Wetting Agents are a lawn care product which is applied to lawns and gardens to enable a greater free flowing of water throughout the soil profile. They are generally inexpensive to purchase and provide an excellent solution to create healthier lawns by creating a greater availability of water to lawns when needed.
Due to our dry, hot desert history, many soils in Australia continue to suffer various types of water retention problems. Some soils may repel water off their surface, some soils may not retain and hold onto water for very long, while others may not distribute water evenly throughout the soil profile.
These water retention problems often result in not enough water being freely available to all of our lawns and gardens on a regular basis. Soils may quickly dry out, watering may result in water simply washing off the lawn instead of wetting the lawn and soil. The end result of all of this is that our lawns and gardens continue to suffer for as long as we have them - from lack of water - even though we may be applying more than enough water.
Wetting Agents are very much like a detergent, when applied to soils and watered in - the Wetting Agents break down the greasy film which surrounds many soil particles which are responsible for the water repellent effects.
With this greasy film removed, water can then more easily penetrate the soil and then distribute itself throughout the soil profile. The removal of the water repellent effect also allows the water to sit inside the soil profile for much longer as well.
The use of Wetting Agents allows the soil and the lawns and plants it supports to make far more use of the water we apply. By continuing to use the same amount of water, we are actually making more water available to out lawns, which will make them healthier. Alternatively, we may also find that we can reduce the amount of water being applied to our lawns when we begin using Wetting Agents regularly.
Wetting Agents cannot harm soils, lawns or gardens, so in theory we can use as much Wetting Agents as we believe is required for our particular situations. All lawns would do well with a single application per year, while more water repellent soils would require 2-3 applications per year. The meticulous lawn lover may even apply Wetting Agents in small quantities every 2-3 months.