Polymer water beads can help improve the quality of your soil. Here’s how.
Ok so what are water beads? The quick answer is they are magic and you should never question magic. But to avoid frustrating the hell out of our readers we’ll tell you how the magic works.
Water beads are made of polymer, a substance that has been carefully studied at a molecular level, which allows lab rats to identify the minute organics (synthetic organics) built up as plastics and resins, often in the shape of a ball or sphere. And to clarify this is also the makeup of “crystal soil”, “water marbles”, “polymer crystals” and “magic water beads”, they’re all the same thing.
Green thumbs need not worry because water beads can be 100% non-toxic and biodegradable. The trick is to find a supplier who clearly states these facts!
Cool, so how do water beads help with soil?
Water beads retain their moisture for a very long time. They expand up to 100 times their original size when they are left in water. The process takes up to 8 hours for the beads to fully expand and then they hold their shape and always seem to be wet like as if they’ve been delivered by an alien race. Seriously though, these things are amazing – hence the alias ‘magic water beads’.
Water is held by the microscopic synthetics and is slowly released over time. Allow us to repeat that because this is the internet where everyone skims over content barely reading a sentence in it’s entirety. Ahem.
“The water in water beads is held by the microscopic synthetics that make up ‘polymer’ and is slowly released over time.”
And that is the crux of it, these little beauties look amazing and they release H2O very slowly. Even when they’re covered in soil. And of course the fact that they’re biodegradable and non-toxic is good for mother nature.
Thanks to the guys at Water Beads Australia for their time producing this great tip. If anyone has any other interesting uses for water beads or practical feedback on their effectiveness in soil we’d love to hear from you. Especially if you’re experimenting with jumbo water beads.