Field Dimensions Guide

How & Why to Test Your Soil

An infield skin can be the source of unlimited frustration for a professional groundskeeper. Identifying the composition of the infield mix will allow you to more accurately predict how the infield skin will perform when weather is less than ideal.

Managing your infield soil is a science.

It’s not guesswork. That’s why knowing your infield soil composition is a must before taking any action to amend it. Soil testing provides quantitative data that helps identify the shortcomings of an infield mix. After testing, you will be able to make an educated decision about which amendment material you should use.

Proper analysis of the data is critical.

Many facilities can perform a soil test, but very few are able to interpret how the results can translate into the playability of an infield. Be sure to choose a soil testing company that understands how the composition of an infield soil affects game day performance. Beacon Athletics & DuraEdge have more than two decades of experience analyzing and interpreting soil tests. Our team of soil scientists and former Major League groundskeepers partner with one of the top soil testing firms in the country to get accurate analysis.

soiltest-infield

Infield soil testing protocol.

  1. Choose eight to twelve locations around the infield skin to sample from in order to compile a good representation.
  2. If your infield has a topdressing material on it, completely scrape or sweep it away from the areas you will sample to prevent contamination.
  3. Using a small gardening shovel, collect a 3″ x 3″ sample from each location (no deeper than 3″) into a box or plastic bucket.
  4. Pulverize the soil as much as possible, mixing all samples together. Transfer soil to a quart size zip-lock storage bag until it is nearly full and seal it. Be sure to label the sample bag with the name of the field or complex.
  5. Send your soil sample to a trusted lab for testing. Typically, you should expect to see results from your test in 7 to 10 days. If your soil lab does not analyze results, we can help. Call Beacon Athletics and send us your test results. We’ll help analyze your soil test results.