Wednesday, November 23, 2016

How Do You Repair a Batters Box?

I get this question numerous times in my travels.  So, let's look into the repair:

First, the plate after the game:


First step, rake the plate with a landscape rake.  Look to lower high areas:


Second step, remove all conditioner and loose clay by using the leveling blade on the rake and a broom:  NOTICE - the use of both a push broom and a standard broom and how clean to sweep the batters box.  NO loose material should be present.




Third step, add water to hydrate the existing clay.  This can be accomplished with a garden hose, watering can, or a sprayer/spray bottle:


Next step, add new mound clay.  In this case Dura Pitch Mound Clay was added:


Then, rake new clay into place and use a flat bladed shovel to chop the new clay into the existing clay:



After adding the clay, lightly compact the clay with your foot and then tamp using a hand tamp:



Then, rake the compacted clay in 3 directions to level the clay.  


Next step, use a small amount of water to hydrate the clay and use your foot to smear the clay together and blend all the seams into one solid piece of clay:


Then, push the existing conditioner to the plate, screen with leaf rake and add conditioner as needed to maintain a 1/4 inch depth of conditioner:


Lastly, finish drag,water and paint the plate.  

Use this program, and your plate area will be the best in your league.

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

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Can I Renovate My Brickdust Infield? - YES!

I get this question all the time, the short answer is YES.

Now, for more detail. I have included two photos below of two different fields in Noblesville, IN. The first photo shows an infield that was renovated by J&D Turf at Noblesville HS. The field was 4 inches of brickdust. We added on truckload of FieldSaver 50 from the Natural Sand Company, blecavated the FS 50 into the brickdust, rolled and laser graded the infield. Finally the field was conditioned with two tons of Diamond Pro Professional Calcined Clay and one ton of Diamond Pro Red Infield Conditioner. The picture is from last week. The field is playing great. I call it a "hybrid infield". Not what I would do in the consulting/construction phase, but it gets the customer to a more typical infield surface for a third of the cost. The photo below the renovated field is a straight brickdust surface that has not been renovated. We have performed this process to in excess of 20 fields, and the all are doing really well.



Why are coaches wanting to eliminate their brickdust? A few reasons:

1.When added to a field in excess of 1/2 inch brickdust becomes VERY loose when dry
2.Brickdust breaks down into a powder, calcined clays and vitrified clays will not
3.Brickdust stains uniforms
4.In Indiana, brickdust costs in excess of $100 a ton delivered. The FS 50 amendment alone was less than $100 a ton and it fixed the field!

Some facilities wanted to maintain a dark red topdressing. For those customers, we used a straight 1/4 inch of Diamond Pro Red Infield Conditioner.

The cost for a “hybrid infield” - approx $8,000-$10,000
The cost for removing the brickdust and replacing it with 4 inches of a good balanced infield mix - approx $25,000-$30,000

To learn more about renovating infields and adding new material into existing material click HERE and HERE

To learn more about Natural Sand, click HERE

To learn more about Diamond Pro, click HERE

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

Play on!
--Jamie

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Late Fall Fertilizer Applications

With cooler weather approaching the area, it is time to discuss late season fertilizer applications. Why is it beneficial?  When should it be applied?  Click HERE to see a Turf Tip from Dr. Aaron Patton from Purdue University.  Will you be applying late fall fertilizer to your athletic fields?


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

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Monday, October 24, 2016

Stay Off Turf When Frost is Present!

Many areas around the country are beginning to experience cool/cold night temperatures this week. This is a reminder to stay off frost covered turf.  Below is what many turf areas looked like across the upper Midwest early this morning.


For additional information in regards to frost covered turf, click HERE for a publication in regards to turf and frost from the USGA.  Click HERE for a publication from Ohio State University

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

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Tricks of the Trade - Sharpening a Rake

Fall mound and plate renovations are in full swing.  A quick tip to turn a standard steel garden rake into a clay shaving tool.

Take a standard tine rake to a bench grinder and sharpen the teeth.  Now, the rake is a clay shaving tool:



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

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Grass Baselines for a Baseball Field?

Many schools consider grass baselines for baseball fields.  I was visiting this field this past week where I observed this baseline:


As you can see, the baseline is only 1 1/2 ft wide.  This width makes the baseline very difficult to maintain with a volunteer grounds crew.  Most baselines at the high school level are between 5-6 ft in width.  Considering grass baselines?  They can be very effective, but they do require in season maintenance.

Go to j-dturf.com to learn more about J&D Turf
Play on!
--Jamie

Monday, September 12, 2016

Do Not Layer Infield Mixes!

This week I was at a high school that was have issues with their infield.  I asked the AD if he new what type of material he was using.  He said he didn't but he paid a contractor to add infield mix to his field a year or two ago, so we dug a hole to take a look.  Here is what we found:


Needless to say the layering is causing an issue as well as using an infield mix that is high in silt and fine sand.  Click HERE to see an earlier post on layering infield mixes.

Click HERE to see how to add infield mix to an existing infield.

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

Play on!
--Jamie
@JamieMehringer