Soil Surfactants

We have had a lot of questions recently regarding fertilizers that can help combat the water restrictions/drought conditions we will be subjecting our lawns to this summer… A soil surfactant is the way to go. Also known as a wetting agent, colloquially, these reduce surface tension of water. Not to be confused, there are many different types of surfactants, and we’re only talking about their uses with turf. A little background… Have you ever filled a glass of water until it’s completely full and then kept adding drop after drop to it? Yes, I know, this sounds weird, but I am sure many of us did this in high school chemistry. Well, water has a quality where its molecules are very cohesive and therefore you can continue filling the glass above the brim, essentially defying gravity. In layman’s terms, water molecules have the tendency to group together, not spread out. (Another reason why water follows the same path instead of making new paths- remember Jurassic Park?) Below I have two pictures. One is a water droplet naturally beaded up on a leaf, the other is a picture of what the surfactant does to water droplets. The surfactant takes away that contractive tendency to bead up, and allows the water droplet to spread out. Give this some consideration for this summer. Actually, give it some consideration for EVERY summer! It works wonderfully, although fertilizers with surfactants can be quite a bit more expensive in terms of percentages.

Water Beading

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