Water: The Not-So-Secret Field Ingredient

Embrace it.

As we move through summer and into the “heat” of the season — both growing season and baseball season — it’s important to remember how critical water is in the performance of maintaining sports fields. We salute all our terrific groundskeepers around the country. But I am often surprised by how many groundskeepers I’ll meet who are afraid of putting water on their fields. Water REALLY IS the “secret ingredient” in the recipe for successful sports field management.

  • It germinates your seed or stimulates your stolens
  • It quenches the thirst of your turfgrass
  • It softens your infield soil for scarification
  • It hydrates your mound & plate clay and helps repairs to properly adhere
  • It improves the resiliency of your entire sports field surface
  • It controls the dust on your infield skin and warning track
  • It washes out your dugouts
  • It cools your turfgrass in the heat
  • It activates your fertilizers
  • It is a carrier for your turf chemicals
  • It dilutes your turf paint
  • It hydrates and cools your crew
  • It cleans and relaxes you after another long hot day working on the field

Remember that water — cool, clear water — really is the groundskeeper’s best friend. It is the gift of life. Never be afraid of water. In fairly rare cases is it your enemy.

Paul Zwaska

Paul Zwaska

A former head groundskeeper for the Baltimore Orioles, Paul graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1984 with a Bachelor's in Soil Science with a specialty in Turf & Grounds Management. Paul took over as head groundskeeper for the Orioles’ final season at old Memorial Stadium in Baltimore and then was heavily involved throughout the design and construction phases of Oriole Park at Camden Yards which debuted on April 4, 1992. Paul has led Technical Sales Support at Beacon Athletics since the summer of 2000. In 2012, Paul authored and oversaw the launch of "Groundskeeper University", the first online ballfield maintenance training venue. Over the years, Paul has donated thousands of hours working with West Madison Little League, which also plays a critical role in the research and development for many of Beacon’s innovative field maintenance tools.