Typically during the summer, we’re in the middle of a hurried rush to prep our fields as best as possible for practices and games. When summer is winding down, planning for fall renovation becomes critical since the calendar and clock begin to work against you. With shorter days here, we thought it would be helpful to compile a list of projects that you can consider tackling while no one is on the field.
Do the projects that you feel you have the necessary time, personnel and resources available. Do them in the order listed below. Purchase the supplies you need to accomplish your tasks early enough so you’re not waiting on anything when you are ready to begin.
► Mound and Plate Areas
- Rotate or replace worn pitching rubbers or home plates.
- Renovate clay areas by cutting down high areas and filling low areas with new clay.
- Fix mound slope using a slope gauge for accurate slope.
- Use a self-articulating, low-vibration tamp to compact clay areas and then fully soak for proper hydration.
- Correct grade on remainder of mound and the home plate circle (non-clay areas) using infield soil.
► Turfgrass Areas
- Aerification, overseeding and topdressing all grass areas to relieve compaction and wear, and to strengthen and thicken your turfgrass coverage.
- Sod any extremely worn areas, or where edges of the infield skin need to be moved in due to widening from edging or major lip repair.
- Smooth the playing surface by rolling turfgrass areas after aerification and sodding.
► The Infield Skin
- Inspect all base anchors. Check for level and plumb. Visually inspect for damage or severe rust. Replace as needed.
- Remove all lips in the grass edges that adjoin all skinned areas.
- Remove and stockpile infield topdressing to prepare for releveling infield skin areas.
- Relevel all infield skin and baseline areas in order to promote positive surface drainage and eliminate low areas where water collects.
► Warning Track
- Edge turf edge of the warning track.
- Fix any grade issues on track where rain has washed out or worn materials down.
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The Shopping List
Here are the materials and items needed to complete these projects.
- Pitching rubbers
- Home plates
- Base anchors
- Mound/plate clay
- Infield soil
- Warning track material
- Grass seed
- Turfgrass topdressing material
- Growth tarps