Kurite
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Location: Illinois

New artificial soil crystals

I heard about some new product that comes in crystal form. You put a tablespoon of the stuff in your container and add water and it forms into a gel. I heard it is suppose to completely replace the soil. Has anyone heard of this or know what they are?
thanks!
kurite

redback001
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in all probability this is a form of polymer gel, not really a new product, but does come in different forms; similar to the water absorbent gels that are found in diapers.

they normally hydrate to about 1000x their original size when they are placed in water. colored gels are commonly used in flower arranging - where the gel is places in a translucent container and then the flowers placed into the gel. water is then absorbed directly from the gel.

if used by themselves they can only realistically sustain smallish plants as the gel medium does not offer the same consistency and "weight" that a natural soil does, which means that larger plants would simply fall over.

derivatives of this type of product are used to retain water in quick drying soils (hanging containers, container plants, countries with arid climates etc.) they are normally added to the soil to trap irrigation water and release it on demand to plants. they are never used alone, but as a supplement.

water absorbent gels tend to become substrates for algal growth when exposed to light.

here is a link to a commercial site that sells this type of product with a little more info about the product.
[url]https://www.seedman.com/pgfaq.htm[/url]

a0c8c
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Only thing I've seen this gel used for is when asian countries transport over dracaena's like lucky bamboo. They need to be shipped in water, but water also brings nast mosquitos and parasites so the US government makes them ship it in gel.

It could be good for water plants I guess, but I don't see a good use anywhere else.

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SP8
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I heard it is suppose to completely replace the soil.
That's a new one :lol:
a0c8c wrote:It could be good for water plants I guess, but I don't see a good use anywhere else.
It is VERY useful!

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=18558
I >>used to<< grow vegetables in containers on my balcony and this >>was<< my Blog:
VEGGIE-MIGHT

a0c8c
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Although that's a great use, I was thinking more along the lines of plants that can grow in a vase of water. Wandering Jew can, and with those crystals you could make cool looking gel/gravel combo where the gravel looks like it's suspended in mid air.

redback001
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and with those crystals you could make cool looking gel/gravel combo where the gravel looks like it's suspended in mid air
you can, but as i mentioned before over the period of a week or two algae starts to grow on the exposed gel "crystals", not only on the surface, but it also penetrates into the gel as well; basically turning all the translucent "crystals" green.

i suppose some for of algacide could be added to the water on occasion to supress the growth ... not sure how practical this is though.

Water retentive polymers are used with mixed sucess through the middle east (even some open air examples - such as turf areas) to reduce water consumption, as well as loss of water through evaporation and gravity (particularly in sandy soils). One of the drawbacks of the prolonged use of these products in arid areas is the apparent absorption and buildup of salts within these gels - which obvioulsy have a phytotoxic effect

abby521
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Location: China

Re: New artificial soil crystals

Kurite wrote:I heard about some new product that comes in crystal form. You put a tablespoon of the stuff in your container and add water and it forms into a gel. I heard it is suppose to completely replace the soil. Has anyone heard of this or know what they are?
thanks!
Indeed,there's the product called crystal soil or crystal mud,which include many colors with round or cublic in shape,if you are interested in and any help I could do for you ,do contact me :)[/img]
Come on!

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