Wetting agents (video transcript)

This is a transcript of our gardening video on wetting agents

[Background music]

[Presenter]: One of the biggest challenges for West Australian’s wanting to have a beautiful garden is the challenge the sandy and water repellent soils we work with present. If you are not sure if you have a problem there’s an easy way to test how water repellent your soil is, and you can do it quite simply at home. 

Take some dry soil from your garden and place it in a dish. Make a small well on top and then pour on some water. If the soil is hydrophobic, you’ll find the water will pool on top of the soil. If the water is quickly absorbed, then you know a soil wetter isn’t necessary for your garden.

But what do you do if your soil is water repellent? It’s important to treat it or else your plants won't look happy and you’ll end up wasting water.  

There are a lot of wetting agents on the market that can help. A wetting agent is a product applied to your garden that allows your soil to absorb more water. They work by breaking down the waxy coating on grains of soil, as well as aiding in the penetration of water in dry spots. 

Wetting agents generally come in two forms, liquid or granulated. Liquid wetting agents are great for applying to lawns and you can purchase them pre-mixed in easy to spray on bottles. Just plug them straight into your hose and you’re ready to go. Granulated wetting agents are great for scattering around your garden or mixing into potting mix.

Once applied, make sure you hand water it in until they foam to make you’ve activated the product.  

For more information, visit watercorporation.com.au