Gardeners apply a wetting agent, sometimes called a soil wetter, to the garden to make sure that the water from the sprinklers and the rain soaks right down into the soil.
Over time, the soil in the garden or in pots becomes ‘hydrophobic‘ which means that the water won’t soak into it. If this happens, the water just sits on the top and doesn’t get deep down where the roots of plants of plants are. This might cause them to die or not thrive. Applying a wetting agent to the soil stops this problem and makes sure that our precious water is not wasted.
There are many brands of wetting agents. Some are granules which are scattered over the soil and pots and then watered in and others are a liquid and are mixed with water before applying to the garden.
They all work in just about the same way. They break up the invisible waxy coating that is on the soil that stops the water from soaking in so that next time the sprinklers are on or the rain comes, all of the water gets down to the plant’s roots.
It’s important to apply a wetting agent to the garden, including the lawn, or pots at least twice a year as the waxy coating will come back again which means the water will be wasted and the plants will struggle.