We've always known that the gel ice packs that we use at The Dinner Ladies have been non-toxic, recyclable (the plastic outer) and bio-degradable (the inner gel), but we have only recently discovered that you can use them in your garden, so after you enjoy your favourite meal, you can feed your favourite plants! How brilliant is that?
The gel inside is the same stuff that you buy from the garden centre as a soil additive to retain water - the only difference is, our gel is already hydrated. For those of you who like to know the science of these things, here goes: the gel is natural starch based Super Absorbent Bio-Polymer. It is 100% biodegradable, verified under ASTM D5338.
Dig the gel into your soil when preparing garden beds (at a soil/gel ratio of around 4:1). In pot plants, mix the gel into the bottom half of the pot's soil - it will retain the water better at the bottom.
To use in the garden, dissolve the contents of the gel ice pack into water and pour around your plants. Just be aware that if you do this, you'll be able to see the gel crystals on the soil surface.
So there you go, that's all she wrote. Happy gardening!
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