Hydrogel for plants helps to absorb and retain moisture for a long time, thereby reducing the number of irrigations, as well as preventing the soil from drying out. Previously, this product was used in the agricultural field, but now it is widely used flower growers and phytodesigners. The main advantage is that it does not lose its properties for a long time.
Features and benefits
The gel is available in the form of granules or powder. Sold in packaged or dry. It is a polymer that absorbs water well, while it increases several times.
On average, 1 gram of such a product is able to absorb almost a glass of water. As the soil dries, the gel gives water to the roots. It is believed that the hydrogel for flowers should be in the form of balls, but it is not. It was originally developed as a shapeless substance.
Hydrogel for indoor plants has both advantages and disadvantages. The advantages include the following aspects:
- high moisture absorption
- the ability to maintain the optimum moisture level of the substrate without frequent irrigation,
- the composition provides all the necessary conditions for early seed growth,
- The gel retains all the beneficial trace elements and vitamins, and gradually gives them to the ground.
However, such a product has its drawbacks that you should be aware of before using it for planting a houseplant. The disadvantages of this product are as follows:
- in the hydrogel it is impossible to grow crops, the seeds of which have a leathery shell,
- the composition is not compatible with all colors and cultures,
- It is necessary to monitor the temperature of the surface on which the flower with such a gel is located, since supercooling is possible.
A decorative alternative to the hydrogel is aquagrunt, which is available in different shapes and colors. It is not added to the soil, since even with time such balls do not decompose. Advertising campaigns endowed akvagrunt uncharacteristic abilities. In some commercials it was pointed out that the plant can be grown directly in aquagrunt, but this is not so. This kind of substitution and caused a negative attitude to akvagruntu.
The scope of the hydrogel
Instructions for use indicates that the agrarian gel can be used both in open ground and in pots, pots and containers. In the open ground, this product is used as an aid in the formation of lawns and alpine slides. A hydrogel will be especially effective if it is used for planting plants in street or balcony containers. Thus, the frequency of irrigation can be reduced to 1-2 times a week, and this does not affect the decorative properties of the plant.
Hydrogel is widely used when planting seedlings. In rassadny tanks the soil begins to dry very quickly, so this agricultural product helps to slow down the process of removing moisture. By mixing the hydrogel with the soil, the process of seedling development can be significantly accelerated. The composition can even be used for germinating seeds.
Now you can find a gel that will be absolutely suitable for any plant. The material itself is inexpensive, and its consumption is quite small. To create a beautiful decorative composition you can take a glass container. If the culture is small and grows with rosettes, then you can take a beautiful glass goblet, and for a large plant you can take a simple glass vase.
Before planting the plant in a gel, it is necessary to prepare it properly, intake by separated or distilled water. The proportion should be as follows: 300 ml per 1 g of material for planting.
This method of cultivation is better not to use for crops that require frequent watering. For example, succulents and epiphytes are best not planted in such material, since they store moisture in the root system. Therefore, if they remain in a humid environment, the plant can simply begin to rot.
The procedure of landing in the hydrogel is practically no different from landing in aquagrunt. The vessel should be filled with swollen granules, and then there must be placed a plant. Pre-rinse the roots. Flower care in such a gel involves irrigation 6 times lessthan while growing a similar flower in plain ground. The fact that it is necessary to produce watering shows precipitated hydrogel.
Mixing with soil
Laying the gel is recommended before planting the flower, that is, at the stage of soil preparation. If you make such a product in a container or a pot, then you should take 1 g of dry matter per 1 liter of soil. Or you can take the already swollen gel, then you should take the substances in a ratio of 1: 5. These standards are suitable for both indoor and garden plants that grow in containers.
Dry gel should be filled with water and left for an hour, if you increase the time for soaking, then nothing will happen to it anyway. A material that has absorbed enough water becomes like jelly pieces. Swollen material should be thoroughly mixed with the soil. It is important that the gel is evenly distributed.otherwise, waterlogged areas will be formed. The plant should be planted in the prepared soil. After 1−14 days after transplanting, the roots grow into capsules, then the amount of watering can be reduced.
You can even make such an agromaterial under an already planted plant. In order to carry out such a manipulation, small punctures should be made with a pencil or stick, and the gel should be lowered to the bottom of the pot. Next, watering should be done. Part of the hydrogel can be put on the surface, sprinkled with a small amount of earth.
Entry into open ground
If you make the gel under the bed or flower bed in a dry form, then you should take 25−100 g of dry material per 1 square. m of soil. Capsules should be added to the already dug soil. For growing plants with a superficial root system, the capsules should be applied to a depth of 10 cm, and for a buried root system, the gel should be applied to a depth of 20–25 cm. After adding the material, the soil should be watered abundantly.
Soaked hydrogel should be made in proportions of 1 part of the gel to 5 parts of the soil. First you should dig a hole for planting, and then put gel on its bottom. If desired, it can be made in layers.
The introduction of hydrogel under already planted plants can be through punctures in the ground. Their depth should be from 15 to 20 cm. To make the grooves, you can use reinforcement or forks.
The second option involves the introduction of the swollen gel directly into the upper layer. Mix the material with the top layer directly around the plant. To carry out everything as carefully as possible, it is recommended to carry out manipulations with hands.
Features of planting seeds
Seeds can be germinated directly in pure hydrogel. This method is not indicated in the instructions from the manufacturer, however, it is widely used by flower growers and agronomists.
Gel is recommended to pre-soak, and then the resulting mass should be rubbed through a sieve or grind with a blender. The resulting composition should be distributed on the bottom of the tank, the optimum layer should be 1-2 cm. From above, the seeds should be laid out onto the prepared composition, while pressing them in with a little toothpick. After planting the seed container should be covered with film. As soon as the first shoots, they can dive into the ground.
Effect of use
With this material you can solve many problems that are associated with the cultivation of indoor, garden plants and seedlings. So, plants in such a composition do not suffer from drought.
Watering interval can be reduced from 2 to 6 times, depending on the planted culture. Garden plants that grow in containers can do without watering throughout the week. And indoor plants can be left without watering for 2−3 weeks, depending on the type of plant and the temperature of the room where the pot is located.
The hydrogel has the ability to retain in itself not only moisture, but also nutrients. Fertilizers are not washed out of the soil.. The roots in such a gel can breathe freely, and this accelerates the growth rate of the plant, and improves its flowering and fruiting. With the help of this material it is also possible to improve the plant's resistance to various stresses and infectious diseases.
As a result, it should be noted that such material is quite useful both for the plant and for the grower. Before you apply such a product for growing crops, you should study the instructions, which indicate how to use the hydrogel for plants.
Types of hydrogel
There are two main types:
- Soft. The soft form is a colorless substance. It is rarely used on its own, mainly it is mixed into the soil. Its soft structure and small size of the granules allows the roots of plants to easily penetrate between them and into them, sucking at the same time moisture and nutrients.
Dense (aquagrunt). The dense form or, as it is also called, aquagrunt is a larger granule, it can be of various shapes and colors. Aqua ground is more expensive than soft form and is mainly used as a decorative element. Various glitters, rhinestones and colored dyes can be added to the composition of such granules. It is customary for them to fill in transparent vases or, on their basis, to create colorful florariums. An additional advantage of this form is that if children or animals turn over the tank with aquagrunt - it can be easily assembled without using a vacuum cleaner!
Hydrogel: instructions for use
A hydrogel for flowers is a common polymer, ground to a state of powder or granules of various shapes. He is able to absorb a large amount of moisture, which gradually evaporates or nourishes the flower, while adding granules to the soil. Thanks to this feature, the smallest particle can swell to an enormous size. The use of granules alone or in a mixture with the soil reduces the frequency of irrigation by 4-6 times!
Methods of use:
- The water-filled granules can be poured into a vase with freshly cut flowers and they will gradually release moisture to the plants.
- As a decorative color element which can fill a glass container and plant plants in it.
- As a supplement to the soil of plants. This is ideal for people who love flowers, but forget to water them on time! The hydrogel will gradually release moisture to the plants, because of which they will be able to do without watering for a long time.
- You can nourish the granules or hydrogel powder with liquid fertilizers and nutrients, and then add it to the soil. This will help to quickly and efficiently deliver the necessary fertilizer to the plant roots.
- In the swollen powder, it is convenient to germinate seeds and root the cuttings.
- Air freshener - in this case, the granules of akvagrunta pour water, which is added to various essential oils. Moisture will gradually evaporate from the soaked hydrogel, and a pleasant smell will remain in the room.
How to use hydrogel for plants
Clear instructions for the use of hydrogel no. But knowing its properties to absorb and give away moisture, you can think up an appointment yourself. The purpose of its use will depend only on your imagination! Initially, the pellets were planned to be used in agriculture, and this was its main purpose. Its correct application - it is mixed with soil. The term of operation is 5 years, and at this time you can forget about it. And then the substance simply breaks down into carbon dioxide, water and ammonium - there is no other chemistry harmful to the plants!
The first 10−15 days - during this period, the roots of plants germinate into pellets, it is recommended to look after the condition of plants and soil moisture to determine the optimal mode of irrigation. After that, the number of irrigations can be reduced from 2 to 6 times, given the height of the temperature and the place of detention. When adding a hydrogel to the soil, it is necessary to take into account that 1 gram of dry powder can absorb up to 300 ml of liquid. The optimal ratio of hydrogel and soil for use in a limited space (flower pots, pots, etc.):
- 1 gram of dry matter per 1 liter of soil.
- The drunk granules are mixed with the soil in a ratio of 1 to 5 - 1 part of the hydrogel to 5 parts of the soil.
In order for the granules to be completely saturated with moisture, they are poured with the necessary amount of water and left for an hour. You can leave the granules in the water and for a longer period, they will not spoil from this. And if you pour a large amount of water, then after the granules are fed - the excess can be drained.
Hydrogel is not afraid of freezing! Frozen hydrogel, soaked with moisture before, will not lose its properties after defrosting. Another use of the hydrogel is to add it to the tree trunk of an adult fruiting tree. In this case, it is recommended to use no more than 20−40 grams of dry powder per tree. The amount varies depending on the age of the tree, the older it is - the more it will be necessary to add substances to the soil. To deposit the granules into the soil, it is necessary to make punctures along the perimeter of the near-barrel circle to a depth of 50 cm. Dry gel is mixed with mineral fertilizers and poured into the indentations made.
As well as dry granules are used to prepare the beds, flower beds and lawns, followed by watering. In this case, the ratio applies: 25−100 grams of dry granules per 1 square meter of surface. For plants with a superficial root system, the powder is added to a depth of 10 centimeters, and if the root system is deeper, the depth of introduction is increased to 25 centimeters. After the preparation of the land for planting and watering it is necessary to take into account that since the substance absorbs moisture, the soil will rise after watering.
Another way to use hydrogel granules is This is the removal of excess moisture in the springwhen the groundwater level rises after snow melts. To do this, dry granules are introduced into the soil - they will absorb excess water.
Use of the substance for germinating seeds
This method of application is not listed in the list at the manufacturer, but is actively used by growers. Preparation of hydrogel for use:
- Pellets or powder must be filled with water and left for an hour, then drain the excess liquid.
- Grind the resulting mass through a sieve or grind in a blender.
After carrying out this procedure, the substance is ready for use under planting seeds. It remains only to distribute it evenly, no more than 2 centimeters, along the bottom of a shallow container and plant seeds on it. Next - cover the container with a film and wait for seedlings. Germinated seeds are planted in the soil along with pieces of hydrogel, which is separated from the main mass together with the germ.
The main advantages of using hydrogel
- Plants receive the required amount of moisture and do not suffer from drought, even if they forget to water in time. Plants in open soil can be left without watering for a week, and indoor plants, on average, for 2−3 weeks.
- Granules help plants receive the greatest amount of nutrients that are usually washed out of the soil during watering.
- Hydrogel absorbs excess moisture in the soil, freeing the pores of aeration. That allows the roots of plants to "breathe" freely, and the water does not stagnate.
- Hydrogel increases the resistance of plants to infectious diseases, promotes an increase in the level of fertility and flowering of the plant.
- When using granules in the soil improves the conditions of existence of plants and accelerates their growth rate.
The tool has the following properties:
- Retains moisture, which is necessary for the plant.
- Well preserves fertilizers applied to the soil. Useful components linger in granules for a long time, which allows plants to assimilate them better.
- Improves soil structure.
- Protects soil from cracking.
- Accelerates flowering and fruiting plants.
Soft hydrogel is available in the form of a colorless powder or small colored granules. What is the principle of its work? When interacting with water, the agent begins to swell, significantly increasing in size. Already swollen balls are mixed with the soil, the root system of plants begins to germinate and nourish them with moisture.
Using hydrogel allows you to completely do without watering for a long time (2 - 3 weeks). Of course, a lot depends on the plant’s root system - the thicker and stronger it is, the better the effect.
The balls remain in the ground for a long time (the service life is 5 years), after watering, they re-swell and continue to fully perform their functions.
It is worth noting that the use of hydrogel protects the roots of plants from excess moisture. Because of this, you should not worry about their rotting.
There are several types of hydrogel:
- Soft. Widely used for indoor plants. Ideal for germinating seeds. Часто используется садоводами при высадке огородных культур. Его преимущество в том, что гранулы довольно мягкие, корни любого растения могут беспрепятственно проникнуть внутрь гидрогеля и высосать влагу.
- Плотный. По-другому этот вид гидрогеля называют аквагрунтом. The granules are multi-colored, some have added sparkles and other decorations. The main task is to decorate vases and pots with plants.
Hydrogel is widely used in floriculture and gardening, having established itself only on the positive side.
The chemical composition of the hydrogel
Many florists are concerned about the question of whether it is dangerous to apply a hydrogel for flowers and plants. Experts say that it is non-toxic and consists of chemically harmless substances.
After its service life, all its components are self-broken down, turning into organic matter.
Hydrogel is absolutely safe for plants and non-toxic to humans.
What plants are used hydrogel
Hydrogel is ideal for indoor plants. It absorbs well and retains moisture. So, 1 g of the product can easily hold up to 200 - 400 g of liquid, which will subsequently be gradually given to the root system.
The hydrogel can also be used in open or closed ground. The tool is recommended to make when planting trees, shrubs, flower beds. In these cases, the amount of watering is significantly reduced.
Also, hydrogel is widely used in the cultivation of seedlings. Nutrient components are added to the irrigation fluid, which contributes to the fastest growth of the plant and the strengthening of the root system.
Many growers use hydrogel balls exclusively for decorative purposes, confusing them with aquagrunt. It is not right.
The main objective of the tool is to provide the plant with the necessary amount of liquid and to prevent the soil from drying out.
How to use for indoor plants
Hydrogel for indoor plants, which are planted in pots and pots, is used quite often. For this purpose, it is better to use ready-made, swollen granules. To do this, it is necessary to soak in the separated water for 1 hour, drain the excess liquid, then mix the granules with the soil and plant a flower.
It is very important to distribute the hydrogel evenly so that there are no areas without capsules left.
If you have already planted a flower in the soil and want to add a hydrogel to it, you need to act as follows:
- On the soil surface, make holes that will reach the root system of the flower. Do this carefully, not with a sharp object, so as not to damage the plant.
- Pour the hydrogel into the formed holes. It is important that the capsules are dry, not saturated with moisture.
- Liberally water the plant.
- Capsules thereafter should increase in size. If there are too many of them and they are noticeable on the surface of the soil, be sure to remove the excess and sprinkle them with soil.
Some types of flowers can be grown only in hydrogel. In this case, the granules are soaked in a solution with mineral fertilizers.
Applying hydrogel for flowers without adding soil, you need to consider the following points:
- Watering is better to carry out separated water. This will eliminate the formation of plaque and moss on the surface of the granules, as well as the appearance of bacteria and pests.
- If the plant has a very developed root system, it will “crawl” around the pot and it will not look quite beautiful.
- Some colors do not have enough oxygen, so in some cases you cannot do without adding soil.
If you have unused hydrogel, be sure to put it in a sealed package and put it in the fridge on the middle shelf.
Instructions for use the following:
- pour water in
- dig the soil, prepare the wells for planting seedlings,
- put the granules in the wells, mix with the soil,
- set the seedling and sprinkle with soil mixed with hydrogel.
How much money do I need to make? The calculation is as follows: 100 g of granules per 1 square. m of soil.
Using a hydrogel for seedlings, it is important to pay attention to the root system of plants. If it is superficial, the allowable depth of the pellets should not exceed 10 cm. In other cases, this value can fluctuate within 25 cm.
In the hydrogel, you can germinate and seeds. It is enough to put them in the product, slightly moisten and water it in a timely manner.
Among the strengths of the use of hydrogel are the following:
- the agent retains moisture and nutrients for a long time, gradually distributing them along the root system of the plant,
- allows you to quickly germinate seeds without much care for them,
- prevents stagnant fluid in the soil and root decay,
- granules are completely safe for plants and humans,
- you can not worry about the constant watering of the plant,
- prevents fertilizer leaching from soil,
- granules have a beautiful aesthetic appearance.
But there are a number of drawbacks, among which are the following:
- Not suitable for all seeds and plants. If the root system of a flower is too massive, it will be difficult for it to penetrate the hydrogel. The same applies to seeds with a leathery shell (for example, sweet peas).
- The life of the granules - 5 years. But in practice, this period is reduced to 1.5 years. After that, the granules retain moisture much worse, they can darken, wrinkle.
- On the surface of the granules can form bacteria that infect the plant.
A significant disadvantage for many is the high cost of hydrogel. So 10 kg of funds will cost 6000 - 6500 rubles.
Hydrogel and akvagrunt - what is the difference
It's time to figure out and find the differences between aquagrunt and hydrogel. Many people think that this is the same remedy. But experts argue that this is far from the case.
Aqua ground is used only for decorative purposes. If you reduce the watering, the plant will die.
What are the differences between akvagrunta and hydrogel:
- the product does not decompose,
- colored granules, sometimes with the addition of sparkles and rhinestones,
- Available in the form of stars, rhombuses, other geometric shapes,
- has an attractive pricing policy
- Can only be used for decorative purposes.
Hydrogel - know-how in floriculture and gardening. This tool makes gardeners much easier to care for plants. The number of waterings is reduced to several times a week. Flowers with an underdeveloped root system can do without watering for up to 2 - 3 weeks.
It is important not to confuse the hydrogel with akvagruntom. These tools perform completely different functions. The task of akvagrunta - to give an aesthetic look to the pot with a plant. These balls have nothing to do with moistening.
Hydrogel is a polymeric substance in granular or powdered form. It has the following qualities:
- hydrogel formula retains moisture and applied top dressing,
- positive effect on soil structure,
- prevents cracks on the surface of the soil,
- promotes plentiful flowering and fruiting.
- long term of validity (about 5 years).
Interacting with water, the hydrogel swells and increases in volume several times. The finished substance should be mixed with the soil and plant in the substrate. During germination, the root system will be moistened without additional watering for 15-20 days. The thicker the roots, the longer it will not need watering. After watering, the balls increase again without losing their functionality.
Types and composition of hydrogel for plants
There are two types of hydrogel for plants:
- Soft. It is used for planting indoor plants, germinating seeds and planting garden crops. Due to the softness of the granules, it is ideal for vegetation with a delicate root system. The roots grow inside the balls and are saturated with moisture.
- Dense (aquagrunt). Its characteristic feature is multi-colored or shiny granules. Used as a decoration of flower pots.
Aquagrunt not suitable for growing flowers. It is permissible to use it only for decorative purposes, for example, for bouquets placed in a transparent vase.
These types of hydrogel are widely used by flower growers and designers, because they have many advantages over ordinary soil.
The chemical composition of the hydrogel for plants does not contain toxic elements and is completely safe for human and plant health. After the end of the operational period, the components disintegrate and turn into organic matter.
Advantages and disadvantages
The positive qualities of hydrogel for plants include:
The substance has few disadvantages:
- the composition of the hydrogel is not suitable for the germination of legumes and sweet peas,
- prolonged exposure to the sun can cause mold,
- If the substance is used in its pure form, it should be changed every two years.
To ensure the effectiveness of the granules, it is necessary to apply it on your own site or house plants.
Greens contain many trace elements, so daily consumption has a positive effect on the body. Hydrogel Stockosorb fines allows you to create a mini-garden on the windowsill.
This will require:
- Pour the substance into a spacious container and pour water for several hours.
- After swelling, remove excess water by draining it in a colander.
- Distribute material to planting pots.
- On a surface to spread out a dry sowing material, without deepening it.
- Having waited for the suitable size of shoots, to reap a crop.
After that, you can re-plant vegetation in the tank.
Instructions for use of the hydrogel involves pre-soaking before adding it to the flower.
The step-by-step guide to action consists of the following points:
- remove the plant from the tank together with the earthy ball,
- remove excess land without damaging the root system,
- rinse the roots under running water,
- Pour drainage and some soil into a new container
- put the flower in the pot, straighten the roots,
- fill the pot to the brim with primer mixed with hydrogel.
After finishing the transplantation, sprinkle the surface with water, and then do not water the next 10 days.
Horticulture and horticulture
In gardening, balls are used in dry form when cutting the shrubs, rooting, transplanting seedlings in the ratio of 1 to 5. With this substance, the soil is saturated with nutrients, loosening of dense soil and increasing oxygen access. Pellets can be dug around the trunks of already mature trees and bushes.
You should also understand what a hydrogel for the garden and how to properly apply it. It is ideal for germinating seeds, growing seedlings in open ground until the beginning of flowering.
Granules saturated with fertilizing will increase the fruiting plants, protect them from diseases and are suitable for the following crops:
Before planting plants, it is necessary to place the balls in the soil at a depth of 5 cm at the rate of 20 g of dry matter per 1 square meter. m
Using a hydrogel, it is important not to pour the plant, so watering the soil should be no more than once every two weeks.
Precautionary measures and features of use
So that the substance does not lose its original qualities, it is necessary to adhere to certain recommendations:
- Do not allow exposure to direct sunlight on the substance. As a result, microscopic algae may appear inside the globules.
- Plant in pots watered 1 time in 14 days, immediately removing excess water from the pan.
- Before using a hydrogel for indoor plants, it must be allowed to swell. Dry matter can not be poured into a closed container.
- For large flowers is to use a limited amount of the substance. Otherwise, without support, the plant may fall.
- Using the pure hydrogel, the planting tank should be transparent,
- Before diluting the hydrogel, it is necessary to prepare distilled or distilled water.
- Planting seeds on seedlings should be done in a pre-crushed gel.
- Watering should be carried out five times less than in the presence of land. The lack of moisture leads to sedimentation of the substance, so the lack of water is visible to the naked eye.
Having understood what a hydrogel is for, you can use it to grow various varieties of houseplants and decorate flower arrangements. Before planting it is worth remembering that aquagrunt cannot be used for long-term planting. For these purposes, white hydrogel granules are used.
Use of hydrogel in growing plants
Thanks to the use of the polymer, it is possible to obtain excellent seedlings. During development, plants are provided with all the necessary nutrients. That is why the hydrogel, in the first place, is widely used in the cultivation of seedlings.
Thanks to the hydrogel, you can get excellent seedlings
The appearance of the hydrogel
For high-quality seedlings gardener must solve several difficult problems. For example, for the seedlings to be strong and healthy, you need to properly prepare the soil mixture and take care of good lighting / watering. Of course, moisture is good for seedlings, but with excessive amounts roots can rot, which is why plants will die. A hydrogel allows you to avoid all these troubles due to its unique property - it absorbs the liquid and holds it so that the plants fully develop.
Hydrogel absorbs and retains moisture
On a note! This polymer can be used not only as a full-fledged substrate, but also as a water-holding additive to soil mixture.
Relatively recently appeared on the market (at least in Russia), the hydrogel has already got many fans. If you start using it for growing seedlings or indoor plants, you can forget about the problems with watering / fertilizing. The reason is very simple: polymer granules absorb not only water, but also liquid fertilizers, and therefore seedlings are fed as needed. From all this we can conclude that the hydrogel is ideal for indoor plants, because it allows you to minimize care and reduce stress for plants when picking (transplanting).
Hydrogel is sold in the form of small balls (like beads). When water is added, the balls swell, indicating readiness for further use.
Potted flowers in hydrogel
On the pros and cons of the material
Yes, the effectiveness and benefits of the hydrogel are indisputable, but it has not yet gained widespread distribution. And this is explained not only by the novelty of the pellets, but also by the fact that the majority of consumers simply do not know about their advantages. Therefore, in order to avoid any doubts, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with the strengths and weaknesses of the hydrogel.
Hydrogel has advantages and disadvantages.
If we talk about the merits, then these include:
- effective moisture absorption (one granule is able to absorb 300 times more liquid than it weighs),
- high quality aeration provided to the roots / seeds
- economy (for 1 l of the finished “base”, no more than 1.6 g of granules in a dry form are needed),
- all useful substances present in the substrate are preserved, since they are not washed out,
- finally, seeds germinate earlier than the classical method of cultivation.
Granules - dry and swollen
Hydrogel soaked in water
However, there are material and cons, which also should be read before making a final decision.
- Leathery seeds cannot be planted in hydrogel (for example, sweet peas). It should also be remembered that when planting it is necessary to take into account the individual characteristics of a particular culture.
- Do not reuse hydrogel (even despite the fact that manufacturers say the opposite). After all, after using some of the absorbing properties of the polymer is lost, and it also darkens and shrinks. In a word, the used material will fit only as an additive to soil mixture.
- Finally, it is imperative to maintain an optimum temperature - so there will be no risk of supercooling of shoots.
Potted plants in hydrogel granules
Important information! After reviewing all the pros and cons, you can independently decide whether this method of cultivation is right for you.
What does a hydrogel look like
The concept of hydrogel for plants
On sale you can find two kinds hydrogel:
- Colorless polymer crystals that are mixed with the soil and used for its loosening and moisturizing.
- Aquagrunt. Produced in the form of colored granules, most often in the form of balls, but there are also cubes, and pyramids, etc. It can be used not only to moisten the soil, but also as an element of decoration.
When released into a humid environment, the hydrogel increases in size and maintains optimum moisture in the soil, so you can increase the time between irrigations.
Hydrosoil can be used on an industrial scale, especially for growing seedlings.
The shelf life of the polymer hydrogel is 5 years. During this period, it can be used several times. After the expiry date, the hydrogel is mixed with the soil, and it continues to have a beneficial effect on it. In the soil, the polymer breaks down into the following composition: carbon dioxide, ammonium and water.
Instructions for use
Hydrogel polymer is used for growing seedlings and germinating seeds.
If the seeds are placed in open ground, then for 1 kg of soil you will need 1 g of hydrogel powder. Before use, the crystals should be soaked in clean water for several hours. And only after the swelling of the polymer it is mixed with the soil prepared for planting. Такой грунт поможет быстрому прорастанию семян и не потребует частого полива и удобрения.
Семена можно прорастить и в чистом гидрогеле без земли. For this, it is necessary to grind the swollen polymer well and pour it into the prepared container with a layer of not more than 1.5 cm. The seeds are pressed a little into such polymer soil and the container is covered with a film. Then you need to put them to germinate in a dark place. A few days later, when the seeds germinate, the sprouts are transplanted already in the ground, mixed with hydrogel.
Water balloons soaked in water can be stored in a dark place until you need them.
Use for indoor plants
Very often, hydrogel balls are used for growing indoor plants. To do this, use clean akvagrunt without land. Hydroballs are poured with water, and when it is completely absorbed, and the capsules will increase in size, they are placed in a glass dish. Now it is possible to plant the plants themselves in the prepared soil.
Flowers should be chosen small, so that their root system can easily be fixed in hydrogel balls. The plant should be well tolerated shade and love abundant hydration. Often bamboo is grown in aqua-ground. Plants growing in hydrogel balls look very beautiful and well emphasize the unique interior of the room. Decorative hydrogel balls should not be used for more than two years.
This polymer can also be used to store fresh cut flowers. The life of such bouquets will increase significantly, rather than contain them in ordinary water. Therefore, very often the sellers of fresh flowers use akvagrunt when transporting plants.
What is a hydrogel, few know, despite the fact that it is increasingly gaining popularity. Gel balls - this is a common polymer, which is crushed to a state of powder or granules of various shapes.
The peculiarity of the water balls is their ability to absorb significant volumes of liquid, which later simply evaporates or is absorbed by the rhizome of the plant. Thanks to this ability, even the smallest balls can swell to very large sizes.
Hydrogel in crystals
1 g of hydrogel granules can absorb about 200 ml of water. Therefore, to remove about 3 liters of liquid, you need only 2 tablespoons. l balls.
Hydrogel is a sterile substance. Pathogenic microflora is unable to grow in it. The material gives off moisture gradually and slowly, so you do not have to worry about the possible rotting of the rhizomes of plants.
Balls do not contain any useful components.
What are gel balls for?
Hydrogel for plants will be useful in several cases:
- A very effective way to germinate seeds and rooting cuttings.
- In this way, nutrients can be easily and continuously delivered to the plants.
- Hydroballs retain a significant supply of water, so that plants can remain for a long time without moisture.
- The gel is a decorative element in the decoration of flowerpots. They fill the container with potted plants or with fresh cut flowers.
It is important to know that the aqua soil for flowers can absorb not only moisture, but also all the nutrients contained in it. They will be accessed by the roots of the plant. Therefore, the flowers can be freely fed by mixing the balls with the ground.
A variety of water balls
Gel balls are presented in two most common forms - soft and dense. They differ both in structure, and in the purpose of application, and in cost.
Soft gel balls - the most common type. It is introduced into soil mixtures for indoor plants, for germinating seeds, for planting garden and garden crops. Due to the elastic and soft structure and small dimensions, the roots of the plant can freely and freely penetrate directly into the balls and through them and absorb moisture and useful substances.
Such a hydrogel is always colorless and in rare cases it is used independently. Most often, the hydraulic beads are mixed with the substrate, this helps to prevent the soil from souring from the introduction of large amounts of liquid and contributes to its rapid and uniform drying.
Dense gel balls (or aquagrunt) are much more expensive than soft ones. The material can be of different shapes and sizes. The high price does not allow the use of such material in horticulture and gardening. Different akvagrunt from the usual gel and the fact that it may include in the composition of rhinestones, sparkles, often painted in different colors. Such a color hydrogel is used for transparent flowerpots, in addition, it can be used to create charming florariums.
Another option for using solid gel balls is to refresh the air. To improve the smell in the room, gel balls in a dry state are poured with water with essential oils or other fragrant liquids. When aquagrunt is saturated with moisture, the balls are laid out in glass containers and placed in the room. A pleasant aroma will be spread over the apartment for a long time.
Such a ground is very convenient: even if someone from a family member or pet knocked over a container with balls, they can be very easily assembled even without using a vacuum cleaner.
It is important to remember that when filling with colored balls you need to decompose each shade into different containers and let them swell in water. Only then can they be mixed.
Hydrogel method of application
Florists differently apply the tool for plants. How to use the hydrogel in the instructions for use are described in detail. Restrictions in the choice of plants are almost absent, right in the substance you can grow some types of flowers. Be sure to remember about mineral fertilizers. It is allowed to mix the balls with the soil, in this case the gel is useful for preserving moisture, while about 1 g of dry beads is enough to add 1 g of substrate to the substrate. Such manipulations are best performed during transplantation.
Growing in hydrogel
If you grow flowers only in hydrogel in its pure form, then you should consider several factors:
- Watering should be done with good water, separated, filtered. Liquid directly from the tap can leave an unpleasant bloom on the balls or the gel can turn green.
- When the flower is too voluminous root system, it can greatly spread in the pot and cover all the balls. From this pot will have an unattractive appearance.
- Some types of plants when grown in a hydrogel can "suffocate" from a lack of oxygen, so they need to be transplanted.
Interestingly, the unused gel balls should be stored in the refrigerator, and only in an airtight container. Otherwise, the gel begins to crystallize and the material loses its abilities.
Hydrogel and gardening
How can hydrogel help in gardening? It is very useful to use it for the development and rooting of the petioles or during the reproduction of the bushes with layers. It can be mixed with the soil at a rate of 1: 5 under the transfer of seedlings to open ground, which is not always and not suitable for everyone. Hydrogel can help make the soil more fertilized, especially if the plant needs nutrients. Gel balls are also used to loosen heavy soils, this contributes to the penetration of a larger amount of oxygen.
Hydroballs are very useful in spring when melting snow. Their dry is placed in the ground. Then the same balls can be dug into the soil around young seedlings.
Hydroballs are added even to the near-stem plots of soil of already adult fruit-bearing trees.
Hydrogel at gardeners
Very often, this gel is used by gardeners. Therefore it is necessary to figure out how to properly use it. This material is an ideal medium for the germination of seeds without a hard shell, as well as for seedlings before its very transfer to open ground. In addition, a small part of the balls can be dug along with the seedlings into the soil, where it will feed young plants for a long time.
Seedlings of tomatoes can be in such a “soil” until its very flowering. It is important not to forget about periodic dressings. This will help increase yields, prevent diseases that young individuals become infected in open soil.
If you use a hydrogel for plants in the open field, then do not forget and skip the irrigation. This can affect crop yield and plant health. Therefore, it is better to pour water on plants grown in the soil with hydrogel than to leave them without moisture.
With the help of a hydrogel, only such vegetables are grown: tomatoes, potatoes, radishes, cabbage, cucumbers. But for eggplant, this method is not suitable, it gives poor results.
Gel balls are instilled to a depth of 5 cm. For a light soil, 10–20 g of hydrogel per m² will suffice. If the soil is heavy, clay, then you need from 20 to 30 g of gel pellets per 1 m²
Positive and negative qualities
Positive qualities of this method of growing plants is definitely more. Using a hydrogel, it is possible to provide the plant with a constant dosed access of fluid. The gel does not allow the plants to rot the roots, decorates the interiors with its unusual design.
But with its usefulness, we should not forget that plants need nutrients that are important to be periodically introduced. Also reduced, but not reduced watering.
Hydroballs can bloom under the influence of the direct rays of the sun. And this is a big minus. You can not use the same gel for growing different instances of plants. From this gel ceases to be sterile.
Many are concerned about the safety of this material. Hydrogel is an absolutely safe remedy, since it does not evaporate any toxic substances, and when decomposed it forms water, carbon dioxide and ammonium. This explains its harmlessness.
It is recommended to follow all the tips, rules and features. Hydrogel for plants is a very convenient and effective tool, an assistant to gardeners.