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Need immediate assistance!!!

Discussion in 'Sports Field Management' started by Forthekids, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. Forthekids

    Forthekids LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    Our organization sponsors a "snow-ball" softball tournament every year to raise money for kids with a terminal illness in our community. We have been doing this for 11-yrs. Some years have been perfect with plenty of snow, some years we've battled mud and rain but we've always been able to get the fields ready for action. This year it appears we may have met our match. The fields currently have about a foot of snow on them but is expected to melt this week due to warmer temperatures. Temperatures are expected to be in the 40's all week!

    Assuming all the snow melts, it appears we'll have a lot of water to move in a short amount of time in order to get this fundraiser in. We have the ability to pump any water in the outfield. Our real concern is the infield. Even with warmer temps all week, it won't be enough to get the frost out of the grown. We can get the surface water off, but I need some suggesstions of how to deal with the field as the frost in the ground thaws and creates a muddy mess.

    I hope somebody can give us some suggesstions. Rescheduling the event is not a option. Whatever we do, we need to make sure we don't harm the fields for the leagues that play on them during the summer. Please help!!!!!
  2. tcjim

    tcjim LawnSite Member
    Posts: 77

    I guess it depends on just how bad the infield is. If there is standing water. it has to be mechanically removed, pumped, absorbed in puddle pillows etc ASAP. If the infield is "shiney due to excessive moisture you might be able to roll it with a lawn roller to compress the mix and squeeze the moisture to the top where it will evaporate off. You have to have existing positive surface drainage, that is, existing water has to be able to drain off the infield naturally.
    Once enough moisture has evaporated or been removed and the infield is not shiney, or when you make a footprint, water does not squeeze out around the footprint you can rake lightly to increase surface area and increase drying time.
    A more expensive "additional" benefit would be to spread a ton or so calcined clay such as "Turface" MVP on the surface once the surface is no longer shiney and lightly rake it into the top inch or so. This product has the ability to absorb water "to a degree" and help to improve "muddy" conditions
    I don't think you can rush the process or you will end up with a swamp. Do small areas on a trial basis before making a mess of the entire infield.
    My suggestion is to start ASAP and allow ample time for each part of the process to be effective. If you skip steps you will have a mucky mess.
    You might even want to plow the snow off to get rid of as much moisture as possible and get started that much quicker.

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