Beat the Rain
I've been chatting with our resident field guru Brendan Cunliffe, picking his brain for some tips to help you get your field ready for upcoming practises and games. Here's what he had to say:
Tip 1 - Buy some quick dry
This is an easy one in the US, where every year clubs buy a product designed to absorb excess moisture including puddles and that mixes well with the existing infield dirt. Importing this type of material can be expensive but if you're in a position to do so, start here. We're trying to identify a suitable material available here, I'll update this blog when we do.
Tip 2 - Rake in the sun
Raking muddy areas in the rain doesn't do much except make the dirt muddier. However if you can get out to your field when it's sunny (for instance now!), raking will break up the wet dirt, creating more surface area and making the sunshine even more effective in drying your field.
Tip 3 - Use a Sponge
One of the best ways to mop up excess water, especially in puddles, is to use a sponge. You might need a lot of ordinary bath sponges so alternatives include looking for larger products at somewhere like Wickes or getting a hold of some old sofa cushions which will do the job just as well.
Tip 4 - Avoid the Kitty Litter
Kitty Litter is often seen as a cheap alternative to quick dry. The problem is that you'll end up with a material mixing into your infield mix that is designed, for obvious reason to be thrown away!
Tip 5 - Learn from the puddles
If you have puddles on your field you now know where the low spots are. Rather than having to deal with puddles every time it rains, prevent the problem by adding dirt and levelling out your field.