Wait .. Diapers? How do those help your plants? Trust me, it's probably not what you're thinking.
Step 1: Watch the Video!
Step 2: Diaper Gel
For this project we'll need one of these disposable diapers. New or gently used, it doesn't really matter.
Now most people know that a diaper can hold quite a bit of liquid, but you might be surprised to see how much.
I tried putting over 4 cups of water in this thing, and you can see that in just a few seconds, all the fluid is completely absorbed, without a drop left in the bowl.
To see what's inside, let's go ahead and rip it open, and dump the contents into a bowl.
You can see that if we add a bit more water and mix it together, we've got ourselves an amazing, fiber rich hydrogel.
I tried packing some of this stuff into an airtight bag and freezing it overnight, to make an improvised ice pack that won't leak.
Step 3: Super Soil
Now, you can use food coloring to change the color of the gels, but when working with plants it's best to leave it clear. This way, your plants won't turn funny colors as they grow.
One adult sized diaper makes over 12 cups of hydrogel, and the small pieces of cotton wadding break apart and mix right in.
Now we're going to need some all purpose potting soil that you can get at any home improvement store, and a large mixing bowl to dump it in.
Add equal parts of dirt and gel, then begin working the two together until they're thoroughly mixed.
Now you've not got a super absorbent, super soil that's light and fluffy, and perfect for your potted plants.
Step 4: Potted Plants
In the event of an extreme overwatering like this, you might expect that your plants would drown, or begin to rot.
But with the hydrogels infused in the soil, you can see how the excess water is quickly absorbed, keeping the soil damp and fluffy, and possibly saving your plants as a result.
Now the reason this mixture will hold so much liquid is because of these super-absorbent water crystals.
They'll hold over 500 times their weight in water, and if you want to separate them out, try ripping apart the wadding in the diaper, and shaking it upside down over a piece of paper. The cotton fluff should blow away, and you'll be left with just the crystals.
Go ahead and throw a little soil into the pot first, then help your plant get comfortable.
To hold it firm in place, just keep packing more soil until everything sits tight.
You can finish up by giving the plant a bit more water, and now with the super crystals in your soil, your plant can go twice as long between waterings, saving you time, and resources.
This diaper gel can work on your existing plants as well. As the gel expands and contracts, it will naturally aerate the soil as it does.
Just grab a knife and a spoon, and gently nestle them down between the roots, and spread them apart to form a gap.
Now you can drop some gel down to the roots, work the soil back together, and continue around the pot until all your water-gel is used up.
Step 5: Seed Starters
If you're looking for a lazy way to get your seeds started, just dump them into a batch of the grow dough, and give it all a good mix, or you could even just sprinkle the seeds on top.
Fill a container of your choice, add a bit of water, and find a place that you can set it and forget it.
Over the course of a week, your seeds will automatically sprout and begin to grow, without any extra effort, or any extra water.
For one final idea, you can help preserve your fresh cut flowers, by adding sugar, vinegar, and a bit of bleach to some warm water.
This will create a homemade flower food, and when you add your slush powder, you'll see it absorbs the solution and slowly grows up to 60 times its size.
By agitating the gel you can create an awesome effect that looks like crushed ice.
Not only does it look cool, but it's slowly releasing water as the flowers need it, and feeding them at the same time. The gel is completely non-toxic.
Step 6: Gardening
Not only will this save you on watering costs, but it will also last quite a few seasons before it needs to be replaced.
Well now you know how to take an ordinary diaper, and convert it into an extraordinary super soil, that will help keep your plants happy, and hopefully keep you happy as well.
If you liked this project, perhaps you'll like some of my others. Check them out at www.thekingofrandom.com
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