As the calendar has now turned to February, many athletic field managers will soon (or already have begun) be looking at getting their baseball and softball fields into shape for the upcoming season.

In our February issue, we spoke with Jeff Langner, of Turface Athletics, about pitcher’s mound reconstruction and maintenance. Langner also spoke to us about home plate reconstruction. Here’s what he had to say on the subject:

“If you’re excavating your home plate area, we encourage people that if you’re going to do one batter’s box area, do them both, so you have a desired consistency. You’re going to want to excavate about 2.5 inches down, and then you can install the [Turface Moundmaster clay blocks.]”

Turface MoundMaster blocks are hydraulically packed blocks of Turface’s bagged clay that create the desired foundation on a pitcher’s mound, or home plate/batter’s box area.

“One thing to keep in mind when working with these blocks is that you need to create a solid sheet of clay; tamping is one way to do this. Moisture plays a key role when using these blocks. If you can get them moistened after they’re put in the ground, the clay will take on that moisture and the blocks will swell together. So as you’re tamping, they’re a lot more likely to bond together. Moisture therefore is an important tool in this process.”

Turface Athletics also has a step-by-step guide to home plate replacement and reconstruction.