Senior Member
Posts: 172
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 5:18 pm
Location: SW Kansas

Using a surfactant for water penetration?

In the past I have worked with farmers that used a certain surfactant that they called soap. Supposidly it would open up the ground and let the water in. Or it would release the water retention and the water was able to purculate into the soil.
I ask about this because one of my dad's neighbors was looking for some to put on his yard because the was would just run off and the grass was burning up. The only problem is that you would have to apply it with the water in order to do this.
Does anyone have an answer?

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2665
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:52 am
Location: SE-OH USA Zone 6-A

Re: Using a serfanctant for water penatration?

Water briefly while dew is on the ground. Water a second time one hour later. Spray surfactant one hour later.

These are going to be brief waterings.

Hope for rain, or water dilligently next day and once a week there after.
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Greener Thumb
Posts: 955
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 7:29 pm
Location: Central PA

Re: Using a surfacant for water penetration?

fancy word for "wetting agent" -

soap - plain old soap (NOT detergent) - Ivory Snow, etc - yes, it decreases the surface tension of water so it can penetrate better

tablespoon per gallon - spritz it around, then water.

how to introduce it into the irrigation / spray system is another matter - there are hose end siphons.

another approach is to water, then water again about 30-60 minutes apart until the soil surface is not so dried out.

how closely is the grass mowed? try 3- 3.5 inches to shade the soil.

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