Field Maintenance Tips
The following instructions contain important information on how to properly maintain the infield areas at both of our fields. These steps should be done whenever time allows prior to every game to obtain the best playing conditions possible. It is the responsibility of the home team manager to prepare the field for play. Under normal weather conditions it should take one person approximately 30 minutes to prep the infield and mound areas. This does not include chalking the batters box and base lines. Please take pride in keeping our fields looking great. It reflects on the entire league.
Beginning of Season
Time needed: 2-3 hours
Equipment: Tractor, Nail Drag, Hose Reel, Rake
It is important to properly set up the infield area at the beginning of the season. Using a product such as Turface All-Sport infield conditioner (top dressing) will keep the infield dirt loose and help retain moisture throughout the hot months. This product will also greatly reduce the infield from becoming hard packed like most fields in our area. It will leave a safer playing surface along with a much nicer appearance.
1. Never rake a dry infield . Water entire infield area generously but do not soak.
2. Attach Nail Drag to tractor, set tractor on SLOW setting 🐢 with speed set no higher than 3 to avoid bending nails. Do not let nail drag 'bounce'. Damage to the nail drag will occur if the speed is set too fast.
3. Drag entire infield area. Be careful to stay 3-6" from edge of the grass when dragging to prevent lip buildup and avoid damaging turf.
4. Spread approximately four(4) 50lb bags of Turface All-Sport infield conditioner across entire infield area. Do not apply on the pitching mound and base paths. These areas should remain hard-packed & fast to ensure solid footing for pitchers and baserunners. Use one(1) additional 50lb bag around the home plate area.
5. Again drag area after product was applied using the nail drag to allow the infield conditioner to mix thoroughly with the top 1-1 1/2" of infield dirt.
6. Remove nail drag from tractor and attach fence drag. Drag entire infield area to leave a nice finished look. The tractor can be set on a higher speed when using the fence drag.
7. Use rake to smooth areas missed by drags.
8. Water thoroughly.
Pitching Mound and Home Plate Area
Time needed: 15 minutes
Equipment: Hose Reel, Rake, Tamper
The Pitching mound and home plate areas are the most visible spots of the field. They are also the most used spot on the infield. Proper set up will help maintain this look during the entire season.
1. Never rake a dry infield dirt. Water generously but do not soak.
2. Aggressively rake area. Use flat end of rake to drag dirt into low spots made from spikes.
3. Use tamper (with plastic garbage bag wrapped around base to avoid wet dirt from sticking on bottom of tamper) to compact dirt. Dirt has to be damp to compact properly.
4. Re-rake and re-tamp as often as necessary to make area level. It's better to do smaller amounts rather than larger ones.
5. Area directly in-front of pitching rubber should be tamped approximately one inch below the top of the pitching rubber. A flat plateau area, approximately 6-9" wide, should be made in-front of & behind of pitching rubber.
6. When done leveling lightly rake over tamped area.
7. Following practices and games always rake mound level then cover pitching mound with tarp (Condella Park only). Always replace tarp regardless of weather forecast. The mound tarp not only keeps water off of the mound but maintains moisture of dirt to make it easier to work with.
Infield and Base Lines
Time needed: 15 minutes (Fence Drag) - 60 minutes (Nail Drag)
Equipment: Tractor, Hose Reel, Rake, Nail & Fence Drag
1. Never rake a dry infield. Water generously but do not soak.
2. When using nail drag, set tractor on SLOW setting 🐢 with speed set no higher than 3 to avoid bending nails. Do not let nail drag 'bounce'. Damage to the nail drag will occur if the speed is set too fast.
3. Start & stop at different locations every time to avoid buildup in one area. Be careful to stay 3-6" from edge of the grass when dragging to prevent lip buildup and avoid damaging turf.
4. Always drag baselines along direction of foul line. Do not rake across foul lines. This creates low spots where water will pool.
5. Drag using fence for finished look. Set tractor on high speed or hand drag. Be careful to stay 3-6" from edge of the grass when dragging to prevent lip buildup and avoid damaging turf.
6. Use rake to go over spots missed by fence.
Time needed: Depends on conditions
Equipment: Broom, Gamesaver®, Rake, Tamper
Cleaning up a wet infield is probably the most common work done by coaches during the course of a season. One of the biggest mistakes made is the process of pulling out the wheelbarrow and adding infield dirt to wet areas. The following steps should be done before resorting to this method:
1. When first arriving at the field use a push broom to push clear, standing water, into grass area.
2. Once water turns muddy NEVER push into grass. This creates lips along edge of grass and creates low spots.
3. Lightly apply Gamesaver® directly to all puddles & wet areas.
4. Let stand 10 minutes to fully absorb.
5. Rake aggressively to mix soil with drying agent.
6. Use tamper, with garbage bag wrapped around base, to lightly compact soil.
7. If soil is still saturated repeat, starting at Step 3, as often as necessary until you obtain a solid playing surface.
8. Lightly rake area when done.
Time needed: 10 minutes
Equipment: Leaf Rake, Hose Reel
Special notes:Only use garden hose when there is ample time for infield to dry.
1. Built-up lips, or edges, are caused by brushing muddy water into grass area. To reduce build-up of grass edges use leaf rake to rake or 'pull' loose pieces of infield dirt back into dirt area.
2. Always rake at a 45* angle to infield. Use criss cross pattern as you go.
3. If built-up lip is ground into grass use a garden hose on heavy stream to wash dirt out of grass. Spray dirt back toward infield area. Only use this method when there is ample time for infield to dry out before games or practices.
Dugouts (Condella Park only)
Time needed: 5 minutes
Equipment: Hose Reel
1. Water inside both dugouts to prevent excess dust during games.