It’s only three things your lawn needs to be healthy and green: sunshine, water, and a balanced diet. But getting the right amounts of each at the correct time can be difficult.
You may experience a long wet season or a periodic drought in your area. The rainfall can also be highly variable from one month to the next and even year to year.
Most of us can supplement the natural rain with water from our garden taps when needed.
Now that we are more aware of how much water we consume, soil wetting agents will help us to make each drop more effective.
A soil wetting agent will help your lawn be in the best condition possible to absorb excess water.
What is hydrophobic Soil?
Decomposing organic matter in hydrophobic soils leaves a waxy residue on each soil particle that repels the water.
This is more common on sandy soils with smaller particles than those of clay. It can also be found in soils that are compacted or submerged.
It is easy to test if the soil is hydrophobic. If the water pools on top of the ground instead of being absorbed by it, it is likely to be hydrophobic.
This phenomenon can also be observed in hanging baskets and garden pots. In these cases, the water runs straight through.
Why do I need soil wetting agent on my lawn?
Soil wetting agents encourage strong root development because they allow water to soak into the soil evenly, rather than run off the surface as it does in hydrophobic soils.
By reducing the surface tension, they allow the water to penetrate the waxy layer of soil particles.
You can reduce the frequency and depth of irrigating by allowing soil particles to retain water for longer.
The use of soil wetting agents will also improve turf health by allowing nutrients to be delivered directly to the roots.
How to use soil wetting agents
Apply soil wetting agents early in spring, early in summer or in autumn. Avoid the heat of the day by applying them in the morning.
You can apply them to new or existing lawns, or to the soil prior to rolling out turf and seeding new areas of lawn.
How to apply soil wetting agent
You can buy soil wetting agents in liquid form, which you can apply with a hose, or as granules. These can be applied by hand, or using a fertilizer spreader.
The majority of these products will need to watered thoroughly, and they can be applied every six to eight week or as needed for soil that is water resistant.
Granular products usually consist of a carrier, like cork, that holds the soil-wetting agent, as well as any additives such as trace elements and minerals. The chemicals activated on your lawn by rain or irrigation, and the carrier slowly breaks down.
Contrary to fertilisers, which are toxic when used in large amounts, soil wetting agents tend to be harmless. Once the soil has recovered from their initial application, it is not worth spending time or money to keep applying these agents.
Follow the safety instructions and read the label before using any product.
When applying chemicals to your garden or lawn, you should wear eye protection and boots, as well as gloves.