface just as they do on golf greens. There are many schools of thought on which topdressing to use. At a minimum, topdress with sand. A sand and compost mixture works well also. Topdress turf areas at a minimum rate of 6 tons per grassed acre.
Mistakes to avoid
  1. If you skipped aeration or aerated hard dry soil, then the topdressing doesn't get a chance to work its way down into the turf. In this case if you use calcined clay products like Turface, you better be prepared to water a lot on hot days or our grass is going to die. what happens is the calcined clay laying on top of the soil will suck the moisture out and cause speedy evaporation which in turn causes hard, dry ground and withered grass.

  2. If you plan to top dress with just fill sand similar to a golf course, then be sure the sand is more dry than wet. Wet sand does not spread very well at all. It kind of goes on in globs.

  3. Don't drive heavy equipment like a bobcat or tractor on the infield turf to dump the top dressing. Use wheelbarrows to haul and dump. Otherwise you are asking for ruts. Big ruts. Experience indicates that heavy equipment is OK on the outfield turf as long as it is not too soft or wet.
spreading topdressing

leveling top dressing

loading topdressing

spreading sand

infield top dressing

outfield top dressing

infield topdressing piles

moving topdressing

>Continue to Step 6- Overseed Your Turf
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Baseball Turf Maintenance
Mowing   |  Marking Sprinklers  |  Aerating  |  Edging  |  Topdress  |  Overseed 
Dragging the Turf   |  Fertilizing  |  Irrigating  |  Spot Seeding

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