Spiking & Dragging Practices

Depending on depth, scarifying procedures are performed for the following reasons:

  • To maintain surface grade
  • Scarify and restore smooth playing surface
  • Loosen heavily compacted soils as needed
  • Mix soil amendments through the infield skin profile
  • Provide better resiliency

Deep Spiking and Mixing Procedure:

  • Most effective when infield soils have uniform moisture.
  • Have enough weight or down pressure for maximum penetration (greater than one inch in depth).
  • Keep unit clear of soil buildup on spikes.
  • Crosscut and vary spiking pattern to avoid waves.

Daily Field Maintenance Nail Dragging

  • Only spike deep enough to remove cleat marks and bumps (less than one inch in depth)
  • Nail drag to consistent depth over entire skin area
  • Most effective when infield soils have uniform moisture
  • Crosscut and vary spiking pattern to avoid waves
  • Avoid spike chatter by slowing ground speed and balancing nail drag
  • Use a hand nail drag in tight areas (cutouts, baselines, turf-soil interface)
Paul Zwaska

Paul Zwaska

A former head groundskeeper for the Baltimore Orioles, Paul has been with Beacon Athletics for two decades. Among his many accomplishments, he authored Groundskeeper University, the first online ballfield maintenance training venue and continues to find innovative ways to help groundskeepers.

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