Soil Moist

Zenshi

Sapling
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Delaware, OH
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5b
Just curious if anyone has ever tried this product for bonsai: Soil Moist. From their website:

Soil Moist has been developed to reduce the amount of water needed to maintain vigorous plants and other green goods. When mixed in the soil, the crystals will soften and swell as water is added and absorbed. When the potting system dries, the polymer will release its water to the plant. Soil Moist acts as a water reservoir--even during periods of drought the stored water is released to the plant. The expansion and retraction of the polymer during the watering cycle helps soil aeration, which is important to all plants.
I heard the local gardening expert talking about this product on the radio. The caller was looking for a way for his plants to stay watered since he was frequently out of town on business. Soil Moist is a polymer that retains water, then releases moisture as the soil gets dry. The product appears to be granular in nature, and is non-organic. It also includes a mild and balanced fertilizer.

Could this be a possible solution to under-watering for bonsai?


 

DaveG

Mame
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Victoria, TX
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The only reason I'd see that community at large would suggest something like this is if you live in a particularly dry area where it simply isn't possible to water enough, even if you're watering once a day. The typical approach to designing bonsai soil is to make it so it drains fast. The tree should need to be watered more often instead of less, because there are a number of reasons it can be better for the tree.

Products of this nature may also encourage types of fungus you don't want growing on your tree.
 

Stimmie1

Sapling
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WARNING!!! Danger, Danger, Danger Will Robinson!!! Don't use it. If you put it in your pot, add water it swells about 10Xs its packaged size and will push your tree out of the pot. You will find your tree on the ground and the wire tying your tree to the pot will sever the roots. Been there! Not a prettu sight.
 

Kirk

Mame
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I use Soil Moist for summer annual containers like hanging baskets and window boxes. It's also good for outdoor containers (non-bonsai) that are in full sun and, perhaps, in a spot that you aren't able to water often. You can avoid the explosion of The Blob by soaking it in water first so that you know it's ultimate volume before mixing it into the soil.

For my trees, I adjust the amount of organic material in my soil mix for optimum health/moisture needs of the tree and my watering "style".

As an aside, Kathy Shaner likes to use it as a compress on tree wounds to heal damaged tissue. She soaks it, places it in old panty hoes or something similar, and ties it to an area of accident or injury to keep the cambium layer moist during the healing process. It's not something I've tried but I saw her do this about a month ago.

Kirk
 

Shima

Omono
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I use it hydrated and mixed with sphagnum for ground-layers on ancient trees in desert conditions.
 
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