Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Hydrating/Watering an Infield Mix

Summer is quickly approaching and with that comes the need to correctly hydrate infield mix profiles.

Hydrating an infield is important during the playing season to keep the surface more forgiving for athletes sliding across the infield and ensure good ball roll.

Here is a photo journal of hydrating the infield mix at Butler University Baseball.

Initial watering - about 1/2 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: An engineered soil is needed to hydrate/water in this manner.

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 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.

Play on!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Managing Traffic Around a Home Plate Area - Making a Plate Circle Larger

Baseball and softball seasons are in full swing.  Due to this, traffic around a home plate area can be an issue.  How to address this issue?  Consider making the home plate circle larger.  As a rule of thumb, I like to see the plate larger than the BP cage.  In other words, when the cage is on the field, all the players surrounding the cage are on the plate circle.  How is this accomplished?  Let's follow along below as the plate circle was expanded in Whiting a couple season ago.

The task, take a homeplate that had a 26 ft diameter and take it to a 32 ft diameter.  Also, raise the plate to ensure positive drainage while allowing the pitcher's rubber to be 10 inches above homeplate.    So, let's get to it......

First, the new diameter is measured and a line is painted in the turf.

Next, 4 inches of root zone sand was removed.

Then the plate was raised to allow for positive drainage.  Note the string lines set to make sure the plate is square with the pitchers rubber and the foul poles/bases.

4 inches of Dura Edge Collegiate infield mix was added to the perimeter of the plate.  Dura Pitch Mound Clay was installed in the batters boxes and catchers box.

The plate was then leveled with a board.  Positive drainage is ensured due to the laser leveling of home plate.

The plate was worked up and re-leveled with a bunker rake.

Finally, the plate was tire rolled and a finish drag was performed.

Not bad for a days work!

To learn more about Oil City Stadium in Whiting, click HERE.

Click HERE to learn more about DuraEdge products.

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

Play on!