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Old 07-12-2019, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
72,086 posts, read 54,999,012 times
Reputation: 12348

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Figure I see it for myself.

Bought 2 healthy plants for $10
Bought a 3lb bag of Hydretain for $27
Added 4 Table spoons, as recommended, to the plant on the right.
Watered both equally


Day #1. July 9, 2019

Without Hydretain on left.
With Hydretain on right.





Day # 2. July 10, 2019
Neither got water. Temps in the 80s with sun.

Without Hydretain on left. Drooping leaves
With Hydretain on right. Still strong





Day # 3. July 11, 2019
Neither got water. Temps in the 80s with clouds in afternoon and protected from rain later on

Without Hydretain on left.
With Hydretain on right.





Day # 4. July 12, 2019
Neither got water. Temps in the 80s with sunny skies and wind.

Without Hydretain on left. Stems drooping.
With Hydretain on right. Some stems still strong. Some leaves drooping.




So this evening, Day #4, I decided to water both again but I gave double the amount of water to the plant on the left without the Hydretain.

I have a time lapse camera going on them since Day 1 and will post when the test is done.

So far, I'm convinced. Impressive it held up without water for 4 days in the Summer heat and sun.
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Old 07-13-2019, 04:54 AM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
72,086 posts, read 54,999,012 times
Reputation: 12348
A close up of the pellets. How these little dry pellets help keep it alive is beyond me.


From what I learned...

When it's applied in soil, Hydretain actually pulls water vapor that is trapped within the soil into tiny droplets that the plant can absorb. This minimizes the amount of water that would be lost to evaporation.

The time it takes for Hydretain to break down is dependent on the amount of microbial activity in the soil. More activity means it will break down faster and not last as long as a soil with less activity. One application at the recommended rate will last up to 3 months.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Cambium View Post
So this evening, Day #4, I decided to water both again but I gave double the amount of water to the plant on the left without the Hydretain. .
12hrs later it's back to life. Remember, the one on the right (with Hydretain) got half the amount of water the one on the left did. Lets see how long they last now.


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Old 07-13-2019, 06:51 AM
 
Location: Former LI'er Now Rehoboth Beach, DE
8,509 posts, read 11,412,467 times
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You my friend are truly the plant whisperer. Is it cost effective for use in several containers? Is it safe for veggies? I have lost both my tomatoes. The only sunny spot I have to plant in, this year has gotten too much sun. We have had very little rain and temps in the high 80's and 90's. I watered in the a.m a good drink and only if they looked stressed a tiny bit in the pm. My peppers are hanging by a thread and I've gotten 6 cakes, only one left growing now. Interestingly, my sugar cantaloupes are vining like crazy and flowering but thus far I am not seeing any evidence of a fruit starting.
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Old 07-13-2019, 08:25 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
31,714 posts, read 57,719,597 times
Reputation: 34297
That stuff works, but it’s better to just put in a drip irrigation system on a timer, and never worry about lack of water. With mine, I just have to increase the time and/or frequency on the two timers when the weather gets hotter. My tomatoes are in a greenhouse to extend the growing season, and yesterday it was 80 here, but 99 in the greenhouse. When I got home at 3:30 the tops of the plants were dropping, but at 4:00 the water came on and they perked back up within an hour. My bonsai collection needs warning every day in summer, with their shallow pots.

With two timers, probably 50’ of 1/2” tubing, and another 30’ of 1/4”, 50 or so emitters, and some tees, filters and 2 timers I probably spent about $80. It all lasts for many years and besides having healthy plants, saves water.
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Old 07-13-2019, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
72,086 posts, read 54,999,012 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nuts2uiam View Post
You my friend are truly the plant whisperer.
lol.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nuts2uiam View Post
Is it cost effective for use in several containers? Is it safe for veggies? I have lost both my tomatoes. The only sunny spot I have to plant in, this year has gotten too much sun. We have had very little rain and temps in the high 80's and 90's. I watered in the a.m a good drink and only if they looked stressed a tiny bit in the pm.
Yes, safe for any veggie and pets too. It's organic. I only needed 4 tablespoons for an 8 inch pot. That comes to about $1 and they say it lasts 3 months.

Sorry to hear about your tomatoes. If you are watering in the morning there's no reason why they should be stressed the same afternoon. Sounds like either you're not watering deep enough OR your soil is draining too much? Tomatoes don't like heat but they shouldn't look stressed 6-10hrs after a water. Unless it's in the 100s then I would say water twice.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
That stuff works, but it’s better to just put in a drip irrigation system on a timer, and never worry about lack of water..
There's so many things I would need a drip irrigation or sprinkler system for I would have pipes and timers on too much.. Why spend the electric and water on a daily basis? Not sure how your temps are but a drip system in summer here, unless really dripping a lot, will evaporate and never reach the roots down below. Which leads to another reason not to rely on drip system here, all you're doing is watering the surface.



Also... its been raining every 1-4 days here past 2 yrs so there's that too.
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Old 07-13-2019, 12:53 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
31,714 posts, read 57,719,597 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cambium View Post
lol.




Yes, safe for any veggie and pets too. It's organic. I only needed 4 tablespoons for an 8 inch pot. That comes to about $1 and they say it lasts 3 months.

Sorry to hear about your tomatoes. If you are watering in the morning there's no reason why they should be stressed the same afternoon. Sounds like either you're not watering deep enough OR your soil is draining too much? Tomatoes don't like heat but they shouldn't look stressed 6-10hrs after a water. Unless it's in the 100s then I would say water twice.





There's so many things I would need a drip irrigation or sprinkler system for I would have pipes and timers on too much.. Why spend the electric and water on a daily basis? Not sure how your temps are but a drip system in summer here, unless really dripping a lot, will evaporate and never reach the roots down below. Which leads to another reason not to rely on drip system here, all you're doing is watering the surface.



Also... its been raining every 1-4 days here past 2 yrs so there's that too.
My drip timers use no electricity, each has 2 AA batteries that last a year. Drip system water will not evaporate even at 100F, especially if you cover the emitters with mulch. My tomatoes get 30 minutes a day at 4pm when it might be 105 inside the greenhouse when sunny. My emitters put out a gallon per hour, even the deepest tomato roots will not need more than a gallon since it’s all going to the roots, not weeds around the plants.
One problem, I do have to disconnect and blow out the lines with air when winter comes to avoid breakage when freezing.
Attached Thumbnails
My Hydretain Test - Does it work?-f6a99741-eb25-4308-9f0a-db280d099f8a.jpeg  
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Old 07-13-2019, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
72,086 posts, read 54,999,012 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
My drip timers use no electricity, each has 2 AA batteries that last a year. Drip system water will not evaporate even at 100F, especially if you cover the emitters with mulch. My tomatoes get 30 minutes a day at 4pm when it might be 105 inside the greenhouse when sunny. My emitters put out a gallon per hour, even the deepest tomato roots will not need more than a gallon since it’s all going to the roots, not weeds around the plants.
One problem, I do have to disconnect and blow out the lines with air when winter comes to avoid breakage when freezing.
Batteries better than electric but I'd hate changing them all the time. Spitting out 1 Gallon an hour? That seems slow. 1/4 gallon every 15 minutes?? I bet you half of that is lost to evaporation in the outdoor elements with wind and air, not a greenhouse.


But Like you said mulch is a good way to hold it in but the mulch absorbs some of it and it's not like the roots will come to the surface to drink.. Also you have to worry about clogs.

What do you do when it rains or when you have a thunderstorm that drops 1"? Do you have to shut it off or just keep it on all the time? Sounds like too much work. Rather just throw pellets down and let nature take its course or just stand there and water...deep.


Glad you found what works for you though.
P.S, that looks like a raised bed so it's easier for the plant to dig down and search for moistened soil.
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Old 07-13-2019, 06:47 PM
 
Location: Former LI'er Now Rehoboth Beach, DE
8,509 posts, read 11,412,467 times
Reputation: 9039
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cambium View Post
lol.




Yes, safe for any veggie and pets too. It's organic. I only needed 4 tablespoons for an 8 inch pot. That comes to about $1 and they say it lasts 3 months.

Sorry to hear about your tomatoes. If you are watering in the morning there's no reason why they should be stressed the same afternoon. Sounds like either you're not watering deep enough OR your soil is draining too much? Tomatoes don't like heat but they shouldn't look stressed 6-10hrs after a water. Unless it's in the 100s then I would say water twice. .
I gave them a really good drink just like in past years but I did buy different container soil this year. I always mix it with garden soil and some organic matter but it this year it might be the soil mixture.
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Old 07-14-2019, 05:18 AM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
72,086 posts, read 54,999,012 times
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Here is a quick time lapse of the test. Working on a longer version which I hope to finish by next weekend.


Recap::
  • Hydretain pellets were added to the plant on the right.
  • Both plants received the same amount of water before the test was started.
  • Neither plants were given water during the test.
  • Both plants had about 4-6hrs of sun each day
On Day 2 you start to see the plant without the Hydretain struggle more which indicated the Hydretain was working.

On Day 3 they were moved to be protected from the rain and the plant without the hydretain was obviously getting very stressed further indicating Hydretain was working.

On Day 4 it was obvious both plants were in need of water but the plant WITH the hydretain had firmer stems than the one without.

It's obviously not meant to live WITHOUT water but I wanted to see if the Hydretain actually worked to keep more moisture around.

On evening of Day 4 I gave the plant without the Hydretain 20 seconds of water while giving only 10 seconds of water to the plant with the hydretain and the longer test version will be published soon.

Camera captured an image every 15 minutes.
Ignore the temp since the camera was in direct sun. High temps were in the 80s each day. Lows in the 60s.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewp8...ature=youtu.be
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Old 07-14-2019, 05:40 PM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
72,086 posts, read 54,999,012 times
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Day #6. Hot 90° today. No water given.


Plant on left got 20 seconds of water on Day 4 while Plant on right got 10 seconds worth.

Less water and yet the plant with Hydretain is holding on better. Impressive! Same pellets from Day 1.


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