The easy answer; yes. Wetting agents are like a detergent or surfactant that attracts water to the soils surface, helping it to soak in.
Soil can become hydrophobic which means it repels water and can lead to serious problems in the garden and especially your lawn. For existing lawns that are hydrophobic, a wetting agent is needed.
What causes hydrophobic soil?
Hydrophobic soil is caused by the decomposition of organic matter, which leaves a wax like substance forming a coating on soil particles. After long periods of dry weather, soils can become dehydrated and this is when the hydrophobic surface is exposed, which stops water from penetrating.
How can I fix a hydrophobic lawn?
Wetting agents can assist in reducing the hydrophobic nature of soil. Wetting agents can be either liquid or granular and are sometimes mixed into lawn foods and top dressing mixes too.
For new lawn installation, especially here in WA mixing through some organics and adding a wetting agent before laying the lawn will provide the new lawn with the best start.
Aerating coupled with the use of a wetting agent will help get moisture and oxygen into the soil and provide your lawn with the soil it requires to thrive.
The original blog post can be found on the Lawn Solutions Australia website.