We all know that the benefits of gardening are innumerable. Whether they’re purifying our air or protecting us from mosquitoes, plants are a beautiful and natural way of making our lives better. Just one problem: they can be kind of high maintenance!
Yes, it sounds kind of crazy – plants did survive in the wild for thousands of years before humans even thought about domesticating them, after all – but anybody’s who’s ever tried to take an extended vacation and had to hire somebody to babysit their plants knows what we mean. Once a plant becomes a potted plant, we’re responsible for its survival, and that means regular watering and care that can, on occasion, be tricky to fit into a busy schedule— or even remember!
Luckily for those of us not born with green thumbs, there are all kinds of tips and tricks out there to make our gardening lives easier. The latest one we’ve found comes to us from Grant Thompson, “The King of Random,” and it’s one of the craziest ideas we’ve ever heard: turn diapers into a DIY gardening gel.
Yes, diapers— those products bemoaned by environmentalists because of their non-biodegradable nature are now being put to use to help things grow. Granted, you need to use new – or very gently used – diapers for this project, so it’s not exactly a way to cut down on trash. However, if your child has moved up a size or recently become full-on potty-trained, this idea is a great way to put those diapers you no longer need to use, and extend the amount of time you can take between plant-waterings. Here’s how it’s done.
- 1 diaper, new or gently used
- 4 cups water, plus a little more for mixing
- Potting soil
- 2 large mixing bowls
- Place the diaper in a bowl or container. Pour the water into the diaper, and allow it to absorb.
- Once absorbed, rip the diaper open and pour the contents back into the bowl. Add the extra water and mix to form a gel.
- In the second bowl, add equal parts gel and potting soil. Work together until thoroughly mixed.
- Pot your plants! Throw some of the soil-and-gel mix into the pot first, then settle in the plant. Pack in the soil around the plant until stable.
- Give your now-potted plant a little more water, and you’re all set! The DIY gel mixed into the soil allows you to go twice as long between waterings, making your life a little easier and making your plants much happier.
And that’s it! The diapers contain super-absorbent water crystals, designed to make sure that the diaper, you know, does what it’s supposed to do and holds up against even the most intense of toddler treatments. What you do with this method is simply release them from their plush plastic packaging and repurpose them to absorb, hold, and eventually slowly release the water in a more controlled way. Adding the water turns them into the kind of hydrogel you’d find in gardening stores— except you’ve made it yourself! Not only is it pretty easy, non-toxic, biodegradable, and environmentally-friendly, it’ll help keep your soil soft, fluffy and perfectly-damp, saving you time and resources.
There’s actually a TON more ideas for what you can do with this DIY diaper gardening hydrogel – start seeds, preserve flowers, enrich the soil in your outdoor garden, make DIY ice packs – and Grant Thompson outlines them all in this video. Now that you’ve got the step-by-step process down, make sure you watch and discover all you can do, and how “The King of Random” came up with this idea. Make sure to tell us if you try it and how it turns out for you!