Wetting Agents used to Resolve Dry Areas

As golf courses dry out due to heat, irrigation issues, or other conditions that don’t allow necessary moisture, the course runs the risk becoming hydrophobic. Hydrophobic conditions in the soil are created when areas get dry and repel water that comes in contact with it instead of absorbing into the soil.   To help counteract hydrophobic areas and restore moisture, wetting agents can be used to decrease the surface tension of the water molecules.   

Wetting agents are surfactants that work to reduce the surface tension between the soil and water molecules to aid in getting water to the root zone of the plant. This is important during hot weather when the sand-based soil conditions on golf course greens and tees make them more susceptible to hydrophobic conditions that will repel irrigation water applied to the areas. Countless varieties of wetting agents are on the market from various manufacturers. The two main types of wetting agents are Penetrants that work to break the surface tension to help water molecules infiltrate the soils and Water Retainers which help to retain water in the soil after infiltration.

Along with helping to restore turf areas that became dry and brown, wetting agents can be used to help increase the efficiency of the water being used for irrigation by helping the water molecules to infiltrate the soil. An increase water efficiency can also help to reduce water usage and decrease water runoff.

Example:  12 Green at Twin Peaks Golf Course


(Image 1) 


(Image 2)

Image 1 shows the hydrophobic dry spots within the collar.  Image 2 shows the wetting agent after it is applied to the area just before it soaks in.

Once applied the wetting agent will help water infiltrate the area during irrigation cycles for about two weeks.