What are lips? Lips are when the grass right at the edge of the dirt grows higher, its not that the grass itself is higher its because the dirt underneath is raised. This is caused by dirt getting onto the grass. as we all know grass grows on top of the dirt, over time lips will form.
How does the dirt get on the grass? Dirt and dust will find its way onto the grass just by normal use of the field. Mother Nature plays a part with wind and rain. But the biggest reason is improper field maintenance techniques, If we all follow a few basic steps we can prevent lips from forming.
Post Game Field Raking. Its mandatory that the fields are worked after every game or practice on a main field.
Make sure any dirt that is on the grass is raked back onto the dirt.
Fill in any holes, typically in the batters boxes and where the pitcher lands.
When raking always rake from the grass to the dirt.
When raking the base paths, go the long way from home to 1st/3rd or 1st/3rd to home. Never rake side to side as this will cause lips along the base paths.
Remember your just not trying to make the field look pretty, your goal is to move any loose dirt back into the holes and divots that occur during normal game play.
We have several options to get this done such rakes, field mops, drags, and tractors. please check with Carl Deprofio if you have any questions on there use.
After it rains. The same rules apply as above when doing the following steps. The following steps are for the dirt areas only, we do not remove water from grass area's, this will drain on its own. If there is so much water in the grass and its determined to be unsafe, please cancel the game.
Remove any standing water. You can use a pump if available but make sure the water is being pumped off the field. A can and a bucket may also be used. It is ok to dig a hole to create a low spot to make it easier to pump.
Speedy Dry should never be used in a puddle, it comes later.
Never pump mud or dirty water on to a grass area.
For week day games if its possible to get to the field and remove any standing water a few hours early it will help a lot. After the puddles are removed mother nature will do its thing and by time you show up for your game your work load will be cut in half.
Turn over any soft spots, this is the part most people skip. Any soft or mushy spots should be turned over with a shovel, there is dry dirt underneath and it can be used to help dry the surface. after turning it over with a shovel work it with a rake.
Speedy Dry. Now we can add Speedy Dry to any remaining soft spots. work it in sparingly till they start to firm up and then give any other wet spots a light covering.
Remember if the field is to flooded where it can not be made playable in reasonable amount of time cancel the game.