Sodium and Salinity

June 5, 2010

Both minerals effect successful turf irrigation, Part I, Sodium.

Sodium (Na+) as an individual element is commonly found in irrigation water, along with many others (like calcium, magnesium, potassium, sulfur and iron, etc). Salts are actually the dry form of two or more elements combined. When salts come in contact with water, they dissolve into their component elements once again, but when in water, they now have a “charge.” The sum charges of dissolved salts constitute the total salinity of the irrigation water, or any other body of water, for that matter.

Salinity will be addressed as a separate topic in the next article series. This article addresses the topic of sodium, and its importance in turf and landscape management.

In addition to being one of many mineral elements that dissolve in water, sodium has other effects on plants and soils, so much so, that sodium interpretation and sodium management warrants its own “topic” on soil and water quality test reports.

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