wetting agent

When to use a Lawn Wetting Agent

Wetting agents improve rain and water uptake in the lawn. It helps water to penetrate and spread, improving availability to the grass and reducing total water usage.

What is a Wetting Agent

A chemical that reduces surface tension in the soil water so that rain and water penetrate and spread more efficiently thus improving availability to plants and reducing total water usage.

See Wetting Agents in our shop

How a Wetting Agent Works

Ever floated a coin on the surface of water in a glass as a party trick? Quite easy to do and this is an example of how surface tension works leaving your coin floating and bone dry! Now add a drop of washing up liquid and the coin immediately sinks as the surface tension has been broken and the coin now becomes wet.

In the soil this same surface tension exists and is partially why water runs off hard dry soil and is also prevented from penetrating soils where fairy rings and dry patch occur. Adding a wetting agent immediately allows water to start percolating down from the surface to where the roots can make use of it.

How your Lawn Benefits

Once a wetting agent starts to work on the soil, water can move more readily down and sideways in the soil profile. Run-off is reduced, water moves deeper more quickly and spreads more easily. The lawn soil can now hold more water with obvious benefits to the grass.In addition, wetting agents will help stimulate better root development.

The common misconception is that these products replace the need for watering! They don’t. Water is still required but because it is now able to penetrate the soil and be held in the soil more easily you use less water. The water that you do use is also now more easily and readily available to the grass roots.

When to use a Wetting Agent

If your lawn has been dormant, recovery can be patchy with some areas recovering well and others remaining brown. Using a wetting agent will help recover all areas evenly if they have not died. The process is much quicker, uses less water and has long term benefits to the lawn as both our wetting agents have elements beneficial to the soil and grass. For any dry lawn needing reviving, using a wetting agent is worth every penny.

For dry summer lawn conditions, you can use a wetting agent as a preventative and treat the whole lawn before it dries. Do this if your lawn is old or you live in a dry part of the country. Otherwise use a wetting agent to speed and ensure good recovery of a dormant lawn before autumn. See How to Revive a Hard Dry Lawn

With seasonally recurring problems such as fairy rings and dry patch plan to start treatment before the problem starts usually from late spring onwards.

How to Use a Wetting Agent

Wetting agents work in conjunction with water; either by sprinkler or rain. The wetting agent should be applied to the lawn prior to rain or watering. You can apply to the whole lawn which may include some greener areas or just to the dry areas. If applying to dry patches, treat an area slightly larger than the patch itself.

The soil and lawn will benefit if applied everywhere including greener areas. Remember, the agent improves water movement, water holding capacity and root development so all areas will benefit.

If the lawn is hard any assistance you can give to getting agent and water into the soil by pricking the lawn surface (shallow spiking of perhaps a few millimeters only) will measurably speed the process. The Rolling Aerator in our shop is a perfect tool to initiate spiking by just letting it roll over the hard lawn surface. Do not apply pressure as no aerator is going to be able to get deep into a hard soil. This pricking of the lawn surface will start channels for rain or water to penetrate rather than running off. The water and wetting agent will start to work softening the soil surface. You could then use the aerator again and this time it will go a little deeper allowing more water/rain in to the lawn.

As the wetting agent begins to work more rain or watering will get into the soil profile and spread more easily reviving the grass. Depending on the wetter used, repeat application(s) will be advised within a few weeks of the first.