Monday, May 2, 2022

Dry / Save


Horticulture Hotline 05/02/22

 By Bill Lamson-Scribner


Alright, I’m going to give one of those Captain Obvious predictions. With this very dry weather with wind and if the nighttime temperatures warm up just a little bit, chinch bugs will attack St. Augustine Grass early this year. Be sure to protect your grass because they can do a lot of damage quickly, and the “Nasty Rascal, the Chinch Bug” knows when you go on vacation!


Possum’s Wetting Agent with Biostimulants (PWAB) is a product that helps water move deeper into the soil. PWAB will help soften clay for water penetration and get rid of those localized dry spots in your lawn. Sandy soils will hold water longer and prevent those localized dry spots. Wetting agents have shown to reduce watering needs from 33% to 66% in Arizona and other areas where water is limited. If you could go from watering three times a week down to once a week or not at all, think of the savings!


 The benefits of using a wetting agent would be far greater than just the savings with the water company. Since the water would penetrate deeper into the soil, the root systems of your grass and plants would grow deeper. As the roots of your grass and plants slough off and are replaced by new roots, organic material is increasing in the area where these roots are shed, creating a deeper topsoil area.


 A deeper root system will help in times of drought and can collect more nutrients from the soil. If you use fertilizer, a deeper root system can absorb more nutrients before they leach away; therefore, you can use lower fertilizer rates. If you use root absorbed systemic fungicides or insecticides, a deeper root system will also “catch” these products more efficiently giving you more “bang for your buck”.


When it rains, a yard treated with a wetting agent like Possum’s Wetting Agent with Biostimulants has less runoff. The rain penetrates the ground much easier, keeping the rain in your yard and not in the storm water drains. If you have ever poured water out on a dusty dirt road, and watched the water bead up and not penetrate the road, you have witnessed a hydrophobic soil condition. If you add a little wetting agent to this water and poured it on the same road, the water would penetrate the dusty dirt road. By keeping the water in your lawn, you will have the benefit of the water and we will have less runoff into our marshes.


The biggest savings from using a wetting agent will come from reduced use of fungicides. Most fungi like water. By watering less fungus populations should decrease.

Brown patch / large patch and gray leaf spot definitely comes to mind.


Many people travel over the summer. PWAB is great to add to hanging baskets or pots. Whether you are travelling or just want to increase your intervals between watering, PWAB should help you with a more uniform distribution of water and better hydrated plants.


If you prefer a granular product over a spray, try HumGranWet. HumGranWet is very cost-effective product that combines a wetting agent and humic acid. If you would rather spread than spray, check it out. HumGranWet has a very low use rate (1.15 pounds per thousand square feet 4 times a year or 2.3 pounds per thousand square feet every 6 months) and long residual making it very affordable!


People come into Possum’s and say that the savings on their water bill more than pays for the Possum’s Wetting Agent with Biostimulants. All the other benefits are an extra (free) bonus!


Mole Crickets, fire ants, mosquitoes, gray leaf spot, aphids, scale, chinch bugs, white flies, sooty mold, snakes, ticks, rats, palmetto bugs, fruit flies, and have you smelled a magnolia bloom… – ahh the Lowcountry!