Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Building a Set of Base Anchors

Building a set of base anchors is a task that can be completed by a grounds manager or coach.  Here is a step by step method for building a set of base anchors.

1.  Organize the parts and the tools.  Items needed:

  • Base anchors
  • Duct tape
  • Screws
  • Drill
  • Tape measure
  • Circular saw
  • Scrap lumber 2x4 
  • Shovel
  • Quikrete
  • Wheelbarrow


2. Cut the scrap lumber into 8-12 inch pieces, and build a simple square form.   Keep in mind that this is not cabinet grade carpentry.  




3.  Tape the bottom of the anchors while mixing the Quikrete.  Using a scrap piece of plywood as a base, place an anchor in each form.  




4.  After the Quikrete cures (no more than 4 hours) remove the forms.  Now, you have a new set of base anchors.



Never use coffee cans. Round anchors have a better likelihood of spinning while in the ground.

Go to j-dturf.com to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Tricks of the Trade - Wheels on Soccer Goals - Covenant Christian

A quick post from Covenant Christian High School . Andy Gossel and his staff do a great job to provide some of the best baseball and soccer surfaces in the state of Indiana.  One of Andy's tricks is that all the soccer goals at CCHS are on wheels. After practice all the goals are moved off the field, and during practices the goals are moved to alleviate turf wear in the goalie box.



Notice the locations of the goals on the photos.  Yes, CCHS practices boys soccer on the baseball outfield with great success.  Bottom line, natural grass can take a tremendous amount of traffic if the field is under a great management program and traffic is rotated.

Go to j-dturf.com to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Monday, June 27, 2016

Updated: How to: Add New Mix and Level Baselines

Maintaining baselines that create a smooth and safe surface can be challenging. The photos below outline the process of adding new material to baselines. This leveling process will work on any baseball surface. Keep in mind, if leveling with a board, address all “lips” before grading.

Step 1 Edge the sod to create clean edges (address any “lips” as well). Then, add infield mix to the baselines and, using a 2x4 screed board, level the next material.


Step 2 Till the new material into the existing material. Ideally, the tilling depth is 3-4 inches. In this example, Dura Edge Pro was added/tilled to existing Dura Edge Pro baselines.


Step 3 Re-screed the tilled material.


Step 4 Using a 3 ton dual drum roller, roll the baselines.



Step 5 Add conditioner and drag.


This entire project for both baselines took approximately 3 hours.

Now the baselines are level and create smooth transitions between the turf and the infield mix.

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer


Download the Smart Turf Sheet - How to: Add New Mix and Level Baselines

The original post can be viewed here

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

#LifeOnTheRoad - Batting Cage Landscape

This is another post in a periodic series entitled #LifeOnTheRoad.  The background is simple. During my travels I encounter many grounds managers/coaches doing great things.  Because of this, I have started this series.  The goal - expose more grounds managers, coaches, architects, etc to areas of facility and sports turf maintenance that may be implemented into their facility/design.
  
In this post of the #LifeOnTheRoad series we travel to Frankfort Youth Baseball.  A simple installation of arborvitae takes a simple batting cage and makes it more visually appealing while also creating a future "batters eye".  Simple and cost effective.


 
Go to j-dturf.com to learn more about J&D Turf

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer
 

Friday, June 10, 2016

A Tale of Two Walk-Ups - Warning Track Design

Walk-ups for baseball and softball fields are often a good option to manage traffic while also allowing for grass in foul territory (softball).  This is sometimes necessary to manage surface drainage/grades.

Let’s look at two walk-ups.  First, the softball field at Ohio Northern University.  As you can see these walk-ups are the same width from the warning track to the plate, so the on-deck circle is off the walk-up.






The next example is at the MLB/P&G Cincinnati Reds Urban Youth Academy.  In this example, the walk-ups are flared out as you get closer to the track.  This allows for the on-deck circles to be on the walk-ups. 





Also, you can see this early season photo also illustrates how walk-ups can aid in surface drainage.

Which is the best option?  That’s a field manager’s decision.  I personally like the flared walk-up which allows for space for the on-deck circle.

Go to j-dturf.com to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Great Mixture to Keep Weeds Out of Infields and Warning Tracks

With summer now upon us, many high school playing surfaces are winding down from spring play, now crabgrass, goosegrass, and other unwanted growth will appear. 
 


How do you control this issue?  See below:

A simple mixture of Glyphosate in a 2% solution and SureGuard at 3 teaspoons per 1000 sq ft. So, in a 3 gallon spray hand can, 7.68 ounces of Glyphosate and 9 teaspoons of SureGuard. The tank will cover 3,000 sq ft. How well does it work? The photos below are from the warning track at Brebeuf High School. The track was sprayed in March.




Note the weeds along the track edge. This is due to the application. As many of you know, Glyphosate is a non-selective herbicide, meaning it will kill anything it touches. So, be careful along all grass edges. Finally, to get better control, try not the work the infield/track up as this will break the Sureguard barrier.

To learn more about Glyphosate, click HERE.

To learn more about Sureguard, click HERE.

Go to j-dturf.com to learn more about J&D Turf.

Play on!
--Jamie

Monday, May 23, 2016

Backstop Wall Drainage - Channel Drains

Back to the topic of drainage.  In this post, we look at drainage along a backstop wall.  Often, a new brick or solid surface wall is constructed with little to no consideration to drainage.  Obviously, a solid wall will need drainage to move water.  A french drain can be installed, but I prefer not to have gravel on the surface of a warning track or full infield softball surface as illustrated below.


The best option is a channel drain.

Let’s go the the MLB/P&G Cincinnati Reds Urban Youth Academy.  The complex constructed in fall 2013 and opened in spring 2014.  The goal of the installation was to ensure water moved off the warning track.  Channel drains were installed and tied into the drainage from the wall.  Finally a heel proof cover was added.  Problem solved!  To be clear, the drainage supplier was requiring that the drain be installed with 4 inches of concrete on both sides of the drain in the event of a vehicle driving over the drain.  Needless to say, this was removed due to the fact that you cannot drive over the drain.  No issues after 2+ years of play/maintenance.










Go to j-dturf.com to learn more about J&D Turf. 

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer