A greenhouse experiment finds water-sorbing polymers do not conserve water
Pete R. Clark
Authors AffiliationsJ. Letey is Professor, Department of Soil and Environmental Sciences, UC Riverside; P. R. Clark is Staff Research Associate, Department of Soil and Environmental Sciences, UC Riverside; C. Amrhein is Assistant Professor, Department of Soil and Environmental Sciences, UC Riverside.
Hilgardia 46(3):9-10. DOI:10.3733/ca.v046n03p9. May 1992.
To assess claims that water-sorbing polymers promote water conservation, a greenhouse experiment with container-grown marigolds was conducted to determine the effect of adding the polymers to soil mix. Plant growth and water retention in I- and 3-quart containers were not particularly affected, but in the 6-quart size, maximum water retention was significantly higher for the 4 lb/yd3 polymer treatment than for the other treatments, and the time from watering to wilt progressively increased from 6.1 to 7.4 days for the 0, 1, 2 and 4-lb/yd3 treatments. However, no water conservation occurred because evapotranspiration was not significantly affected by the polymer treatment.
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