Water Retaining Crystals

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by trogre, Apr 28, 2018.

  1. trogre

    trogre Gardener

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    A few years back I was watching a nursery man plant up a hanging basket and for me it was an eye opener. He literately stuffed as many plants into the side holes,what I mean is 2 plants to each hole if applicable.In the top he crammed the top with well grown plants but he also used water crystals.
    I at the time had never heard of water crystals and up till the video was very conservative with the amount of plants that went into the hanging baskets.
    Now he mixed up the crystals with water and let them expand before putting them into the basket,I have always done the same and as far as I know never had any problems.
    I purchased the crystals by the amount off fleebay so no instruction came with them.
    I was round a friend house the other week and he uses crystals "dry" straight from the packet and indeed on the packet it mention just sprinkling the crystals straight into the containers.
    Various videos show using them in the "wet" & "dry" so is there a correct way of using them or are both methods correct if you know what I mean.
     
  2. WeeTam

    WeeTam Total Gardener

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    Ive only used the dry method...but...the wet meghod may be better. Ive noticed crystals gathering on the surface after their first watering or other pots clearly having too many crystals.

    So wetting them then mixing into the compost may be the way to go.?
     
  3. kazzawazza

    kazzawazza Total Gardener

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    I always use the crystals dry. You can also buy a water crystals and slow release fertiliser mix, although it’s much cheaper to do it yourself. I put 20+ plants in an easy fill basket including Nepeta. They always trail down to the floor.

    5EFD6379-6175-4DE0-A805-DEB64DDBC1B1.jpeg
     
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    • Ned

      Ned Evaporated

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      I found it was much easier to use the crystals dry, watering the basket gradually after planting until absolute saturation.
      @kazzawazza your basket looks fabulous !
       
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      • pamsdish

        pamsdish Total Gardener

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        I use them dry too, mix into your compost really well, otherwise you get lumps of frog spawn looking gel appearing.
         
      • HarryS

        HarryS Eternally Optimistic Gardener

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        I always used the water crystals dry , can't see it matters when you wet them . This year I am trying these gel liners , which seem a lot tidier . The plant roots can grow through the material , allegedly . I have cut 8 spokes into my liners to enable an easier path.
        I would love to know if this gel really makes a difference . How much water does the gel portion of a basket hold, maybe 1 pint ?

        s-l640.jpg
         
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        • Ned

          Ned Evaporated

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          I for one am looking forward to your findings on these @HarryS - don`t forget to let us have your verdict will you :please:
           
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          • WeeTam

            WeeTam Total Gardener

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            Considering using nappies in baskets and maybe tomato pots too. Same as gel pads but just many times cheaper im guessing
             
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              Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
            • kazzawazza

              kazzawazza Total Gardener

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              I thought you were joking but I have just found this on YouTube :blue thumb:

               
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              • WeeTam

                WeeTam Total Gardener

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                Funny ive just watched a few vids right now. Definately going to be doing this with the baskets and toms.

                Will probably gi fir the lidl ones. One video said you can use adult nappies as they hold so mych gel.
                I think not as i couldnt handle the embarassment at the till or from the family members:sofa:
                 
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                • kazzawazza

                  kazzawazza Total Gardener

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                  Let me know how you get on and which size nappies you go for because I might also buy some :blue thumb: :heehee:
                   
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                  • Ned

                    Ned Evaporated

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                    There will be consternation from the supermarket staff when a queue of geriatrics are seen queueing up in the nappy aisle . That`s me - there first in the queue ! aka ''good lookin''

                    [​IMG]
                     
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                    • HarryS

                      HarryS Eternally Optimistic Gardener

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                      I'll have a 5 page report on your desk , 1st of October :snorky:
                       
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                      • Loofah

                        Loofah Well used member

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                        I've used nappies in place of the crystals ever since my first offspring came along - soak the nappy first then squeeze out the goop and mix with compost.
                         
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                        • Ned

                          Ned Evaporated

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                          Now this is what I like to hear - what I have come to expect :pathd: and you shall have a monitors badge Harry :biggrin:
                           
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