natural source for water retention

Discussion in 'Outdoor Growing' started by GoRealUhGro, Mar 5, 2018.

  1.  
    too larry

    too larry Well-Known Member

    I have a bucket of the water crystals they put on pine tree seedlings. I have thought about adding them to my soil. They soak up a lot of water.
     
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  2.  
    thumper60

    thumper60 Well-Known Member

    they work great larry,i have seen big plants grown in gravel an polys,fert once a week but ya the roots grow right into it, morning dew will swellem up
     
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  3.  
    too larry

    too larry Well-Known Member

    Yea, the bucket I had them in filled up with water just from the air while it was in the back of my truck. They are under the shed and mostly dry now. I also have a couple buckets from 3 years ago when we planted pines down at the river field.
     
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  4.  
    GoRealUhGro

    GoRealUhGro Well-Known Member

    How much should u add to your soil.. Like i can see a lot of diff factors for the amount to add.. But i wouldnt have any idea what amount to add @thumper60
     
  5.  
    thumper60

    thumper60 Well-Known Member

    well how u grow holes or totes?if ya digging holes an no standing water half cup if u buy them get at least 5lbs it goes quick but worth it 200%i would not use in swampy growing
     
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  6.  
    GoRealUhGro

    GoRealUhGro Well-Known Member

    Ill prob be in smart pots, totoes, and the ground.. Just depends on the foliage this year and the amount of traffic... I actually stretched out over the past few years... A bunnch of briers in the corner of a field.. I got them out into the light and twisted them up into small trees and other briers... Ill shoot a pic to u this spring.. I had an old pic on my last phone from when i started doi my it snd i wont believe how much its grown.. I have unhurtful boobie traps.. All over around there.. Designed to see if ppl are traveling it there... No sighn cept on a hill so far
     
  7.  
    SchmoeJoe

    SchmoeJoe Well-Known Member


    The best thing you can do to increase water retention is to plant in deep beds directly in the ground and stop using pots. As far as using wood look into combining techniques like a deep "double digging" method type of planting bed with hugelkultur. I'm not sure on the spelling of that but that should get you the right search results.

    For an aeration component in soil perlite works great for short crop cycles indoors but it breaks down into dust so fast that it's next to pointless outdoors or anywhere where you plan to keep using the soil.

    For mulches the best option is purpose built rolls of what's basically sheets of plastic that will decomposes into harmless substances. To get the best effect do no till, add both night crawler and red wiggler types of worms, top dress with your dry amendments every 2-4 weeks in an even 50/50 green/brown organic material mulch layer under the sheet mulch and use a drip or soaker type of irrigation under the sheet. You'll be absolutely amazed at how little water you use and how much biological activity you see.
     
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  8.  
    SchmoeJoe

    SchmoeJoe Well-Known Member


    They also expand when they absorb the water, a lot. This could help with soil structure but it could also be really disruptive to soil biology. The silica gel actually expands so much that it makes me wonder if it could even damage roots. I know a lot of guerrilla growers benefit from it in situations where they're limited on how often and how much they can water but for everyone else I think there's better options.
     
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  9.  
    GoRealUhGro

    GoRealUhGro Well-Known Member

    Well ill have to go w pots in most cases i may be able to go to the ground in a couple.. And the thing u said about the polymers concerns me as well... Getting that big from thay small has to disrupt the food web a lil.. And i like to dry my soil all the way out then saturate w water... Ill never be sure when its all dry.. But i can see big benefits from em.. Not knockin em by any means... And a no till is what i want to do.. But i have to leave my soil outside.. And i cant do it the way i want... So ill reamed my soil each yr.. And ill do lile i always do and let it get ready in the smart pots that I'm planting in.. That way the web is being established before hand somewhat.. It works really well... Im thinking of planting some stuff in the sps beforehand.. I havent done my homework but i guess it gets the soil more active... Correct?...
     
  10.  
    SchmoeJoe

    SchmoeJoe Well-Known Member


    If you can't dig the next best thing is to build fairly tall raised beds using lumber and line the inside with sheets of plastic like the row crop mulch that mentioned.

    Leaving your soil outside isn't an issue if you take the right steps. Covering it can prevent leaving from rain but then you have to go through extra steps as a preseason process to bring the soil back to life. If you cover it and continue to feed the worms the soil will just keep getting richer. Another advantage of the worms is that they'll till under your top dressing for you. Using the multiple layers of mulch I described earlier will make them more active during the growing season and the off season so they'll help to keep your soil alive and biologically active. Doing this means less time and money invested each spring and your soil gets better each season for it.

    Your question at the end is about planting something else in the off season? That will definitely keep the soil more active. There are soil organisms that only function with living plants so keeping living plants in the pots whenever practical is a good practice. There are plenty of different cover crops that are used just for that. You could also look into what ever cool season crops grow well in your area. You might be able to grow some greens or brassicas like cauliflower or broccoli.
     
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  11.  
    GoRealUhGro

    GoRealUhGro Well-Known Member

    If i do ill prob grow comfery in my pots... Im guerilla growing... Thus th name... I can't reall pack lumber in and make a raised bed.. I gotta hide th f out everything.. I guess i could but it would be more work than packing water.. I see the advantage to a no till.. Def.. But ill have to leave my soil out in cold ass winters.. And like u said ill have ro do some shit to activate it after that.. So i think ill just Reamed it and hit it w a acct while it bakes in the smart pots... I need and will be starting a worm bin asap.. I cant believe i haven't yet.. But im in a jam atm... Ill get enough to add to my pile also..
    So i guess ill have worms in my mix anyway later after tossing worms in my pile.... Im gonna try to find a good place to put a 100 or so gal inside.. I doubt i will though
     
  12.  
    SchmoeJoe

    SchmoeJoe Well-Known Member

    So I actually didn't catch the name until you mentioned...
     
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  13.  
    ANC

    ANC Well-Known Member

    Cover crop it for a while, If you throw some grass clippings from mowing the lawn on it, many of the seeds will sprout.
     
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  14.  
    GoRealUhGro

    GoRealUhGro Well-Known Member

    Ill try that in one pot
     
  15.  
    GoRealUhGro

    GoRealUhGro Well-Known Member

    Im thinking kf making a compost pile way th f back in the woods... Use it next yr and i wont have to pack nearly as much.. Anyone ever try this
     
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  16.  
    too larry

    too larry Well-Known Member

    I have a huge pile of leaves that are about half rotted that I use from. But here you have to worry about fire ants. Mostly I just rake up leaves and pine straw all during the growing season to keep adding. The more mulch you have, the longer you can go between watering for sure.
     
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  17.  
    GoRealUhGro

    GoRealUhGro Well-Known Member

    Im thinking of two places i want to grow..and they are kick fn ass... But no way im packing a 100 gal or more up there... I thought about just making the compost there... Maybe use some natural soil ...i dont like that but its such a killer spot
     
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