Water management on golf courses is more than simply budgeting your water use for the year. It involves keeping a close eye on your irrigation system and performing maintenance as needed. Water management also involves hand watering some areas to ensure they receive just the right amount of water for their current needs. Regardless of the situation, wetting agents are helpful tools to maximize your water investment. 

In hot, dry summer conditions, irrigation is not as simple as applying water with a sprinkler or hose and letting the soil take it from there. Hydrophobic soil can’t properly absorb water, preventing the turfgrass from accessing the water applied. This is an inefficient use of water, as you’re applying water that’s not reaching the grass. Responsible water management involves using wetting agents to ensure you’re not wasting water.

Hydrophobic conditions are more common in soils with larger particle sizes. Sand is one example. The larger soil particles develop a waxy coating that naturally repels water. Drought contributes to the development of this water-repellant coating, as does dead organic matter in the soil. 

Many wetting agents are available to improve water management on golf courses, and different products have different functions. Some overcome thatch, tight soil, or hydrophobic soil by helping water droplets disperse into the soil through the barriers. These are called infiltration surfactants. Others, known as hydration surfactants, help the soil absorb water to prevent waste and increase the soil’s water-holding capacity.

Matador is a hydration surfactant that works by breaking down hydrophobic coatings on soil particles. It reduces water repellency so the soil can absorb water for turfgrass to access. As a 100% alkyl block copolymer blend, Matador uses block polymer technology to establish and maintain consistent moisture levels throughout the rootzone.

Balanced rootzone moisture benefits plant health by improving oxygen levels and microbial activity in the soil. This healthy soil encourages stress tolerance in turfgrass, which is especially valuable through the drought and heat of summer. Soil moisture also increases plant metabolism and maximizes your fertilizer applications. Balanced rootzone moisture improves not only plant health but also firmness and playability.

Ultimately, Matador reduces the amount of hand watering needed to address hydrophobic areas on your golf course. Less hand watering will make your crew more efficient during a season when there’s always something to be done on the course.

Use your course’s history to determine the specific areas most likely to need help from a soil surfactant. You can also use the makeup of the soil to decide if it might benefit from Matador. The product is safe to use on all types of turfgrass.

It’s also safe to use throughout the growing season. Prior to the onset of summer heat, make a proactive application that will prepare the soil for adverse conditions. Continue applying Matador until summer drought and heat subside, typically not before the middle of September. 

A wetting agent like Matador is an important component of responsible water management. It allows you to avoid water waste by ensuring that irrigation actually reaches the plant.