Players, coaches, league administrators, and parents alike are migrating back to ball fields all around our regions. Many of these ball fields shut down activity last summer and have remained relatively untouched until now. Often, I see infield skins and tracks that are overwhelmed with winter weeds and remnants of summer weeds such as crabgrass. This poses a major obstacle to safe and playable surfaces. Leagues are forced to spend countless hours physically removing the plant material and often do considerable damage to the field skin’s integrity in the process. This damage will persist and cost a fortune to repair. Field safety and enjoyment are drastically reduced. Unfortunately, the cycle will continue once the kids of summer leave the fields dormant until the spring of the following year.

A simple and highly effective summer/fall procedure can drastically reduce the issue above. Spring fields are clean and ready to be groomed for safe and quality playing surfaces. Less labor is required, and field skin integrity remains. Once grooming is wrapped up for the season, make sure a quality layer of conditioner is applied to the infield skin. On the warning track, do a final light groom to smooth and evenly distribute the material particles. Repair any mound or batter’s box clay areas with small lifts and compaction of ATS professional mound clay, and coat with a layer of conditioner.

Lastly, apply 150 pounds per acre of Crew pre-emergent herbicide on the skins, mound, and warning track once the fields will not be further disturbed. This simple procedure will provide a spring surface that is predominantly clean of any nuisance weeds. See the pictures attached below for examples of untouched infields and warning tracks that are ready for a groom. These pictures are from this spring from fields that traditionally are grown over in summer/winter weeds.

As the weather warms, get out and enjoy some spring baseball and softball action. When league season ends, remember to repair skins and mounds and apply a coat of Crew herbicide to ensure a quick and effective start-up next spring when the players return!