Do not let your dirt dry out!
A simple test to run is the “key test”; use a spare key, insert it in the infield dirt. The key should go through the dirt with relative ease and when pulled out if not break this will make for a spike mark also. Management is key! Repeat this method randomly throughout the skinned area in order to gauge appropriate moisture.
- Remove debris such as rocks, grass clippings, trash, weeds, etc..
- Remove chalk down the base paths and around home plate with a flat square shovel.
- This helps prevent a ‘build-up’ or hump that can occur down the middle of the baseline and about the home plate area
- Inspect for osmosis or clay in lips (where the grass meets dirt) of the skinned area where dirt can collect. If There’s a present, use a fan rake broom or burst the dirt back with a water hose on the infield when really bad
- Water the infield to the proper moisture so it can be nail hauled. Occasionally allow soaking overnight nail drag in the morning Nail drag the infield, drag in various directions to avoid ruts or waves. Verify the nail drag remains a minimum of 6″ away from any point of the clipped areas in the skinned area
- Roll positional places and foundation paths/lines with a filled sod roller to re-compact
- Infield Mix
- Insert Red Diamond™ CC Premium Professional Grade Conditioner as needed
- Mat drag the infield using 9′-10′ circular patterns, starting from the 3rd base foul line around the skinned area to the 1st base foul line. Randomly change
- Mat drag the base paths by hand always taking care to drag down the middle rather than across the base paths
- Make certain the mat drag doesn’t overlap the grass area. ALWAYS PICK UP MATS WHEN TAKING THEM OFF THE FIELD!
- Start and stop in different spot each time
- If need be using a cocoa mat/drag broom to finish the infield area, giving it a uniform, clean look
If your area does not have an irrigation system specially designed to irrigate the infield dirt, then consider this priority #1 to correct. Don’t be afraid to flooding your field! Regularly!! This is done before or in the early morning hours to allow for drainage. In order to maintain the proper moisture, it’s not unusual to water multiple times throughout the day. Edging the field should be done twice a month to reduce the build-up of dirt on the lipped regions and also to keep a well-groomed appearance (always use a straight line). Steer clear of using ‘bolt’ drags for infield care; these should only be used for renovation. Laser-grade annually. Most important, maintain infield areas when the infield mix is moist!
Baseball Field Care Tips For Coaches And Volunteers
In many youth baseball leagues, there simply is not a budget for field maintenance. The team and its players rely on the generosity of coaches and volunteers to help get the area ready and in playing condition that is safe. It’s a community effort that helps kids come together to play ball, have fun and learn valuable life lessons and skills through sport.
Of course, while youth baseball coaches and volunteers have the best intentions, they are not always experienced field supervisors. There is a lot that goes into keeping a baseball field. Among the dangers in youth baseball is frequently the field itself–a lack of field maintenance could put players at risk for a seriou injury.
That is why it’s so important for all involved in maintaining the baseball field to take some time to learn the fundamentals of athletic field maintenance. This way, everyone can do their part to provide playing grounds for baseball. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Always Analyze the Field Ahead Practices and Games
Before players step on the field, someone should examine the field to be certain it’s safe for play. If the field is too wet or muddy, by way of example, players could slip, twist an ankle or harm themselves. Likewise, if the field has holes or any ruts, those are hazards that would have to be addressed prior to the field could be deemed playable. Get your diamond pulled together with the help from MarCo Clay!
Clean the Field After Use
After every practice and every game, a coach or parent volunteer should walk the area and be sure it is completely cleaned. Any debris from sidelines, dugouts, the field, and racks need to be removed so that it does not blow around on the field and create a mess. There is A field that is clean important for player safety.
Create a Field Maintenance Program
Not all field maintenance can be stored for just before or just after the game. There are some key tasks that will have to be carried out to make sure the area is kept in pristine condition. Coaches, players, parents, and volunteers need to work together to make a field maintenance program, assigning individuals to complete these tasks:
Mowing — It’s generally advised that the grass on a baseball field be kept for a period between one and two and a half inches, depending on the kind of grass. The grass should never be allowed to grow so long that more than 1/3 of the leaf tissue would need to be cut to return to the recommended length. Letting the grass grow before cutting on it can cause damage to the turf. Mowing may be required by this during this season.
Watering — Often watering the field can keep the grass healthy. During the spring and summer, it is best to water the field about every 3 days as early in the morning as possible (approximately five or six in the morning is ideal) before the sun puts too much strain on the grass.
Aerating — A baseball field should be aerated at least once during the summer. If the field is hard, two sessions may be required, approximately six weeks apart. Aeration is used to make holes in the floor that allow water and air to get into the roots. Always water the grass well so that it is soft enough for the aeration to work. The field ought to be given a few days to dry before doing any more work on it. Read here about Pitching box.
Smoothing — A smooth, level playing surface is vital for player safety. Each week, a person (or even better, a group of volunteers) should inspect the entire field–infield, outfield, base paths, batter’s box, etc.–to make sure it’s smooth and even with no sudden drops, cracks or elevations. Base paths will need to be dragged and raked to make a playing surface that is safe. It is wise to use infield turf covers to protect heavily trafficked areas of the field from rain, frost and other weather conditions.
Together, everyone is able to help create a beautiful, safe baseball field for young athletes!