With the busy summer season just around the corner, now is the time to formulate a plan to tackle field maintenance while staying on budget. Whether you maintain a Major League field or a Little League field, you can benefit from reevaluating your field care routine and developing strategies to make 2010 your most successful season yet.

Begin by assessing the 2009 season: What worked well and what could you have improved? Updating older equipment or investing in some new gear is one way to streamline maintenance and make the most of your time. Manufacturers are constantly striving to improve equipment productivity and introduce new solutions to old problems. In our New Year, New Gear section (page 11), we’ll introduce you to some of the latest offerings in turf care equipment. Check it out, you may find the perfect piece of equipment for your field. Also, don’t forget to perform some preseason maintenance on your current gear. Planning ahead could prevent a major setback, like losing a critical piece of equipment at the height of the busy season.

One aspect even more critical to success than proper equipment is your staff. The expertise and commitment of your staff can make or break your program. Take the time to meet with your crew, review your expectations of them and discuss the game plan for 2010. Encourage them to be proactive and feel confident in approaching you with problems or suggestions. Always be available to offer assistance and provide opportunities for your staff to expand their turf care knowledge. It’s unfair to expect your staff to perform duties that they were not properly trained to perform. See our article on Effective Employee Training (page 26) for tips on preparing your staff for the challenges of athletic field maintenance.

Set yourself up for success by thinking ahead. When summer rolls around and your fields are in high demand, you’ll be ready.

Katie Meyers