Whether you are trying to improve playing surfaces, reduce labor costs, or increase plant health, wetting agents are a great addition to any chemical program to achieve any or all of these goals. When looking within the marketplace, there are a variety of options to choose from including penetrants, retainers, and an endless combination of the two mixed at different ratios that move or hold water at different rates. All react in slightly different ways depending on the soil profile being treated. Finding the right program for you could make a huge difference in the quality of your playing surfaces and the amount of labor needed to produce them.

Here are three great questions to ask when trying to determine the best wetting agent for your course:

What is your end goal?

Are you trying to eliminate hand watering? Produce firmer surfaces? Or are you trying to create a more predictable daily water routine? These are three potential goals, and there can be many others. Being specific about your end goal will assist you in finding the right products for your program.

What are your available resources?

Selecting products to improve playing surfaces may seem obvious, but can be difficult to accomplish at times depending on available resources. To produce fast and firm playing surfaces requires leaning more towards a penetrant type of wetting agent; but if hours of hand watering are not available, a combination product might be the perfect compromise. If you are looking to reduce labor hours, a retaining product might be the better option.

What is the makeup of the soil profile?

We all know sand, USGA, and push-up style greens are uniquely different. Sand greens and a straight penetrant product can at times produce a flushing effect, whereas a retainer on heavy soils predictably can hold too much water. In both cases, the combination-type products can be ideal options.

There are a lot of great wetting agents on the market. Talk to your Advanced Turf rep about the best options for your golf course!