Over time, areas of managed turf can build up excessive levels of salts which are either dissolved in the soil solution or adsorbed on to soil particles. These salts come from a number of sources including natural mineralisation of rootzone parent material, irrigation water (especially boreholes drawn out of calcareous rock), fertiliser applications and proximity to the sea.
Salts affect plant growth due to increasing soil osmotic pressure and to interference with plant nutrition. A high salt concentration in soil solution reduces the ability of plants to acquire water.
It is important for turf managers to ensure that their soils do not have excessive levels of salt in the root zone, particularly where lower quality irrigation water is used or in coastal areas.
Remove Soil Salts with RePhlex LS
Indigrow have developed a product, RePhlex LS, for soils which are too high in salt, which has been trailed and compared against other similar products.
As this issue is related to water management, our product RePhlex LS and the competitor product can be classed as wetting agents. The wetting agents in RePhlex LS are organic acids and are naturally derived.
The active ingredients help spread the applied water (rain or irrigation) across a wider interface which slows water movement down throughout the soil profile. This allows more of the excess salts to be leached from the rootzone. They do not affect the overall amount of water that drains through, just the speed at which it percolates. Unlike most penetrate synthetic wetting agents which actually speed up the flow of water.
RePhlex LS Trials
Recent trials at the University of Lincoln compared another synthetic wetting agent (Product H) against RePhlex LS.
Rephlex LS was the most effective in slowing down the passage of water, being 20% slower than the control.
Product H is from a major turf wetting agent manufacturer. Although claims are made for its use as a water management product, it moves water more quickly thorough the profile, 5% quicker than the plain water control.
In order to determine the effectiveness of the various products in removing dissolved salts, the Electrical Conductivity (EC) of the drainage water was measured, this was compared to water alone. The higher the reading the more dissolved salts are removed.
RePhlex LS removed 27% more salts than plain water. Product H did not remove any more salts over and above that with plain water.
Being an organically derived acid, RePhlex LS will react with carbonate and bicarbonates and give a number of agronomic benefits, primarily by improving soil structure, water penetration and gaseous exchange and at the same time releasing Calcium within the soil making it available for plant growth.
For more details on our trial results, or to request further information, please contact: [email protected]