On a baseball field, the home plate, batting box and pitcher’s mound receive the highest volume of foot traffic. This means daily home plate maintenance is vital to a safe game for all players involved. Here are the recommended steps to maintain your home plate area.
- Sweep the batter’s boxes and catcher’s box. Sweeping away the excess soil conditioner and loose soil will allow you to access the layer of clay you’ll need to clean up and easily identify the worn areas you’ll need to fix.
- Moisten and scarify. Use a backpack sprayer or a hose with a nozzle to lightly moisten the existing clay, then use a four-prong hoe or a rake to groove the clay. Grooving the area will help the new clay bond with the existing layer.
- Patch up any deteriorated areas. You will need to use mound clay or bricks to patch up any holes and worn spots. You can use Turface Mound Clay or Pro’s Choice Pro Mound Packing Clay to fill in shallow holes. Use Turface MoundMaster Blocks to fill in more worn areas of the batter’s and catcher’s boxes. You can use the entire block of clay if needed or cut the block into smaller pieces. Repair clay should be moist to help it properly bond with the existing clay.
- Level the new clay with a tamper. Ewing carries the Sweet Spot tamp system which features interchangeable tamping heads and is 30 percent lighter than traditional tamps. This eliminates fatigue for groundskeepers.
- Once areas are patched, cover with a soil conditioner. Soil conditioners help prevent slipping by leveling the surface. They also give the field a clean and professional finishing touch. A popular choice among Ewing’s customers is Turface MVP or Pro’s Choice Red, which come in different colors to match your existing infield skin.
- Water the entire area after the damage has been fixed, to remoisten these areas and help new clay bond with the old.
- Use a spot cover to maintain moisture. This final step will ensure your home plate retains adequate moisture and will help you lessen the amount of maintenance you have to do around home plate. AerFlo has spot covers to cover your home plate area and help you maintain the moisture. Keep the plate area covered when it is not in use to ensure moisture is maintained and that rainfall doesn’t mess up the plate area.
Regularly following these home plate care steps will ensure the safety of the teams as well as the integrity and look of your baseball field.
Be sure to watch this video on maintenance of home plate and pitcher’s mound areas, and let us know if you have questions or tips in the comments below.