Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Planters water conservation amendment

We hope over the next few months that our various plantings in the urns and pots will help to enhance your experience here at Glen Echo. Last year when I arrived, the staff were watering the various urns and pots daily and sometimes twice per day. Hopefully, this year we solved that issue with the purchase of a absorbent hydrogel material. The name of the product is called Terra-Sorb and is made by Plant Health Care, Inc. Terra-sorb absorbs 200 times its weight in water and releases for your plants root system. You can place this in pots or as a soil amendment in your planting beds.

For additional information regarding this product, please click on the link below.

The picture below gives you an idea of the absorbent potential of this material. On the left side of the shop towel is the material in its dried state. To the right of the dime is the material after soaking in water for about 5 minutes. Its already 3 to 4 times or more the size of the original material. This material will run approximately $ 6-7 per pound but it is well worth the time and money it takes to water plants. We purchased a 50# bag but they do come in 10#. There are other materials out there available at garden centers including a product called Soil Moist that come in 3 oz. bags and will set you back about $ 4-5. One of the real benefits of these materials also is the air space that is created for the rooting systems. Our plants root systems in our urns are pretty extensive by now due to the water availability and the pore space created by this material. The pots on the patio were literally trying to push the plants out of the pot because I failed to leave enough room in the pot for the expansion of the material in the soil. Oh well, you live and learn.

After I posted this blog yesterday, I made up a couple of planters for the tennis courts. When I mixed up the material, a couple of piles of the Terra Sorb fell onto the pavement that I was not aware of. The rain overnight activated the product. The single particle below is almost the size of the round plug(about the size of a quarter). Pretty remarkable stuff.

No comments: