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Yes, we’re just as shocked as you! But anyone who lives in an area that’s incredibly dry or has serious water restrictions knows how difficult it can be to maintain moisture-rich soil, and diapers can offer an easy solution to that problem. While we don’t spend much time pondering the power of the diaper (and understandably so), these top-notch absorbers can hold a pretty impressive amount of liquid. Skip the expensive products from the home and garden store, and turn to this unexpected—and budget-friendly—method the next time your leafy greens need a little TLC.
First, pour about four cups of water into the middle section of an unused diaper. Once the water has been absorbed, pull back the top layer of the middle portion to reveal the moisture crystals, which will have a gel-like texture. (Keep in mind that the blue color seen here is used only to highlight the gel—the crystals will actually be white unless dyed otherwise.) Scoop the gel out of the diaper and pour it into a bowl. Slowly add more water to the bowl, stopping when the crystals no longer absorb liquid. Combine equal parts potting soil and gel to create a super soil that can now be used in all your gardening endeavors. One adult-size diaper makes about 12 cups of gel, so keep that in mind when planning how much soil you’ll need. Because the gel has such an incredible ability to retain liquid rather than letting it slip away in the soil, you can worry less about watering your plants, which is great for thirsty roots—and busy summer days!