Water 101: Soil Surfactants and Wetting Agents
Water is life, especially for plants.
Too much and they drown, too little and they dry to death.
What to do?
Soil surfactants and wetting agents help maintain optimal moisture levels throughout the layers of the soil.
All wetting agents and soil surfactants are NOT the same. You either need a wetting agent that will help the soil to hold water or you need a wetting agent that will help the soil to move water.
Water management is clearly key to plant survival and health, making it the top priority among golf course superintendents, sod growers; farmers; landscapers; athletic field managers, homeowners and others.
Optimizing water usage and plant health requires a look at the combination of precipitation, irrigation and particularly soil quality and conditions.
The key question to consider when choosing water management practices is whether you need to move water through the soil or hold the water.
If you’re experiencing flooding on the surface, you need that water to move!
If you want to move water fast, there is no quicker product than Penterra! It helps to get water moving and penetrating all the levels of the soil. Penterra is the fastest-acting wetting agent on the market.
Love seeing experiments? Watch this oldie but goodie with Penterra:
You know you may need Penterra when the swales in front of your home or property are frequently filling with water due to flooding or you live in an area expecting heavy rains with a propensity for puddles and floods.
But what if the water is hanging on the surface almost like it was a windshield recently treated with RainX, as described by a recent commenter on TheLawnForum.com interactive blog?
You want to get water moving and penetrating the soil and what you need is a soil surfactant to help reduce that surface tension.
Wetting agents will help, but how do you choose the best one?
When MOVING water is the desired effect, another option in addition to Penterra, is HydraHawk, which also helps water to penetrate the soil, while having additional soil health benefits.
Penterra and HydraHawk are both options for when you need to push water, as these two penetrants will move water through the soil profile.
You know you need one of these two wetting agents when you’re dealing with hydrophobic soil that repels water, as indicated by hot spots or localized dry spots, among other indications.
These wetting agents will allow the surface and soil profile to hold water, as is often needed in the case of sandier soils.
Curious how this LDS, localized dry spot, can look deeper into the soil profile and how that can help determine what’s needed to remedy the situation? Check out a blog from Kansas State University, here:
Also, more about these wetting agents and soil surfactant products with details on how to move water through the profile OR retain water here:
Check out discussions from other turf growers experimenting with soil surfactants and wetting agents here: