Monday, July 9, 2012

Some Benefits of Organics and Wetting Agents Part 5

This article is hopefully the last part of the longest running multiple part series in the 20 plus year history of the Horticulture Hotline! Fleas, roaches, chinch bugs, mosquitoes, and the many other pests of the Lowcountry landscape have had a pass for too long. If you have missed any of the previous four articles, you can access them by going to and look under the Horticulture Hotline tab.

Last week I wrote about the use of wetting agents in clay soil. This week I’m going to write about the use of wetting agents in sandy soil. You know how a ‘cooler or Thermos’ knows to keep some liquids hot and some liquids cold? A wetting agent works in both sandy soils and clay soils as well. Wetting agents help dry out clay soils then slowly release the water and help sandy soils hold water.

At Possum’s we worked with a customer that lives in a sandy soil area of the Lowcountry. He suffered from a large dry area on a hill and in another area he had an annual bed that always dried out; however, the annuals were on a zone with turf, so the turf was getting over watered to keep the annuals alive.

Through the monthly use of a wetting agent, he was able to solve both problems without having to rework his irrigation system. He had been watering every day for 30 minutes and has cut his watering to 3 times a week. On last report he was going to try to lower the minutes per watering. Going from watering 7 days a week down to 3 days a week is a 57% decrease in watering. Another lowered water bill and another better looking yard!

Less watering also means less disease and less expensive fungicides. This ‘slow release’ watering can save you money on your water bill, help fertilizer work better, lessen compaction, prevent runoff into storm water drains that go to our marshes, grow deeper roots, develop healthier plants that can withstand stress better, and let me mention again save you money!

The use of organics (Cotton Burr Compost, SeaHume, Corn Gluten, Mulch, Sustane Products, Bio-Rush etc), soil testing and wetting agents will provide you many benefits in your landscape. The proper use of these products over a very short period of time will give you healthier plants, less disease, a more environmentally friendly landscape, and will save you money!