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Wetting Agents

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Victor, Nov 30, 2007.

  1. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,430

    Most wetting agents require you to heavily water any lawn you apply them to, to wash them into the soil and prevent adverse effects to the turf blades. Is this necessary with Wex? I looked for a label on it, but couldn't find one to read.

    I love the price on it. I've got to tell you. I'm also wondering how often Wex has to be applied to be of benefit throughout the Summer? Would 1 application in June last throughout the Summer by chance?

    CHARLES CUE LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,342

    victor we apply wex 3 times spring summer and fall but i would say that if you applyed it in jun it would last all summer. I do my summer app in june.and it seems to last all summer no you dont have to wash it off it will not hurt turf blades. but you will need some kind of water to move it into the soil to do its job and dont bag your clippings the first mowing or you could haul it away. You can find the label at www.conklin.com/site/ccue and click on purchase produccts on top left than click on adjuvants you have to go to
    page two for wex
    Charles Cue
  3. golfguy

    golfguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 108

    I am well versed in wetting agents and there benefits.

    As an example for you, I have a sand based tee on my golf course. On my daily rounds I stuck a soil probe in the tee and produced dust for soil to a depth of 7". I watered that tee for 30 minutes twice that night two hours apart. I checked the soil first thing the following morning to find that exactly none of the applied water penetrated the soil. The following morning I applied a wetting agent and rehydrated the soil with 20 minutes of water.


    Many wetting agents can have phytotoxic effects when tank mixed with other products. Regardless of what product you decide on CHECK WITH THE MANUFACTURER on tank mix compatibility. I have seen the effects first hand of this, fortunately, someone else did not heed the advice.

    Aquatrols makes several wetting agents that I have had decent success with.
    Primer is an old chemistry wetting agent that works extremely well. The down side of primer is it needs to be applied monthly. Primer is also available in a granular form on a corn cob carrier similar to Granular Diazinon. The obvious benefit is that this granular does not need to be watered immediately aftre the application. Due to its cheaper cost I use Primer extensively on tees and fairways. Primer tends not to move as deep into the soil as the newer chemistries.
    Revolution is a new chemistry that when applied at higher rates gets greater longetivity. For me, the jury is still out on revolution.

    Cascade worked well for me. It penetrates deeper into the soil then Primer but tends to have spikes of uneven penetration. Cascade can be applied at lower monthly rates or two higher rates for season long coverage.

    Respond 3 is my most recent usage. i used the two application method at higher rates over the lower montly applications. With the prolonged dry season we had I found that the product ran out of steam in mid September which by most seasons would be good enough. Respond 3 moves deep and even into the soil profile.

    By having the wetting agent deeper in the profile I can promote a drier surface. In theory, this should also allow me to dry the soil profile down evenly. Of course, this is not a perfect science but it definately helps.

    In my opnion, you will have extreme trouble getting an entire season out of one single application.

    Remember when applying wetting agents you need to water in immediately after or of course, do it in the rain. The granualr will buy you some time on the water. I also recommend using a nozzle which will apply the product into the soil. 2+ gallons per thousand with a nozle supplying a larger droplet should be adequate for this.

    Another trick that I have picked up is to use a Humic Acid based product in conjunction with your wetting agent. The wetting agent will take the humic acid into the soil with it and you may get a surprise at the plant response you get.
  4. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,671

  5. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    If you are only applying the surfactant with humic acid 3 or 4 times a year it should not be an issue, but Humic acid ties up nutrients in the soil so too much can actually backfire. Small amounts of humic acid over time is better.

    In the northeast, especially on golf courses, humic acids are used in late fall to tie up N and reduce snow mold issues in the spring. A little off topic
  6. MaineFert

    MaineFert LawnSite Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 115

    I just recently saw him speak at a superintendents meeting up here, and he had some great insight on wetting agents and how they are great for localized dry spots. He didn't recommend any specific brand, because there are so many out there, with only slight differences. They were highly recommended by him especially on greens. One thing he did mention was to use the wetting agent on the entire area, not just the effected spots. he is definitely worth contacting.

    Jim Allen
    Nutrients PLUS
  7. golfguy

    golfguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 108

    I would love to see literature on this if you could point me in the right direction.
  8. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    Golf guy
    I just saw this, I have research on my PC on the subject. I'll try to find it and post by the end of the day
    I don't want to steal the thread so I'll PM it to you
  9. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,430

    Thanks for the great info and input guys. :waving:
  10. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    Sorry to sidetrack the thread on wetting agents.

    Golf guy,

    In reply to your question about humates and their reaction in the soil.
    This is very technical and maybe I should just start a thread on it, but I said I would follow up.
    Standard humate has the following composition:
    C 342, H388, O124. N12
    According to the weight proportions this is 618 mg C, 59 mg H, 298 mg O and 25 mg N/g. Humate with a molecular weight of approximately 7000 Da. In this model humate, nitrogen is mainly present a heterocyclic N and Nitriles. A void is present in the model which traps either a hexapeptide with the sequence Asp-Gly-Arg-Glu-Ala-Lys or a trisaccharide. This organo-mineral complex is capable of binding the hexapeptide bymeans of 14 hydrogen bonds. The finding is of particular interest for plant nutrition because the release of the hexapeptide may quickly lead to its microbial decomposition and mineralization of the organic nitrogen. The standard may also bind clay minerals to form organo mineral complexes by means of bridges with Al, Fe, Ca and Mg

    Shorter less technical answer is:
    By mineralizing N in the soil it becomes unavailable to plants however normal microbial activity will release this mineralized N through the course of N cycling. So if you apply Humates while the ground is still microbially active they will mineralized the available N in the soil and as the soil cools the microbial activity slows down, thereby effectively sequestering N in the soil until the microbial activity in the soil returns when the soil warms. Whew!

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