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How To Use Polymer Crystals for Best Results

By Shelly
November 13, 2011

If you use polymer crystals in a container, it's best to hydrate them before adding them to the soil. This way you won't end up hydrating them with your first watering and having soil rise up, over, and out of your container.

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Name: Charleen
Barnesville, Ga. Zone 7b-8 (Zone 8a)
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Ridesredmule
Nov 12, 2011 7:52 PM CST
I added some one time to a batch of soil and mixed up real good.
When I wet everything down, I had an explosion of crystals and soil coming out of that dag gum pot. What a mess!!!!!
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
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flaflwrgrl
Nov 12, 2011 8:04 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing Charleen Rolling on the floor laughing . I can see that happening but doubt I would have thought of it before I did what Charleen did. Good tip Shelly.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Charleen
Barnesville, Ga. Zone 7b-8 (Zone 8a)
Walk in Peace / I'm Charley's Mom.
Miniature Gardening Mules Tip Photographer I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Level 2 Seller of Garden Stuff Butterflies Birds Region: Georgia
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Ridesredmule
Nov 13, 2011 6:54 AM CST
Believe me, I felt so silly. I took the plant out. reemix it with more soil and had enough for several pots.
Hey, They don't call me Bumble mule for nothin!!!!!! Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
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frostweed
Nov 13, 2011 7:45 AM CST
I have never used the crystals, but it is good to know you have to wet them first. Thank you. Smiling
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Name: Rebecca Gardner
Gold Beach, Oregon (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Level 2
rebeccag
Nov 13, 2011 11:19 AM CST
They also work real well in the ground if you have a difficult spot. I had an area under the eves in dry shade. The dirt was like dust and repelled water, I tried many times to plant in there but everything died. I would add compost and it still would not hold water. I fixed it by digging out holes about 18 inches deep and 4 inches wide, I used a bulb planter to do the digging. I then put in the expanded polymer crystals and topped with 2 inches of soil. And I planted next to the filled holes. It allowed the water to be absorbed at root level and then the roots found the crystals and now I have a very nice garden in there. Once the soil was hydrated below the surface all was well. And my worms moved in.

I too made the mistake of not expanding first, what a mess.
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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flaflwrgrl
Nov 13, 2011 11:34 AM CST
But how long do the crystals last? This is why I've never used them. Don't they eventually break down into nothing & then the soil sinks to fill the voids?
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Rebecca Gardner
Gold Beach, Oregon (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Level 2
rebeccag
Nov 15, 2011 3:07 PM CST
Eventually it does because I do believe it is organic. But for my purpose once the moisture was in the soil it was no longer needed. Its good for hanging baskets and I believe it will last at least 3 years. But I am not sure.
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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flaflwrgrl
Nov 15, 2011 5:52 PM CST
I can certainly see it working for what you needed there & that was a great idea to use it that way. In Fl. we have sand like that where it just won't take up water --- like the sand is oiled & shuns water --- just rolls right off. If you can ever get it to take water for a while then you're okay.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Jamie R
Zone 5b, WI (Zone 5a)
save the rainforest & habitat
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JaeRae
Dec 2, 2011 6:33 PM CST
Wow Rebecca! I have a similar spot and have regularly lost perennials there. You know what's going in there NEXT spring (before any new plants)! And thanks to Shelly's good advice I should be able to avoid an explosion. Siill laughing at our dear Charleen... Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Hilarious! Rolling on the floor laughing
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(also a mule lovin', Charley huggin' girl)
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
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pirl
Mar 8, 2014 8:53 PM CST
My first time I also added them to soil-less mix and watched as the explosion took place within the hour. It is an amazing sight!

I also did as Rebecca mentioned and dug holes, added reconstituted crystals, mixed in some old coffee grounds and compost. The plants (hostas and ferns) loved it and are still thriving in a very dry spot that doesn't even get rainfall.

Just one coffee scoop of crystals added to a jug of water, wait 30 minutes, and you're ready to use them for your next projects. Easy!
Thumb of 2014-03-09/pirl/7f5f6c



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