• For daily home plate maintenance, sweep off the layer of conditioner in the harder areas. Once swept, wet the area of damage and do the patching for repair.
  • Hand tools are essential for home plate (and pitcher’s mound) maintenance. There’s a wide range of rakes for specific tasks in working the dirt, from fanstyle, spring-type to scarifying, screening and finishing. There are two-sided rakes with standard teeth on one side and lute rake teeth on the other, there are push brooms, drag brooms and scarifying brooms that combine teeth with bristles. Tamps come in a variety of styles and shapes. All should be covered to keep the dirt from sticking to the tamp surface.
  • Use moist, hard clay, adding it a little at a time and tamping it into place. When you’ve finished, put the layer of conditioner back on.
  • You’ll use screen drags, cocoa mats and water to work the other areas of the home plate circle, just as you do for the base paths.
  • Once the home plate area is set up, cover it with a tarp to protect it and retain your moisture level.
  • During batting practice, use hitting mats (synthetic turf-type products that look like the home plate and batter’s boxes).
  • The only time home plate should be uncovered is for postgame repair, pregame preparation, the marking of the lines and during the game.