Around these parts they sell Schultz Potting mix. About 9 bucks for 2 cu ft. It already has the crystals incorporated in just the right amount (they don't tell you what that is). In any case, I have used it to pot up plants which arrive from the nurseries and it really makes it a breeze. Expensive, maybe, but I am putting 25 to 75 dollar plants into these pots, so ...
----- Original Message -----
From: Bill Meyer
Sent: Friday, May 03, 2002 8:56 AM
Subject: Re: Moisture Crystals and Zerotal
Hi Narda and Paula,
I don't have any experience with either, so I can only pass on what I've heard.
Regarding the water-absorbing crystals --- Using them in pots can cause problems if more than a small amount are used. What happens is they swell the soil mix when wet, but contract it when dry. When it contracts, it separates from the sides of the pot and when you try to re-wet it, the water runs down the sides and out. This leaves you with a pot that is very difficult to moisten again.
Regarding ZeroTol/ hydrogen peroxide --- Most of what I've been hearing indicates it should be used frequently, maybe every two weeks or so, where there is a problem. It is highly active when applied, killing a variety of problem organisms, but doesn't last very long and has little or no residual effect. On the positive side it is harmless to higher organisms, so is very safe to use. The label does not recommend combining it with other chemicals.
I have information for you...based on my experience.
1/4 cup...is too much unless you really incorporate it into the soil around more than I did.
I am going with half of that and going to stir it up into the dirt better.
The plants I put it under...were almost pushed out of the ground.
Maybe on an established huge plant that 1/4 cup might be good.
But try and imagine...lifting every plant you have..and putting it underneath.
I have got to find a better way for the older plants.
So far I am just using it in new beds with the sandiest soil.
I may randomly pick some older hostas I don't think are doing as well and try them.
Where you got Zerotol..might be the place to get the Crystals. That is where I got my Zerotal.
Oh the subject of Zerotal. Is it better to use it in the spring before hosta leaf out or after?
Will Zerotal hurt the leaves?