We all know modern disposable diapers retain moisture, and we are talking a lot of moisture! Those things take all the moisture away and store it in this incredible mixture of moisture absorbing crystals and cotton fibers, and they hold it there for an inordinate amount of time without leaking for the most part. Now, how can that translate to a practical use in your garden? Water-retaining crystals work and are easy to use, but they can be an expensive endeavor for some when you might have a disposable diaper lying around or know someone who does. For the casual gardener, a few diapers may do the trick for much less monetary expenditure than those gardening water crystals.
How it all Works
If you have babies you have seen the amazing moisture retaining quality of today’s disposable diapers. These things have a small amount of crystals down the center that are embedded in cotton fibers. When moisture enters through the permeable barrier, these crystals can retain up to 500 times their weight! If you can harness that water retention potential in your flower pots and hanging baskets, your watering schedule could be cut in half and your plants could be protected from extremely hot and dry conditions that would normally stress it out even with the best watering schedule.
Make a Super Soil
The first way to use a diaper in gardening is to make a super soil. This is very simple to do. You will need to large container, a couple of disposable diapers, and some commercial potting soil. Open the diapers and place them in a container. Pour about four cups of water over each one and wait until all the water is absorbed. Detach and pull off the outer layer of material and you should see the gel like cotton and water crystals. Dump the gel into your mixing container. Pour in an equal amount of potting soil and use your hand to mix the gel and soil together. Now you can use this super soil to pot all your new plants.
Use the Crystals alone
You can open up a diaper and shake out the crystals. There is really a very small amount in each diaper. However, you can use the crystals alone and mix them with water to create a great solution for supplementing the soil in your potted plants or to help preserve fresh cut flowers for longer amounts of time. These crystals from diapers retain moisture and help you conserve water and grow healthy plants.