Six Tips for Wet Baseball Fields

thumb image

It’s been a rainy summer so far here in Connecticut, leaving many groundskeepers battling wet fields.

What should you do to keep your fields dry and get them playable as quickly as possible? Try these six tips.

  1. Keep your lips clean – Soil and topdressing materials can build up at turfside edges, creating a hazard for players. Built-up lips will drastically affect the drainage of water off of your infield skin, so be sure to clean them out regularly.
  2. Level the playing field – Keep the surface of the infield skin as smooth and level as possible during the season, and consider re-leveling during the fall. This will help support efficient drainage.
  3. Leave healing scars – Go out to the field right after a rain and, using a rake, carve the outline of each puddle. When dry, aggressively scarify your infield with a nail drag, then use the loose infield soil to fill these low areas to help the water move off the infield more effectively.
  4. Avoid working on a damp field in spring – During the spring, wait until the field has lost its frost before working on the infield skin; if it’s too soft to walk on, don’t work there. As soon as it’s dry enough, roll the field early with a one- to three-ton roller so water will run off the field more easily. Roll the turf in an X pattern to ensure lumps and bumps are flattened. 
  5. Dry, dry again – Keep infield dirt and drying agents on hand for emergencies. If puddles are too deep to use drying agents, use puddle sponges or a puddle pump to remove excess water first.
  6. Skip the brooms! – Never use brooms to sweep excess water off your infield soil – it will worsen the surface grade by sweeping away soil, creating an even deeper hole for standing water and further building up infield lips. Use brooms and squeegees for the turf grass only.

The offseason is approaching for many summer sports fields – are you ready with a plan for offseason maintenance? Diamond Landscapes & Athletic Fields can help. From field design and renovation to year-round maintenance, we’ll help keep your field the best it can be. Contact us today to learn more athletic field maintenance in CT!