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May 21, 2010

Of sprouts and parched cockroaches

This is a clear polycarbonate window containing a hydrated polyacrylamide gel (similar to the superabsorbent used in diapers and even similar in structure to a typical oil absorbent).  I buy this stuff from The Roach Guy. These hydrated blobs can be used as a bound water source so cockroaches can get a slurp of water. If it weren't bound in a gel, this whole setup would quickly turn into a blob of mold.

I use them for visible gardens.  In this application launched last night, I filled the see through plastic frame (thrift store find) with hydrated gel half way, then placed a few seeds and filled it in with more hydrogel.  I used basil seeds and ... some other kind of seed, I forgot.  It's a fun thing to look at during breakfast.  Grass seeds tend to take about 7-10 days to initiate a sprout and then grow pretty quickly.  Weekly watering is about all that's needed.  The observations every morning make it fun.  If you're a local and want some of the gel to play with, it's not toxic and I have some extra, just let me know and I'll get you some.

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