Which Calcined Clay Product Is Best For My Field
Calcined clay is typically a montmorillonite clay that is fired (calcined) at a temperature of 1500 degrees. At that time, the clay becomes a ceramic and is screened for processing and bagging.
Typically, the Professional/Select gradation will have over 80% of the material retained on the 16 screen. Drying Agent/Rapid Dry will have 80% pass through the 30 mesh.
Due to the fact that the Drying Agent/Rapid Dry gradation consists of a smaller particle size, it will cover the surface area of a puddle better and thus dry the wet area quicker. With that said, the smaller particle size will quickly be mixed/lost into the infield mix profile
Also, as a general rule of thumb, adding a smaller particle size to your infield mix profile can lead to a poorer performing infield mix over time.
The Professional/Select size of calcined clay will also dry a puddle or wet area very effectively. Furthermore, the material has a better chance to stay on the surface after the rain event and continue to provide a topdressing. Always ensure that the correct depth of conditioner is present.
For my money, I would stock only one product, that is the Professional/Select sized product to use after rain events. You get more bag for your buck. There is a reason why these products are used at the highest levels of play.
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This post orginially appeared in the Smart Turf Blog.