Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spring Mowing

We are now mowing every other day as we begin to condition the turfgrass for our opening homestand that starts April 9th. Ryan from our crew set the first mowing of the outfield pattern on Monday, and he will mow it again on Friday. It is basically what you see at the top header of this page. The stripes are set up so that they line up directly from home plate to the general area where each outfielder plays. This creates grain which provides predictable ball roll for each outfielder. Once this pattern is set and visible to fans in the park and for TV, we mow it every 2nd or 3rd day during a homestand. We like to alternate it with a 'neutral double cut' in which we mow one direction and then stand it back up. This method, as well as the turf being influenced by our plant growth regulator, helps us towards our goal of a quick outfield with consistent ball roll. In the photos below from this morning, Nick is mowing a neutral double cut aboard our Toro Reelmaster 5210. It is an impressive machine to watch and crew members really enjoy getting the chance to drive it.
Another activity this week has been the nail dragging of our infield dirt, which we do on a regular basis. The past couple of days we have been using a lightweight model we made in the shop. The key to an effective nail drag event is the amount of moisture in your dirt. If it is too wet, you will make a mess and skid wet dirt all over the place. Too dry and you are wasting your time. In a case like today, we are not trying to get more than 1/4" deep with the nails. To start we walked the nail drag around (see below), then finished the process with our Sand Pro. The techniques of nail dragging and dirt management will be an ongoing topic within the blog. -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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