There are seemingly endless choices of soil surfactant (wetting agent) products these days.  To complicate matters, some products have less than 20% active ingredient and are applied in ounces per acre, while other products contain 100% active ingredient and are applied in ounces per 1,000 square feet.  There are some soil surfactant products that need to be applied early in the spring and then every few weeks or monthly throughout the growing season on a preventative, program basis, while other soil surfactant products can be used curatively after water repellency symptoms appear.  Some soil surfactant products are described as “penetrants” while other are claimed to be “water holders”.   Many soil surfactant products can be phytotoxic and need to be irrigated off of leaf surfaces immediately after application, while others are non-phytotoxic and can be left to dry on leaf surfaces after application and can be watered in the night after application.  Is your head spinning yet?

There is no doubt that all of these choices can be very confusing.  Now that we are in July when heat and moisture stress usually kicks in big time, I’d like to simplify things for you.  With all of the soil surfactant products available today, one of the safest, most versatile, and easiest to use is Aqueduct, by Aquatrols.

Aqueduct Basics

Aqueduct is known as the best curative soil surfactant on the market today for the treatment of localized dry spot (LDS) on turfgrass.  But it also has a variety of other uses in turfgrass management and landscape management as well.  It comes in a liquid formulation if you prefer to spray, and in a water dispersible, granular formulation (Aqueduct SWDG) if you prefer to spread or spot treat with a granular.  Aqueduct is non-phytotoxic, so it can be applied on even the hottest day and it does not have to be watered in immediately to prevent tip burn or yellowing, so you can have peace of mind knowing you are fixing problems and not creating new ones.

Turfgrass Uses

To curatively treat existing LDS or extreme moisture stress on golf course, athletic field or lawn turfApply 8 oz/M of Aqueduct liquid or 2.5 lbs/M of Aqueduct SWDG to affected turf.  After initial watering in, apply additional water with a hose to bring soil moisture back up to field capacity.

To preventatively treat water repellency in any turf soil:  Apply 3-4 oz/M Aqueduct liquid every two weeks or 2.5 lbs/M of Aqueduct SWDG monthly.  Water it in thoroughly the evening after application, or sooner if possible.

On newly laid sod:  Apply 2.5 lbs/M of Aqueduct SWDG over the top of newly laid sod prior to initial watering of the sod.  Aqueduct SWDG will treat the water repellency in the thatch/mat layer and soil of the cut sod reducing watering requirements during establishment.  It will also improve “knitting in” of new roots into the underlying soil at the sod/soil interface.

Localized dry spot (LDS) on a golf course fairway in Ohio before being treated with Aqueduct.
Turf recovery one week after an Aqueduct application. LDS symptoms are almost completely gone.

 

Apply Aqueduct SWDG over the top of newly laid sod with a rotary spreader prior to initial watering of the sod to reduce watering requirements during establishment and improve “knitting in” with the underlying soil.

Landscape Uses

For mulched tree, shrub or flower beds:  Apply 8 oz/M of Aqueduct liquid or 2.5 lbs/M of Aqueduct SWDG monthly.  Organic mulches like wood chips, cocoa hulls, bark and compost become very water repellent when they dry out.  Aqueduct treats the water repellency in organic mulches, improving water penetration and increasing soil moisture in mulched bed.

For pots, hanging baskets or planter boxes:  Apply ½ teaspoon of Aqueduct SWDG monthly to the surface of each 12” diameter pot or hanging basket, or each square foot of planter boxes.  The soilless media used in pots, hanging baskets and planter boxes contains a lot of peat moss, which becomes very water repellent when it dries out.  Aqueduct SWDG will treat the water repellency in the soilless media and make it wettable again.  This allows more of the soilless media in these containers to wet up after each watering, and less water will run down the sides of the containers and out the bottom drainage holes.  The containers will not dry out as fast and these containers will not have to be watered quite as often.

Aqueduct SWDG applied monthly to pots, hanging baskets or planter boxes will increase the wettability of the soilless media used in these containers, so they will not dry out as fast and they won’t have to be watered as often.

Soil water repellency is a significant problem for turfgrass and landscape managers, especially in the heat of summer during dry conditions.  Aqueduct liquid and Aqueduct SWDG granular can help treat soil water repellency in almost every turfgrass and landscape situation, increasing watering efficiency and reducing wasted time and water.