Question: I am a container gardener who lives in a condo. The exposure of my balcony is south so my containers bake in the summer. The result of this heat is that I have to water the pots two or sometimes three times a day.
I love my plants, but it is becoming a chore having to water so often. Is there anything I can add to the soil to help hold the moisture in?
Answer: I am a container gardener who lives in a condo. The exposure of my balcony is south so my containers bake in the summer. The result of this heat is that I have to water the pots two or sometimes three times a day.
I tried a new product last fall that might be the answer to having to water frequently. The product is called Rechargeable Solid Water. The product is a mesh bag that holds a cross-linked polymer that is non-toxic and biodegradable. The bag with the polymer is placed at the root zone of a plant.
There are two sizes of bags available, but as an example of holding capacity, the large bag weighs 15 grams when dry and can hold 1.2 litres of water. The interesting thing is that, according to the manufacturer, the polymer has a "memory" that allows the bag to be fully rechargeable when it rains or each time you water.
The bags can be used for containers or for such things as starting seedlings and even watering newly planted trees and shrubs.
According to the manufacturer, once fully charged, the bags can release water for 30 days. This, of course, depends on weather conditions. When I tried the product in my containers, I was able to go for at least two to three weeks without having to water and my location was a very hot and dry one.
You can add as many bags as you need for the size of the container or plant. For example, you could put three of the bags that hold 400 millilitres of water around the roots of a plant or use one large bag that holds 1.2 litres of water.
This all depends on the size of the container and/or plant. I used the 400 millilitre bags for my containers and used the large bags for shrubs and trees. There is also a small bag that holds 40 millilitres of water, which is great for houseplants.
The manufacturer also says that the bags should remain effective for two years.
A bonus with this product is that you can add a liquid fertilizer to the water and it will be absorbed by the polymer and released along with the water to the plants' roots.
1. What is Rechargeable Solid Water Recharegable Solid Water (RSW)?
RSW is an innovative and convenient watering solution, which helps save precious water delivered to plants in garden bed and pots.
2. What is in a RSW bag?
RSW is cross-linked polymer in a woven bag, with a small amount of clay as an activator.
3. What should I do first? How do I charge a RSW bag?
Simply place the bag into water for a minimum of 5-10 minutes. Then dig a hole next to the root zone of your plant, deep enough to insert the entire bag underground.
4. How do I recharge my RSW bag? Do I need to dig up my RSW bag to recharge it?
No, just leave the RSW bag buried. RSW will recharge when you water your plants or when it rains.
5. How long will RSW release water to my plant?
A RSW bag gradually releases water for up to 30 days depending on soil types and climate conditions and in extreme circumstances. The rule of thumb is to water 50% less.
6. Can I place a RSW bag on top of the soil? Are there any precautions that I need to know?
Can I place a RSW bag on top of the soil? Are there any precautions that I need to know?
7. How many RSW bags should I use?
Depending on the watering needs you can use one or more bags per plant. Use the Chart below as a guide
8. How long will a RSW bag work once buried?
Testing has shown RSW bags last for up to 2 years. This will vary depending on soil types and conditions.
9. Who developed RSW? and Why?
RSW was developed for humanitarian reasons, to address the needs of subsistence farmers in Northern Asia, who have been in severe drought for over 10 years. RSW has been packaged and marketed internationally by an Australian company, to provide environmental solutions in these times of climate change and global warming.