Something new! Well, not new to me, but they MAY be new to you?
Plant Gel (water crystals) are a (supposedly) 100% non-toxic, biodegradable, and odourless super- absorbent Polyacrylamide crystal, that absorb up to 400 times their weight in water.
In English, these are tiny capsules, available DIRT cheap from both real and online stores, which can be used to retain moisture, for example in the top layer of soil for your plants – and I’m sure there are many other uses for them. I discovered these years ago on AliExpress then forgot all about them until I spotted them in our local Chinese store here in Southern Spain – a mere €0.80 for a pack of hundreds of them – enough to fill an entire teaspoon! Hopefully the top photo gives you an idea of scale.
First things first – “non-toxic” – so – why does the pack say, in one paragraph non-toxic then in the next paragraph “Do not ingest. In case of ingestion, seek urgent medical attention”? I’ll leave that to interested readers to progress.
My wife is the gardener, I just bought these because I find them fascinating. As such I took maybe 20 of these tiny balls and put them in a glass 9right), leaving them overnight to expand with plenty of water so they’d always be submerged.
Here it gets interesting – the package claims these (yellow in my case but all colours are available) tiny sub-mm diameter units will expand to 1cm-2cm – and they DO.
Not only that – but while looking VERY flimsy in the photo here, that visual effect is largely down to them being ALMOST transparent once expanded – in fact, they are perfectly round, reasonably solid and can easily stand being handled. They don’t even FEEL that wet when handled.
These are great fun and in the end I’m sure the pack will end up distributed around various of my wife’s plants. The pack shown here is quite small but on – for example – AliExpress you can get much larger packs in colours including black. I’m rather partial to the red ones myself.
I’m sure that someone with a creative mind could find many uses for these beauties – and if not, well, it’s only a few pence:-)
And this has WHAT to do with tech? Nothing – I just had to get this off my chest while waiting (another Amazon/MRW delivery screw-up) for my new Poco X5 phone to arrive and in the background dreaming up an article on the perils of smartphone zoom – coming up soon. Oh, lest I forget – yes, I have seen some “water plants” grown in these alone without soil. All good, clean fun.