The benefits of using a wetting agent in a drought

The use of soil wetting agents or surfactants have been used in the professional turf care industry for many years now.

Although they can be used during most times of the year, a wetting agent is primarily used throughout summer months as part of a water management plan to prevent and cure a condition known as 'dry patch'.

Dry patch is a major problem during long, hot, dry periods in the summer which can seriously have an adverse affect on the health of the turf on your lawn. The use of a wetting agent helps with the following:

  • Prevents and cures dry patch, as many soils become drier due to drought stress, localised patches of dry turf appear known as dry patch. These patches become hydrophobic (water repellant). Without the use of a wetting agent (which remove the hydrophobic coating on the soil particles) these patches are very difficult to re wet.
  • Aids water penetration into the soil profile and reduces surface run off on localised high spots and puddling in low spots.
  • Reduces the amount of irrigation or watering needed to maintain the health of the turf during dry periods.

It is always better to identify the problem of dry patch before it occurs, as prevention is always better than cure. Applying a wetting agent early in the season in accordance with the manufactures recommendations will help your lawn cope with the affects of a dry summer. Avoid waiting until the lawn is showing signs of drought stress, as curing this problem will always prove more difficult.