Aquasmart and lawns

hugheseoFebruary 25, 2014

When I installed my new zoysia palisades lawn, a lawn specialist said that they were now using a product call aqua smart on baseball fields to reduce compaction and retain water. The product is basically a polymer coated silica that retains a crazy amount of water. I was told that most MLB fields now use it. I bought some, but was too nervous to do the full application during the tilling Proccess. I have a small yard, and since it is getting warmer here, 70s to 50s already, I was inking of doing the full recommended topical treatment they recommend. I will do it while spike aerating and fertilizing. I have heavy clay soil which has compacted dramatically since sodding 5 months ago. Rock hard in some places, with still dormant grass, soft and green elsewhere. Aeration seems like a no brainier, but I wanted to see if anyone else had used aqua smart and if there is anything I should consider.


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ForsheeMS(Lexington, NC)

One problem with spike aeration is that you are exposing weed seeds to fresh soil just when temps and typically moisture is prime for germination. Another issue is that a spike aerator doesn't really do much at all for compacted soil and could possibly cause more harm than good.

There are several folks on here that recommend baby shampoo to loosen the soil. It sounds a little crazy but in a lot of cases it does actually work. Do a search for it. I started last year and was amazed at the difference it made.

I have no idea on the aqua smart although it sounds like it could do what they claim. Maybe someone else will chime in on that.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 8:55PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

The polymer used in these soil water suspension systems is identical to the powder used in disposable baby diapers. I would not use it. These powders absorb 500 times their weight in water before allowing water to go deeper into the soil. When they swell like that, they push things out of the way. Some of the first people to try them in potted plants complained that the polymer expanded and pushed the plants out of the pots.

There are professional grade surfactants on the market which cost about $70 per gallon. They are used on golf courses to soften the soil. One of the other lawn forums developed a DIY surfactant for soil treatment. It is essentially pure surfactant, but you can do a passable job with just shampoo. Everyone who tries the shampoo, at least everyone I read about, has good luck with it. I thought it was a joke until there were just too many testimonials to laugh about. Then I tried it and it really did work. My two applications in 2012 have lasted until now with no end in sight. I will never use a core aerator again. I never saw any change in water retention or soil hardness after aerating. The application rate for shampoo is at least 3 ounces per 1,000 square feet. Apply and follow up with a full inch of water. Water another inch in a week. The second week, repeat the shampoo and inch of that. That's all there is to it. It will cost you a dollar (at the dollar store) to try. Use only a clear shampoo, not one with conditioners in it.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 9:00PM
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The company I work for, Ewing Irrigation, sells AquaSmart. It actually holds 12 times its weight in water, so it won't cause the swelling issues that people experienced with other polymers. At the recommended application rate it helps soil hold moisture for longer (for less frequent watering) and improves root growth. If you end up giving it a try I'll be very interested in hearing your results! The more you can work it into the soil the better.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 6:03PM
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