Infield conditioner is a crucial part of any field maintenance program. But not all fields require the same amount of conditioner. How do you know what depth of conditioner is right for your field? It depends on several factors, including the level of play and the base soil composition. 

The silt-to-clay ratio (SCR) of the base soil affects how much conditioner the infield needs. The higher the SCR, the more conditioner is needed. An infield mix with more fine or very-fine sand also requires more conditioner.

If the infield has problems maintaining moisture and becomes overly firm during dry seasons, that’s a sign it could use more conditioner. Recreational fields tend to need more conditioner than higher-level, more maintained fields. 

Ultimately, you want to manage the top quarter-inch of the infield to provide consistent cleat-in/cleat-out play. The examples below are some helpful case studies in determining infield conditioner depth. Of course, your ATS sales representative is the best resource for questions specific to your field.

The photo above is an infield mix with a high SCR of 2.5. This field hosts high school and recreational play. It would need more conditioner, at a depth of about 1/4 inch.

The photo above is an infield with an engineered soil that has a balanced SCR of 1.0. The field hosts professional play. It would need less conditioner, at a depth of about 1/8 inch.