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I posted this in the Xeriscape forum, because I don't really know where it belongs. But, I think we could try something like this out. If anyone here is willing to try some, I'll send at least five people a couple of tablespoons of watersorb crystals to try it.
Here's my idea: here goes.
After purchasing 15 #s of watersorb crystals, I wanted to see how long they took to hydrate and then how long it took to dehydrate. (a couple of hours to hydrate and 3 days to dehydrate back to their original size)... Well, the rest in the bucket had been in there for about a week and today I decided to plant all of my plugs (coneflowers etc..) and decided to use the bucket with the jelly water crystals. Then I usually use superthrive any time I transplant, so I added a couple of drops to my bucket with the crystals so the roots would not go into shock.
That got me to thinking... maybe I should add the superthrive to the water BEFORE it is absorbed by the cystals, then that also got me to thinking, it that works, why not add fish emulsion to the water too, and the plants could be getting fertilized also. This could really work to getting the plants established. Not only keeping them moist, but also fertilized..
Is this too easy or what? I love it, but do not know if it will work. I'm going to try it in a couple of my pots and see what happens.
It makes sense!! My climate is such that I've never tried (and probably don't need) the crystals (although ya never know!). Hopefully someone will come along and chime in and share the experiment with you.
I'll wait till Monday night to see if anyone else wants to try these crystals. Will mail them on Tuesday..
If this works, it will save us a lot of time. I'll probably post the instructions on here. Does everyone have some kind of liquid/powder fish emulsion and superthrive? Also, powdered kelp (dried seaweed) can be used in the water. We can use whatever we have.
Sannajane, it may work in that it will save you a step from watering and fertilizing less. Especially if you grow in pots and the fertilizers usually drain out thru the bottom.
Sounds like a great idea and I'm sure it would work.
I'm still curious about seeing how long it takes the crystals to dehydrate in soil .. back to my original concern, wondering if the crystals would take water from the surrounding soil. I think it's an osmosis thing .. would the crystals be the greater or the lesser or the soil be the greater or lesser? At what point would they switch?
Yeah, I'm wonder that too, poor chickens..lol.. all I can picture is them getting bloated every time they drink water. or, maybe they only take up liquid, not moisture.. I've got to figure out how to try that.. I may put a bunch of wet paper towels in a baggie and put the dry crystals on the paper towels and see if they wick out the moisture from them.. if they do not, then .. it may just be liquids they take in.
I have always been nervous nelly about using the crystals, and at the same time curious as heck! I would love to try it here in Vegas~I have, lol~ this is embarassing, CINDERBLOCKS that I use to grow some of my MG's in~ if the crystal prove their worth, it would save a LOT of running around to the backside of my place for watering every morning and afternoon; I have to water twice a day in summer, whether in pots or the ground. Gourd, count me in & I will watch for instructions, if this get to ya in time~
ooh, don't be embarrassed, I planted a whole bunch of dwarf iris in cinder blocks too, so the gophers wouldn't get them, but something ate them anyway. Then I used a whole bunch of those plastic coffee cans that have that handle..
When I lived in Moreno Valley (low desert) it got 117 degrees in the summers for a couple of weeks straight.
We made this thing like a frame with some of that shade cloth to shade the plants, then we draped it over one of the arbors for shade. How hot does it get where you are? send me your address.
The other thing that the crystals are used for are those neck packs to keep you cool in the heat. They make and send the packets to the soldiers in Iraq. I'll post the link later on today for the instructions on how to make the tube and then put the crystals in it.. then sling it around your neck.. I may make a couple for this summer.. they probably would make good vacation travel items. You could soak them when you got to where you were going...
they also claim it could be used for crafts, I don't know which ones, but it sounds interesting.
I'm thinking it might make a great additive to my concrete creations, if it leaves a gap when it dries out, I might be able to make my planting holes (kinda like the swiss cheese holes) right into the concrete/hypertufa mix.. boy.. what next??? when the crystals dry, I'll have holes left to put some hens and chicks in there.
Hey, I`ll do a experiment. I`ll use the same dirt in two pots exept incorporate the crystal concoction in one of them. I don`t want to use the fish emulsion because it will attract critters like opossum and racoons and they will wreck the wire cages and dig in my plants. I would use the superthrive or miracle grow fertilizer. I have to water every other day and only get a break if we get a good rain and then I still go check the pots to make sure they all got enough water. Maybe this would give me a extra day or two between watering. Karen
LOLROTF...cool period indeed, omg. sigh breathe...i think i dmailed the address to you, Gourd, if not, its delerium from all those possible uses for the crystals. The snow could be a great prank for someone! oh man...i gotta get outta the hoemfront to store and grocerize...yes, plug up the holes with succulents! Brilliant!!!! Its been 128 here, Henderson is 13 miles from Vegas, and this may or may not comeas a shock to y'all but the weather peeps lie when they report the local temperatures here ~can you say tourism?. It's always hotter than they say ~and Henderson is a few miles out of the 'big city' but its weather is slightly different, colder in winter only by 4-6 degrees, but looking at a freesing point...it could matter! That Necklace mental image is gonna get me laughing at the store and i will get a few stares...bought them before for co-workers, so could care less!...spelling errors? bugger it. There's a study that was done that showed the percentage of actual needed correct letres taht shwod what was needde to meka things understndable, lol.
Oh, man, I've driven thru Henderson a couple of times... one was in the early 70's in a little Honda that got like 50 some miles to the gallon... no air conditioner and man was it hot... I could of used those necklaces then.
It does get hot there, I know what you mean about them lying... You need to invest in some shade cloth.. it really does help (some).
I don't know, could be..lol. I wish I had thought of that for the gophers..lol.. I bet it could work, I know squirrels like dogfood, so maybe mixing the dog food in the peanut butter, then sticking the crystals it .. but I still think that the crystals need solid liquid to expand.. Ummm..
It's for everyone... we could all use the information from several areas.. So your area is good. no problem here.. already packed and ready to go.. Also, you can all take your time because we each have different growing seasons too. Post updates when you feel like it or when you can, also, you don't have to grow MGs, just use whatever you have going.
X, You are too funny. Have you ever had squirrel dumplings? I`m serious my Grandma made them with no bones(didn`t say anything at first *Noooo!*) and it really did taste like chicken and dumplings. Then she told me after I ate half of it.
Just got back from the PO.. they are all on the way..
Squirrel for dinner? anyone?? lol. No, i haven't eaten squirrel, but , I have eaten Bear meat, along with deer, chicken, turkey, goat, lamb, pig, rabbit, and rooster..lol, maybe even quail, I'm not sure. Those little hens they sell for one person only, the one's that look like mini-turkey's.
When I lived in South America they had these things that looked like huge rats, peeled on the sides of the road, all stacked up like wood. They cooked them head and all.. it sure smelled good, but...yuck.. same way with the fish, head, eyeballs and all.
The soup was made from the chicken heads and feet.. yuck.. it must be an acquired taste!
I got mine too. I`ll wait and fix some pots up in April.
Right now, all have is a handful of pots I can wisk back in the house if it gets cold at night. I also started a whole bunch of seeds in 4 inch pots but all are easily replaceable if something goes wrong. Hopefully all will go well and I can be potting them up in April.
I`m waiting until April 15 when there is no risk unvolved to start Beth`s Monet seeds though they`d probably be just fine. :)
It's good to hear that you received the packets... I just guessed at the amount, so if you need to soak more, just use your judgment.. also, the crystals should stay moist for a very long time, because when you already have them hydrated and water your plant thoroughly when you transplant, they basically will stay like that for alot longer than the 3 days I had them out of the soil to see how long they took to dry up, they were in an open bowl.. with the air and elements hitting it 24/7..
Do, the ones in the pots should stay moist basically (throughout the life of the plant) from what I read on the other posts, it just keep rehydrating..
Thanks for trying this out, it will be interesting . I'll be using mine in about three weeks when I transplant the Feb 27 seedlings into the 3 gallon pots. I'm going to try them in more than half the pots (at least 100 pots will have these crystals) if they do well, the next batch will also have crystals in every pot. Some will have fert/bloomboosters/superthrive and some will not.. so I'll have alot of different areas to keep my eye on. If it works it will be worth it to me for the next few years, after than I plan to retire with a pina colada..lol Hey, if this works, maybe we can have a pina colada this year..
I found another use for them~kinda odd and personal, but I took home-cut flowers to the Veterans cemetary for my Dads spot today for Easter, early. I bet they help the cut flowers stay hydrated longer too. Hmmmm...? Cut flowers are yet another possibility! I put some in the direct southwest side of my front porch as well as a handflul of other spots today~that will HAVE to help as the vines there are ALWAYS limp when its midday~!!!
You bet, I put 2 in a jar just to watch, and then followed instructions, on the planters I have them set up in outside~ 5 planters now. When i get the next seed packet i will use some then too. No exploding soil, lol : ) Again, I am real hopeful abou the afternoon heat getting beat back by these! Thanks!
I just got my Picotee MGs seeds today so i am soaking seeds and crystyal for tomorrow AM's planting madness...or, if the seeds swell VERY fast, tonites. I got some georgeous JMGs and cannot wait, wheres Dr Who when I need him!? lol...
I put 3 pots out with the Nils 'hige" seeds i got from Onalees~ @ have 2 pots with the crystal/ fertilizer (LIGHT amount) mix and one with out. they are getting sun most of the day, i expect seedlings in the next 7 dasy, i hope will keep you posted. Saw a Ruby throuated hummingbird when i went out to water this morning~Great start for an Easter, huh?
Wow that is great, I havn't put any in the MGs yet. Darren, I think that all if not, most fo the Higes are Ipomoea purpureas (heart shaped leaves) and the others are I. nils with different shaped leaves and some can have variegated leaves. Keep a look out for the shape of your leaves and that will tell you what it could be.
And there is no hurry, but it is exciting to know that yours are in... thank you for any information you provide. It will be interesting. If the sun is really strong there, it will fade the leaves and could burn them, so, you may have to move them to a dappled shade area. The only ones that did not burn for me in Moreno Valley were the purpureas, so you may not have that problem, they are tougher than the I. nils.
Hope your Easter was a GOOD on e aswel~i am used to singed leaves after may, and wilt. Hope the Sorb-Crystals eliminater that problem to a degree~!!!
TheMG's are on evry side and several corners of my place so we will see, plus some noe (the Hige) are mobile...all will be well in TIME. hey, Do we have a forum for Patience???LOL
Looks like you're well on your way with the experiment Well, it was too windy out here today, it would have been good if I had those water crystals in the raised garden.. It just blows too much sand and dust to be out there.
Hope those crystals are working, it will be interesting when we are all done.
I received my order and am already using them for pots and also the ground. I am trying to soak them in fertilizer water to see if that doesn't really give a boost to the plants! Very cool! I just hope that they don't develope mildew. Anyone have any long term experience with these crystals?
There are some links in the co-op from 2007 or 06 where people have been using these for at least three years, so maybe they can give some input... I don't remember where they all post, but will look tonight. I've got to leave for now.
that's good to hear, I'll be soaking buckets full come Monday, we are filling the raised beds with topsoil and compost this weekend and have hauled 3 tons of it, but only fill almost two of the beds..
Okay, I goofed. I added some of the soaked crystals (w/liquid fertilizer) into a planter pot and it rained last night. I looked this morning and the crystals had gotten even bigger and were literally bubbling out of the soil they are mixed with! Sheesh!
Does anyone have a photo of what the crystals look like when completely full of water?
They should look like big spoonfuls of jello.. be sure to soak them for several hours or all day. At least some, just so you can see if you have to add more water, I left those first ones soaking for two days, before I could think of where to put them. You may have used too much, a tiny bit goes a long way..
Quoting:They should look like big spoonfuls of jello
Yep!! They sure do; in 2005 I knocked over a plastic bottle spilling a lot of them. I couldn't pick them up. When it rained all night long; I found them the next morning. I scooped them up with a dust pan & rinsed them off in a medium sized wire strainer. They were really clean. Then I used them were I wanted too.
One note of caution when using polymer crystals: They have a higher rate of absorption than the surrounding soil/growing media. As such, unless you are careful, they will actually draw water from the soil and hold it to the detriment of your plant's roots. Don't use too much, and be sure to keep your soil uniformly hydrated. Otherwise, the polymer will dominate the media for available supplies of water. The polymer will EXTEND the time needed between watering, and roots will grow through the granules, thus taking out available water, but the polymer is NOT A SUBSTITUTE for keeping your media uniformly moist. If you treat the polymer as a substitute for proper watering, you're heading for trouble.
Another drawback of using straight polymer is that you probably should hydrate it prior to mixing them in the soil, since they swell to such a degree. If you don't, and you add too much to the container, it'll look like Vesuvius when you add water. Pre-hydrating does make for a somewhat messy mixture, but it should be done. After mixing with your media, be sure to give the media a watering, as well. It settles the media and equalizes the moisture between it and the polymer.
Hi Karen, the Crystals should definitely help withthat. I am using mine to help prevent my "mid afternoonn droop" from the warm ~ no, HOT ~ sun i have. The difference so far is amazing, i am only watering every 2-3 days, and we are inthe 80's mostly, 1 day of the 90s. the plants just keep getting bigger. :)
I think Gourd has done us all a big favor introducing this into the MG forum, myself for sure ~these little rocks "rock"
Hear. hear! lol...or is that here here. whichever, more time to enJOY the garden as well as work in it is a worhwhile goal ...and the fruit of the labor meant to be enjoyed and shared...bringing next years plans to bare!
Gourd, How cold is it there?? i Cannot believe that they are not outside. I almost feel guilty! Egantyne, please send some cold here. My AC will have to be on soon, lol, and that means higher power bills and that means less money for Gardening!!!
Its not too cold, it fluctuates so much, that I can't leave them out at night, last week we had some nights in the 30's, some in the 40's and now they are starting to kind of in the 50's for this week, so I'm taking them all outside and transplanting a little at a time into bigger pots. Then on top of this, I am in some sort of wind tunnel that hits every other day almost till May.
I hear that, Gourd, my YARD has microclimates!!!, Seriously~! I have aHoney suckele that's the same as the ones up front and it almost dies back in winter (like my Passifloras always do) while the front ones turn red.
This Morning i had a Great wake up call~ I took not ONE step outside (foot had not touched the steps) and the left side of my hair was buzzed by a hummingbird who, upon landing in my honeysuckle (what's left of it, lol) turned at me & chirped like WHO are YOU and what are YOU doing in MY yard. I did not need Coffee foir a while, i tell you!
We have the fifties at night too, but the days are unpredictable, and usually windy as well.
Eglantyne, I wanted to have a fete this month~! my power bill was under 130.00 for the first time in a year!!! I have been trying to use my houseplant lites less, it seems to help. A little :) Gas is another thing entirely, I have to admit i am lucky there, and would gladly send some warmth if i had "the power"...hang tight, girl!!!!
Yes, the hummers will go right thru your hair too.. one let my mother pick it up three years ago.. and one flew right into the window and got knocked out... I thought it was dead, but when I went to pick it up, it got up and looked at me like "I'm outta here".. they too look inside the window when they are out of food, like trying to tell me "hey, where's our food?"
I took everything outside yesterday and got one of those Tents that have walls, I can roll up the walls and they zip.. so I don't have to worry about the plants so much..
Good plan, Gourd~ that'll hold the heat in as its needed ~some of mine are vining up ten inches, some are still only first set of leaves, those are in containers mostly. Outside my kitchen window, I should have some vines visible hopefluly in a month or so. hopefully some pictures then as well~right now i have a ButterflyIris and Guaras that are showing off :)
OOh, I bet the butterflies love the Guaras.. I have some Iris and this double poppy blooming, white ones too, I think I pulled out several thinking they were weeds, the leaves look a lot like a weed to me.
OK, You two(Gourd, Eglantyne) will hate me but i have my first flower this morning. will post wit a photo asap...Careful w/ the candles. Is the Tent area inside? Is it safe from wind??? i Use constantly day and nite, (my other addiction is aromatherapy) wanna be sure youa re safe, but I'm sure you are no foll, anyhoo!!!
Thanks darren, and congratulations on your flower... will be waiting for a photo.
I've got the candles inside these 12 inch high glass sconces that are working well with that, and didn't light them up last night. I think it will start to get warmer here.
You guys need to let me know if you all need any seeds for any reason. I have several of the I. purpureas and don't have as many I. nils, but I can send you all some, at least a good variety to practice with..lol they are more of the common ones, but if you give me some time, I can send them out next week..
I did that with that Mighty Messenger powder and the gel crystals, but I didn't really notice if it helped. It may have but I am not sure. I W/S this year and most of my stuff that usually failed, didn't.
I have a lot less sun wilt on the hot days we had last week before the 1st rain in months! so alls good with my MG's. I have just collected some seeds from my Red flowers Colmbine pods(a first for me) so if anyone wants those holler. My first flower pic was blurry becaause my hands are a tad unsteady. But its was a lovely pink...Thes is on the plant that is in the wrong place, it gets all afternoon sun...lol, but thtas where the gel crystals help! Thanks, Gourd~!
It's just finally getting warm enough and now they say it's going to be colder again.
I have gardened all of the time,mostly planting more roses,my gardens look good but I haven't taken out the MG yet.so I haven't used the gel crystals yet.
Had several buds on the MG but then they dried up.One bloomed on chocolate and sure enough I missed it.been so terribly busy running in so many different directions.
hellnzn11, I have read about the diapers, but haven't tried those, I was thinking they may be good for lining hanging baskets to keep them moist in this heat and winds.. we get a lot of wind here and I have to water some baskets everyday.
Hi ferman, that is good to hear.. I wish I could get columbine seeds to germinate, what is the trick there?
Eglantyne, I'm going to try to make some of those neck coolers for this summer, hopefully at least a couple to switch off when I'm outside.. it's been really hot some days already 101 some days and I can only imagine what it will be like soon.
I DUNNO ABOUT THE COLUMBINE SEEDS, I WAS OFFERING THEM UP AS THIS IS THE FIRST YEAR THEY WORKED FOR ME, I THROUGH THEM IN THE GROUND WITH JUST A SPRAY OF WATER, AND GOT ONE PLANT. IT WAS LUCK I GUESS...I HAVE SOME GREAT NEW PICS I WILL UPLOAD OF THE MGS I HAVE GOIN' NOW.
JUST GOTTA FIND TIME, LIKE YOU EGLANTYNE!!! GOT THE FILM BACK YESTERDAY AND NOW AM ABOUT TO FINISH ANOTHER ROLL. (stay tuned)
WITH THE WEATHER BING SO INSANE, I AM HANGIN IN THERE. THE PROBLEM I ALWAYS HIT THIS TIME OF YEAR IS THIS: I HAVE TO WATER LIKE MAD IN THE A.M. TO KEEP EACH PLANT UPRIGHT BUT THEN THE LOWEST LEAVES TURN YELLOW FROM OVERWATERING, LOL. OTHERE THAN THAT ALSS GOOD IN HENDERSON!
PEACE TO Y'ALL AND SUNNY DAYS FOR YOU, EGLANTYNE!
(SORRY ALLL CAPS...)