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Wetting agent

Jewels 1.3K

Jewels

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Can anyone explain and elaborate on this term for me.?
I believe it makes foliar feeding more effective. Is there a common household product I can use, or a DIY recipe ?

@SCJedi got me thinking ,,,
Does a wetting agent help the product absorb into the plant? ,,, or is the purpose of a wetting agent simply to emulsify the ingredients ?
 
HydroRed 7.2K

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Can anyone explain and elaborate on this term for me.?
I believe it makes foliar feeding more effective. Is there a common household product I can use, or a DIY recipe ?

@SCJedi got me thinking ,,,
Does a wetting agent help the product absorb into the plant? ,,, or is the purpose of a wetting agent simply to emulsify the ingredients ?
A wetting agent can be dish soap. Simply put, think of it like this:
Say you want to apply some Neem oil as a foliar spray. If you just tried mixing the neem oil to some luke warm water, the oil will just simply sit on the top of the water and wont "mix" to allow you a properly mixed dillution of oil and water no matter how much you shake it up. In order to allow oil and water to "mix" , you can simply add a couple drops of liquid dish soap to break down the neem oil aiding in it "mixing" together with the water and lowering the surface tension of the product needing to be applied. The dish soap wont make the oil go away or become any less strong, but simply allow it to mix down better lowering the surface tension of the oil for good even application to the plant and not in such a manner that the oil just sits & clogs the pores (stoma) of the leaves. The dish soap in this example would be the wetting agent. Just like anything else, you can find products that are touted to be "wetting agents" when they are nothing more than stuff you can find in the common household. Hope this was helpful in explaining.
 
Badmofo529 102

Badmofo529

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I've used a drop of dawn dish soap in my water for some really hydrophobic peat before (I think it was a bale of promix all purpose, it works ok in a pinch, but there is a reason it's half the price of HP or BX). Worked really good, it was just running straight out of the sides if the pot and refusing to absorb, a drop of dawn in the water, and it was soaking it up like a champ.
 
Bruno8437 103

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Can anyone explain and elaborate on this term for me.?
I believe it makes foliar feeding more effective. Is there a common household product I can use, or a DIY recipe ?
A wetting agent is something that will reduce the surface tension of a liquid. High surface tension is when water beads up on a surface vs low surface tension will just creating a uniform film. Think of a dirty car. It has low surface tension. Water flows across the hood but when you wax it, water will bead right up. This is high surface tension. Dish soap is a very good wetting agent as it reduces the surface tension and is also an excellent emulsifier. Lecithin is a good emulsifier but I don't have any idea about it's ability to reduce surface tension.
 
SCJedi 1.1K

SCJedi

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@Bruno8437 nailed it.

As we all know, oil and vinegar don't mix well. A wetting agent changes the tension between the two. Think of it as a divorce mediator between a nasty relationship to make things mix well.

For example, many of you probably live where there are Japanese Beetles. They suck and they are horrible for our food gardens. If you shake them into a jar of water they float do to an oily protective layer on their exoskeleton. HOWEVER, if you add a single drop of a surfactant to your jar of water those same beetles sink straight to the bottom and drown.

Now imagine spraying a liquid on the foilage of your plants. You've seen it when water beans up on the leaves like dew. Well add a drop of a surfactant and that same aqueous (water-based) solution spreads evenly into every nook and cranny by breaking the surface tension between the water and the surface of the plant.

Another example of water's high surface tension can be seen when you fill a graduated cylinder with water. The high surface tension of water causes it to climb the edges of the tube to form a curved miniscus.
 
stiickygreen 0

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One that I've used is yucca extract. Copied this: "Yucca extract is a natural surfactant or wetting agent. Helps water and nutrients penetrate deeper into the root zone, produces uniform and even water distribute in a foliar spray and also helps keep drip emitter lines from clogging. "

There are definitely a few products in the shops. "RAW" has a yucca powder. NFTG's has a liquid. Gonna guess a good nursery/etc would also carry it.

It also stabilizes pH in soil grows.

Soap is a surfactant as mentioned above but the pH of soap/soapy solutions can reach 12.0. A >bit< high for what we need....LOL. I would be wary of using something that alkaline....especially since to get it to work you'd need to saturate the soil. As a foliar, phytotoxicity can be a concern with soaps.
 
SCJedi 1.1K

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One that I've used is yucca extract. Copied this: "Yucca extract is a natural surfactant or wetting agent. Helps water and nutrients penetrate deeper into the root zone, produces uniform and even water distribute in a foliar spray and also helps keep drip emitter lines from clogging. "

There are definitely a few products in the shops. "RAW" has a yucca powder. NFTG's has a liquid. Gonna guess a good nursery/etc would also carry it.

It also stabilizes pH in soil grows.

Soap is a surfactant as mentioned above but the pH of soap/soapy solutions can reach 12.0. A >bit< high for what we need....LOL. I would be wary of using something that alkaline....especially since to get it to work you'd need to saturate the soil.
Yucca, or synthesized yucca, is a very good and commonly used wetting agent.
 
Capt. C 7K

Capt. C

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I first discovered surface tension in a really unusual way. Not that this has any plant related info just wild how it works. On the Diesel powered work boats we always had Dawn dishwashing soap on board. When you were at the fuel docks fueling up a lot of times when the tank level would reach the air vent a small amount of diesel would spill into the water. Immediately a large slick would form on the water surface. I could open the Dawn and just sling a line of it in the oil slick and with in seconds it would disappear. When asked about how it worked i would say it makes it evaporate. :ROFLMAO:. In reality it just passed thru the surface and straight to the bottom. Also did a excellent job cleaning the boat.:LOL:
 
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Ive been using the yucca extract with my ipm, didn't work as I'd imagined, more like turning the drops from baseballs into pancakes but on the small-scale lol definitely better coverage and less beading/runoff
 
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