Helping plants withstand arid conditions

To help plants and trees grow in extremely dry areas, we have developed HYDROGEL, a hydrogel granulate that can be buried in the soil surround a plant's roots. Once there, it absorbs water and minerals and stores it, releasing it back to the plant when needed, e.g. during the dry season. The gel particles in the earth store rain water or irrigation water, providing a "reservoir" exactly where it is needed: at the plant's roots. Thus plants have much more water available than they normally would have. The result: An optimal supply of water, so plants' roots can grow strong quickly. That means long-term protection against dry stress.

Blossoming Landscapes with HYDROGEL
Landscape maintenance is very costly. Cost data show that one third of the total project costs are dedicated to plant maintenance including replanting in case of plant losses, labour espended on watering and water itself. By using HYDROGEL maintenance costs are significantly reduced. Due to the increased water-holding capacity of root zones, especially those high in sand, HYDROGEL promotes better establishment and survival of landscape plants and sod, assisting in buffering the periodic failure of seasonal rainfall.

400 g / m3
3,5 l pots
15 g / plant
800 g / m3
8,0 l pots
30 g / plant
20,0 l pots
60 g / plant
40,0 l pots
120 g / plant
Mix HYDROGEL into the backfill below and around the root ball and water thoroughly.
Groundcovers / Planting Beds 100 g / m2
Dig HYDROGEL into the soil to a depth of approx. 10-15 cm depending on the expected root depth and water thoroughly. Large areas may be power rotovated.
Turfgrass 50 - 100 g / m2
Apply HYDROGEL with a drop seeder and power rotovate to a depth of 10-15 cm in two directions. Water immediately after sowing to saturate the polymer granules.

HYDROGEL presents the economical solution for efficient water management in soils:
HYDROGEL reduces the frequency of irrigation.

HYDROGEL minimises the water and nutrient losses through to seepage, evaporation and surface runoff. By increasing the water use efficiency more biomass is produced with less water. Labor and maintenance costs associated with irrigation are significantly reduced.
HYDROGEL activates sustainable root growth.
Based on optimized conditions for root growth, the use of HYDROGEL results in faster development of seedlings, vigorous plant growth and increased crop yields - particularly under difficult growing conditions such as drought stress due to low soil moisture and poor soil fertility.
HYDROGEL improves the survival during plant establishment.
Due to a more uniform water supply HYDROGEL grants an improved and faster germination and plant establishment. HYDROGEL allows for plant growth in extremely hot and dry climatic conditions.
HYDROGEL increases the safety margin in plant production and plant quality HYDROGEL creates optimum conditions for plant growth: HYDROGEL has a positive effect on the water and nutrient supply, as well as on the porosity and permeability of soils and potting mixes.
HYDROGEL has a long-lasting effect A particular feature of HYDROGEL is its very quick rewetting ability whilst in the soil, even after completely drying out. HYDROGEL retains the ability of repeated water absorption and release over a long period of time.
HYDROGEL is environmentally safe and compatible.

1. How does HYDROGEL work in soils ?
HYDROGEL increases the utilizable water holding capacity of soils and potting mixes by decreasing the water and nutrient losses due to seepage, evaporation and surface runoff. In the soil HYDROGEL swells to gel particles and stores water, as well as the plant nutrients dissolved in the water. Thus HYDROGEL acts as a reservoir of water and nutrients available to your plants on demand. Water and nutrients are taken up directly by the fine root hairs growing into the gel particles or they are slowly released to the surrounding soil. HYDROGEL supports the capillary flow of water into the root zone by releasing water with the surrounding soil due to the moisture gradient. Thus, the soil moisture potential is keept for a longer period of time at the highest level.
2. How much water does HYDROGEL absorb ?
One kilogram of HYDROGEL is able to absorb up to 250 liter of demineralised water. Salts and ions in soil or irrigation water decrease the uptake of liquids under use conditions. All hydrogels are sensitive to salt solutions. In the soil salts and multi-valent cations like magnesium and calcium are absorbed by the hydrogels. Since the cations act as additional crosslinking agents the polymer network becomes narrow. This results in a reduced absorption capacity. In soil one kilogram of HYDROGEL typically absorbs 150 liter of soil solution. HYDROGEL archieve their maximum swelling capacity even against the natural pressure of soils, substrates and compost. Incorporated in soil at a depth of 20 cm one kilogram of HYDROGEL still absorbs 100 liter of soil solution.
3. How does HYDROGEL affect soil moisture ?
HYDROGEL stores water and with it dissolved plant nutrients against gravity. Water which normally drains away is now easily available for plants. Thus, the soil moisture content is increased. By applying 3 g HYDROGEL per liter of soil the amount of plant available water is increased by 30-50%. Thus, the time period until plants reach the permanent wilting point is doubled under normal growing conditions. Through the addition of HYDROGEL the properties of a sandy soil, as regards water retention capacity and water availability, have changed to such an extent that they are now similar to those of a silt loamy soil.
4. Can HYDROGEL cause waterlogging ?
Applied at the recommended dosage rates and homogenously mixed with the soil HYDROGEL does not lead to over watering. Due to the swelling and shrinkling of the hydrogel stable soil aggregates are formed. This loose soil structure remains lasting. Water permeability and soil aeration is granted. Over watering is caused by standing water in the root zone. Standing water is the result of lack of drainage and soil compaction. HYDROGEL increases the pore space volume. Thus, reducing soil compaction. When HYDROGEL has reached its maximum absorbing capacity, no more water is retained beyond this quantity and the exess flows off. The remaining air stored in the soil ensures a very good aeration and oxygen supply to the topsoil.
5. How does HYDROGEL affect physical properties of soils, substrates and compost ?
Due to the swelling of the hydrogel during water uptake the soil volume changes, resulting in reduced soil compaction and increased soil pore volume. Thus, by loosening the soil roots grow best and most thickly. In a sandy soil treated with HYDROGEL compaction is reduced by 23,4% compared to a untreated soil. The soil pore volume is increased by 40,5% applying 3 g HYDROGEL per liter of soil. At the same time water infiltration is greatly improved. f rainwater infiltrates the soil quickly, less water runs off. With a lower volume of running water, less soil can be transported. The erosion of soil material is reduced by 50%. To reduce erosion means to keep the fertile topsoil.
6. How long does HYDROGEL last in the soil ?
HYDROGEL retains the ability of repeated water absorption and release over a period of several years which makes them very cost effective for long term maintenance situations. As a water management tool HYDROGEL is therefore particularly suitable for plantations of trees and shrubs, for orchards, as well as for perennial crops (alfalfa, sugar cane).
7. Is HYDROGEL environmentally compatible ? Is it safe ?
The use of HYDROGEL in landscaping, forestry and agriculture is environmentally safe.
8. Is HYDROGEL biodegradable ?
HYDROGEL is potentially biodegradable. HYDROGEL adapts itself to natural degradation mechanisms: Due to physical, mechanical and biological activities the polymer gets liguefy. Higher molecular soluble polymer parts are attached to soil components. Thus in the course of time, HYDROGEL forms part of the humus fraction of the soil, without having any negative or toxic effects on the soil and microorganisms. The low molecular soluble polymer parts are mineralized. Together with naturally occurring humic substances HYDROGEL enlarges the organic soil matter fraction. Degradation products are not toxic.