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Hydrogel for seedlings is a polymeric material that allows to obtain magnificent seedlings. In the process of development, the plant is fully provided with all nutrients.
Growing seedlings often involves some difficulties. To obtain strong seedlings, not only well-prepared soil and illuminated area is required, but also correct watering. It is moisture that can be a friend to young shoots, and cause rotting of the root system leading to further death.
Avoid such situations will help the use of a new polymer material, which has a unique ability to absorb and retain for plant growth the required amount of water in the soil.
The hydrogel can be used as a landing soil (a kind of reservoir with water) or as a moisture-retaining additive in a prepared substrate.
Another novelty that appeared not so long ago in the Russian market, but already managed to win enough admirers. The use of a hydrogel to grow seedlings allows the vegetable grower not to worry about watering and feeding young shoots.
Polymeric granules absorb moisture and liquid fertilizers, which allows the plants to supply the necessary food as they need. Hydrogel for seedlings is considered an ideal material, which makes it possible in many cases to minimize the care of young seedlings and reduce stress when transplanting into open ground.
Initially, the material is a small ball, resembling beads. After adding liquid to dry crystals, it swells, after which the granules are ready for use.
Pros and cons of the hydrogel
However, new material among the vegetable growers has not yet acquired a mass distribution. This is primarily due to its recent appearance in our market and with ignorance of its main advantages. To the vegetable grower did not ask whether it is worth using a hydrogel to grow seedlings, we will consider all its advantages and disadvantages.
The use of polymer pellets as a gardener gives the following positive points:
- The amount of water absorbed by the hydrogel is 300 times greater than its own mass, which allows a long time to maintain the necessary moisture content of the soil.
- Possibility to save space.
- The growth of seeds begins much earlier than with traditional cultivation.
- The seeds and the root system of seedlings are provided with aeration.
- Do not wash out and completely retain all the trace elements that are available in the substrate prepared for planting.
- Throughout the whole cultivation cycle the plant is in favorable conditions.
- Economical material. One liter of base will suffice,..., g of dry material.
Given the obvious advantages, disadvantages of using hydrogel are:
- The lack of the opportunity to grow crops that have leathery shells of seeds (sweet peas, etc.) Also, when introducing seeds into the hydrogel, the individual characteristics of the plant should be taken into account.
- Maintain the required surface temperature on which the seedlings are located with the hydrogel. This will help to avoid hypothermia shoots.
- You can not use pellets repeatedly, although advertisers claim the opposite. Reviews of the hydrogel, which has already grown seedlings are not too positive. First of all, its basic absorbing qualities are lost, besides, it shrivels and darkens. When jelly-like granules interact with air, bacteria can settle in it. The maximum that can be used for such a material is the use of it as a water-retaining additive in the ground.
All of the above pluses and minuses of the hydrogel will allow the vegetable grower to really assess its chances of obtaining good seedlings.
Methods of using hydrogel
Polymer pellets can be used in several ways:
- The first way. Seeds are poured into a prepared gelatinous mass. To do this, you need to pre-soak the hydrogel pellets. After swelling, they must be rubbed through a sieve or ground with a blender until a homogeneous mass is formed.
Further, in the planting tanks the 3 cm layer of hydrogel is lined and slightly pressed into it, the seeds are laid out. Also, the resulting jelly-like mass can be cut into large parts, after which the seed material is laid out.
It is not necessary to deepen the seeds, since they can lose access to oxygen, which will affect the number of shoots. To create a microclimate, the landing tanks are covered with a polyethylene film. Once a day, the coating can be removed for ventilation and condensate removal.
- The second way. The use of a hydrogel as a moisture-retention aid in the substrate gives a good effect. In this case, three to four parts of the landing soil are mixed with one part of the dry granules, after which the mixture is poured into the prepared containers.
- The third way. Also, the hydrogel for seedlings can be used in a combined way when plants are planted in the open ground. The root system is dipped into the swollen mass, and young seedlings are planted in the holes. This method will allow the plant to reduce stress and provide a reserve of moisture for the first time.
Hydrogel is an environmentally friendly material that not only stimulates plant growth, but also has a positive effect on soil quality.
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