Modern Technology for Reducing Drought Stress and Water Use

As extreme temperatures, droughts, and weather have become more common over the last few years, there has been increased consumer and business interest in being more aware of the way we grow plants and manage landscapes. There are a variety of commonly available solutions that you may already be utilizing and recommending to your customers. These include planting drought-resistant and native species, mulching, and using efficient watering methods. Out of this interest to modernize, biochar and humectants are 2 components that have made their way into the marketplace and are now available in ARBORChar® Summer Stress and NutriRoot®. These products offer unique combinations of multiple ingredients which help hold water, build soil, and improve plant growth and an appearance even during difficult conditions.

Biochar is created by burning organic matter without oxygen in a process called pyrolysis which produces a highly porous, negatively charged carbon material which helps soil to store and exchange nutrients. Think of biochar as a bit of a multitasker. Regarding reducing water use, biochar’s porosity allows it to hold up to 10 times its weight in water. This helps make it a great addition to sandy soils because it helps reduce leaching of water and fertilizers. Likewise, it’s a great addition to clay soils because it reduces compaction while providing a carbon source for microbiology. And then, like charcoal it can also act as a filter and buffer. Biochar that has been enhanced with nutrients and/or organic material will add value to the soil and improve plant growth.

Humectants are substances often used in foods and lotions to help retain moisture. These substances are called hygroscopic, meaning they can attract ambient water. Humectants added to the soil will attract water vapor from the atmosphere within the soil and condense it back to a liquid form. They will then retain the liquid for the plant to absorb.

Here is an example of the humectant process turning the crystals into water.

Using humectants is an easy way to reduce overall water use by helping plants more efficiently use the water they receive whether, through rainfall, humidity, irrigation or hand watering. As well as preventing water loss through evaporation by condensing the vapor back into a liquid form.

Now, add biochar to the mix, and you’ve got some serious water holding capacity!

ARBORChar Summer Stress 0-0-9 is a fertilizer, water manager, and biochar blend. Perfect to apply in hot summer conditions, it contains humectants as well as Iron, Magnesium, and Potassium to promote greening. It’s available in 1 and 4 lbs. and covers up to 400 sq. ft.

NutriRoot 2-2-3 Liquid Soil Applied Fertilizer is a unique blend of essential minerals, seaweed extract, humic acid, surfactants, and humectants supplying a single product to reduce watering, accelerate root growth, and improve transplant success. NutriRoot is available in 8 and 32 fl. oz. measure & pour, 32 fl. oz. hose-end sprayer, and 1 gallon concentrates.

Both tools are great for drought stress regions, transplants, or just overall reduction in the labor of watering. They can be used on all plants indoors and out. Be sure to stock NutriRoot and ARBORChar Summer Stress this June. Your customers will appreciate the time they save and love the way their garden looks!

Order Now Using Program Number: A93E3