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water retaining gel/crystals for container vegetables

REMF33REMF33 Posts: 641
I was wondeirng... is this a bad idea?! Are the chemicals used in the crystals safe for things you consume?


  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    Some on this forum are sceptical of their efficacy, but I think it's the easiest thing to test. GW recommend them. And the RHS.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,723
    RHS says:
    " They may help reduce the demand of frequent watering " 
    IMHO "may help" isn't a ringing endorsement. 
    I'd save my money and just keep an eye on watering.
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    It has to be just about the easiest test anyone could run.
  • B3B3 Posts: 24,463
    'May help' is the kind of endorsement you see on snake oil slimming products.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • dappledshadedappledshade Posts: 982
    Ugh I remember emptying a couple of pots in which I had used this stuff, and it was a horrible, glibbery mess. Because it had also rained a lot, the compost was quite literally sodden too, so I'm not sure it did the dripainage any good. Possibly better if your pots have a lot of plant overhang, meaning not much rainwater gets inside.
  • REMF33REMF33 Posts: 641
    I think I put some in with my inca berries and put water retaining discs/mats in my artichokes (which now need potting on...) last year. I didn't have a problem with gloop, but it was a ferociously hot summer and I went away for ten days at the height of it. My cat sitters will water things, but I can't expect them to spend too long on it (lots of other things in pots too) so I am thinking ahead.
    But also read something about the crystals containing toxic stuff so perhaps not advisible for edibles.
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