Is anyone using watersorb cyrstals in their MG pots?

Baton Rouge area, LA(Zone 8b)

Miracle grow moisture control has those crystals in it. Also the crystals you sent me worked quite well for me when I added them to my pots last year.

Mesilla Park, NM

I'm just hoping I can keep up... we are installing lots of irrigation systems for everything else but the mgs, veggies and the orchard come first...lol

Harvard, IL(Zone 5a)

Your plants' roots will grow through the polymer and use it as a reservoir, and will help your plants survive longer without watering. However, the polymer will not give up moisture to the surrounding growing media since the absorptive qualities of the polymer are greater than the surrounding media. It competes with the media for available water, and doesn't easily give it up. They'll generally degrade back to hydrogen and carbon (being a petroleum byproduct) after about 12-18 months. As to the expansion/contraction issue, generally that's not a problem. In fact, it will help the media maintain its friability. Use polymers judiciously, and realize that they aren't a substitute for a regular watering regime, and you will notice a difference.

Mesilla Park, NM

Thank you FertiSorb, very interesting information. I'm going to try them with the raised beds this year. I was also thinking about it not being a substitute, I think many people mistake it for just that.

(Tammie) Odessa, TX(Zone 7b)

Actually, some of the polymer crystals can stay viable in the soil for up to 5 years.. I just dug up some cannas that have been in the ground.. this is their 3rd year and some had roots growing through the crystals... it may depend on the brand too. Mine are the watersorb. That is part of the reason I use a mix of the medium and large crystals... the large ones break down more slowly. As for "competing" for moisture.. they just absorb what is directly available during watering or natural rain.... they don't 'suck' it out of the soil. ... just like in humid conditions .. they don't absorb moisture out of the air.

Mesilla Park, NM

Hya Tammie, Thanks for the info, 5 years? wow, that would help me a whole lot here if it does stay in those raised beds, I have to keep replenishing the soil in there as it seems to shrink.. I guess the crystals will also go down as the soil does, I'll probably have to add some crystals every time I add more soil into those beds which is probably every other year.

(Tammie) Odessa, TX(Zone 7b)

... also, I live in the desert where the ground easily becomes hard and compacted... my beds I have prepared with the crystals feel different when I walk in them.. more cushioned... like walking on rubber mats.. even after a year or two. I can really tell a difference. I wish I had these when I put in my entire yard. I wish they could make them to last a LOT longer! I never palnt anything without adding a few to the sourrounding soil.. gives the plants a little reserve when I forget to water.. the roots form near the crystals so when the soil runs out of moisture, the reserves are available.

Mesilla Park, NM

I'm thinking of putting some into the Iris beds here, they did not do too well last year.. do you know how the crystals do with bulbs/rhizomes by chance?

(Tammie) Odessa, TX(Zone 7b)

I put a few with my bulbs but not too many ... depends on your climate.. since mine is so dry I can get away with it... bulbs prefer drier areas I think.. are you in a more dry area? I am not sure where Mesilla Park is. I put them below the bulbs where the roots will be growing. Not in the soil sourrounding them like I do other plants like brugs.

Mesilla Park, NM

Alrighty, I'll try that, it is dry here,,.... very dry. Thank you..
A.

Harvard, IL(Zone 5a)

5 years is a little optimistic. The roots grow through the granules, so if you're switching out annuals, you'll remove them when you pull the plants. They're also a good delivery system for nutrient, since the nutrient stays in the polymer and is pulled out by the roots. No leaching.

Baton Rouge area, LA(Zone 8b)

The crystals actually improved the condition of my plants in hot dry spots though I did keep the same watering schedule. It improved the quality of life for my plants but it didn`t make a whole lot of difference in labor. It really doesn`t take a lot of them to work either so it is a good economical way to boost the plants.

Mesilla Park, NM

That's a good point. I do yank out all the old roots and compost them, so maybe they will help there. I wonder if there is a place where everyone is posting the long term results. Anyone know?

Right now, I have plants growing all over the place but won't use the crystals till they get their permanent homes. I'm thinking about using them to get some large gourds going, they need a lot of water, it may keep them wet as a supplement, even though I have to supply lot of it, but, it will be worth it if the African Gourds keep gaining weight.

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