Growing Medium Question

Mark Kemp markemp at
Mon Nov 27 20:08:44 EST 1995

In <49c9ck$6s6 at> djohnson at (Dave Johnson) writes:

>Happy Holidays all!

>	I was christmas shopping in one of the local stores this weekend, and
>I came across something called the 'Pet Plant'. The plant could have been 
>anything from eggplant to small ferns, to cherry tomatoes, but the selling
>point of the package was the plastic growing container with a gelatinous
>growing medium in the bottom.

>	I read the container hoping to find some sort of chemical 
>information about what the medium was/contained to no avail. Does anyone 
>out there have any idea what it could be? The mediums came in a variety 
>of colors and the containers were rather small so it struck me as some 
>sort of germination aiding gel... but I'm probably way off base. =)

There are several such substances used to help soils retain water -- both 
in potted plants and in the ground.  Some are synthetic polymers, the 
other is starch-based.  They are "hydrophilic", in the same way soft 
contact lenses are, absorbing a lot of water and swelling.  If you check 
at at garden centers, you'll probably find some available.  If you can 
find it in bulk, it will be MUCH cheaper than in the little packets.

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