Watering Tip: Use Soil Polymer Crystals

Try using soil polymer crystals to help water notoriously under-watered indoor plants, or to help vegetable container gardens grow since it is so lightweight! The best part is, soil polymer crystals are natural and will eventually break down and compost in your soil. A soil polymer will also help your patio and indoor plants retain water. Its an additive that absorbs 400 times it’s weight in water. Here's what you need: :: 1/4 teaspoon of crystals. :: 1 1/2 cups of water. You could also use weak compost tea for added fertilizer benefit. :: A container of sufficient size to “grow” your crystals. :: The crystals became 1 1/2 cups of expanded, jelly like, material. There's 1 drop of green food coloring in it so it shows up better in the pictures. :: It only took about 30 minutes to absorb the water and expand fully. How much should you add? Well, figuring that 1/4 a teaspoon of crystals will expand to 1 1/2 cups, 10 cups of soil to 1/4 teaspoon polymer mulch works well. You can also use these if you are going away! When going away for a week or so, spread expanded crystals over the soil in a 1 inch deep layer. It will slowly release water during the week, but make sure you water the plants before adding the crystals! To make a big batch: Put a couple of tablespoons of the product in a 3-gallon bucket and fill the bucket with water. In about 15-30 minutes, the polymer will have absorbed most of the water and swollen to fill the bucket. Caution! A couple of tablespoons of these crystals in a bucket looks mighty small, and you’ll be tempted to add more – Don’t! You’ll have it all over your floor and it’s very hard to pick up.

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