Lip issues are a common problem on baseball and softball fields and usually exist due to lack of regular maintenance.  Lips build up over time when infield materials migrate into the grass edges around the infield skinned areas. This is caused from dragging too close to the edges, dragging too fast and throwing material into the grass edges, or overlapping the drag into the field edges.

Lip build up can cause several problems on your field including:

  • Unsafe condition or tripping hazard for players
  • Unpredictable ball bounce
  • Poor surface drainage and ponding of water.

Usually these problems can be avoided by changing your dragging habits and patterns along with routine maintenance. You can help prevent lip build up in several ways:

  • Manually rake or broom material off of the grass and back onto the infield
  • Wash material back into infield using a hose
  • Blow material back into infield with a gas or electric powered leaf blower

When lips become too large they will need to be cut down and repaired. The best way is to use a sod cutter to remove the lip. Then you can either make the infield slightly larger, or replace the cut out area with sod or seed.  Seeding will require down time on the field while the seed grows in. Other options include core aerifying area and rolling to compress the lip or digging a small “V” trench next to lip and roll and compressing it. Either way, these options are more expensive, time consuming, and more invasive than regular maintenance.

So, “READ MY LIPS.”  Regular maintenance is the best practice to avoid needing lip service.

Stay tuned to our sports field blogs for more helpful hints on a variety of sport field-related topics.

Written by Rob Johnson

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