Fall is quickly approaching and with that comes baseball and softball infield renovations. Click HERE to see a post on infield renovations.
Before a renovation, the infield mix must have deep moisture to ensure a smooth tilling/blending of the new and existing material. Hydrating an infield is also important during the playing season to keep the surface more forgiving for athletes sliding across the infield.
Here is a photo journal of hydrating the infield mix at Butler University Baseball.
Initial watering - about 1 hour across the infield that is a "hybrid infield mix" of Melton and Natural Sand FS50 and Dura Edge Pro utilizing a 1 inch fire hose with a nozzle that applies water at 60 GPM.
Note the footprint on the bottom of the photo below. Even with all the water applied, you could still walk across the surface:
This process is ideal before a renovation, but also after practices and games to allow for hydration of the entire column of infield mix. This type of watering is best done in late evening to allow for percolation overnight. Then, lighter watering events can take place during the day. Watering an infield before a practice or game will NOT be enough to hydrate an infield on a daily basis.
Finally, please keep in mind that water is the best way to create a forgiving infield. DO NOT work the infield more than a 1/2 inch during the playing season. this will disrupt the grade and could create unplayable surfaces after rain events.
Go to j-dturf.com to learn more about J&D Turf.