Saturday, March 24, 2012

Ballpark Weather

The driving force behind what we do here daily is the weather. We are constantly checking current daily conditions as well as trying to project 12, 24 and 36 hours ahead to plan our turf maintenance activities. Even more important to us is the management of the infield dirt, pitcher's mounds and home plate area. Not just with rain, but sky cover, wind and dew points all have a big impact on how to prepare the dirt areas of the field daily. Below is a shot from 9 AM this morning at Target Field.

As you can see, we are off to a foggy start. The buildings nearby, particularly the IDS Tower, are fun to have around when we are looking at rain or fog. The IDS Tower gives us a benchmark of about 900' above field level. Side note: the playing field at the ballpark is 825' above sea level. Another source we use to look at sky cover is the aviation update {every 6 hours} within the forecast discussion the local NWS provides.

This weekend we are going to return to working on the infield dirt and begin adding our Turface Heritage Red Infield Conditioner. Infield dirt work is an ongoing process leading up to Opening Day. We also plan to spray the turf this afternoon. Today, we will put our first app down of Primo Maxx, the plant growth regulator we use here. With the great weather the past 2 weeks, our turf is up and running, so we are excited to start up with the Primo Maxx. The field heating system is currently off, and may stay off for awhile as long as overnight lows stay above 35*. One unique aspect of managing turf in our ballpark is that we are smack in the middle of the 'urban heat island'. While that is a negative during a hot summer, it is a great help to us in early spring and in the fall, as we don't cool off at night as much as the suburbs do.

Below are some free weather websites that I look at daily. None of these have advertising or popups. The last of the five is from the College of DuPage in Illinois, which is a great source for looking at forecast models such as the NAM or the RUC.
- Larry                                                                                                                               



About Me

Welcome to my blog. I am Larry DiVito, Head Groundskeeper for the Minnesota Twins. DISCLAIMER: content within this blog does NOT represent views or policies of the Minnesota Twins or Major League Baseball.This turfgrass management blog will provide insight into the work of a big league groundskeeper and his crew. I grew up in California playing and coaching baseball, while also working on fields along the way. In 1995 I was fortunate to be hired as Head Groundskeeper for the AAA Pawtucket Red Sox, where I spent seven seasons. In 2002 I became the Assistant Groundskeeper at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. I worked for four seasons in LA from 2002-05. In 2006 I became the Head Groundskeeper for the Washington Nationals in Washington, DC. After three seasons there, I moved to Minnesota in the spring of 2009 as Head of Grounds for the Twins during the building and completion of Target Field.
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