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Polymer Water Crystals Have Many Uses
By using polymer water-absorbing crystals, your plants -- flowers, vegetables, trees, shrubs, lawns and houseplants -- have a better chance of getting over missed waterings and of surviving drought conditions. But, polymer water crystals have many other uses around the home and in industry.
They are popular in hand crafts and home decorating, for festive decorations like floating candles and candle designs. They are regularly used in wedding table designs. They can be easily colored to any spectrum of the rainbow. Water crystals are the material inside hot/cold compresses for muscular/skeletal care, hot and cold packs and evaporative coolers (also known as cool ties, cool wraps, spin and neck coolers) for the head, neck and family pets. Florists use them in shipping. Horticulturalists extend the shelf life of their plants by incorporating them in soil. Some potting soils now contain them as a standard ingredient.
Water absorbing and storing crystals are used in a variety of proprietary products in many industries, including humidors, commercially-produced hot/cold packs, drink chillers. They are even used to feed roaches and crickets by those who raise reptiles. Organizations purchase them for adult and children events at picnics. Some are even packaged comically to be used as a hot soaks in bathtubs.
They have been used to fight fires and as fire retardants. In small containers, they will absorb water from the bottoms of contaminated fuel tanks. They see duty in in feedlots to help clean up messes and spills. They have been used as emergency water absorbers in floods.
Their main application is to help reduce irrigation in agriculture, home vegetable and flower gardens, house plants, and container gardening. After all, the use of water crystals in soils dramatically increases long-term, water holding capacity. These polymer crystals help nurture healthy plants. By controlling soil moisture, they contribute to healthy plant life and growth by reducing plant stress from too much or too little water. These polymers effectively absorb excess water, alleviating runoff and storing it until needed by plants.
Their use actually improves soil structure as they expand and contract in hydration and dehydration. As a gardening product and soil amendment, water crystals significantly lengthen intervals between watering. This is true for lawns, vegetable and flower gardens, house plants, container gardens, trees, and field crops. It is a myth (perhaps propagated on the Internet) that the crystals are harmful to plants or take water away from them, replacing the water with harmful chemicals. Instead they capture excess water and store it for plants.
When hydrated, each dry granule turns into a gel, containing the water it absorbs. By squeezing a hydrated crystal, the polymer won't leak moisture. Instead, it will break into smaller crystals or particles that dehydrate to smaller granules. Super absorbent polymer (SAP) granules, when hydrated, save irrigation costs and help prevent plant stress from dry conditions in throughout the world, in nurseries, sod and turf farms, crop fields, in home gardens and residential lawns.
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