A SOIL ADDITIVE DESIGNED TO CUT IRRIGATION COSTS BY IMPROVING WATER RETAINING CAPACITY OF SOILS.
FREE FLOWING GRANULES WHICH ABSORB MANY TIMES THEIR OWN WEIGHT OF WATER AND RELEASE IT TO PLANTS.
IMPROVES WATER ECONOMY.
Aquadiamonds is a soil additive. Itís high water absorbing properties are designed for use in soil preparations to improve water economy and to increase plant growth through the formation of a stable growing environment
Aquadiamonds is a synthetic long-lasting polymer supplied as free flowing granules which can repeatedly absorb and desorb up to 500 times its own weight of water. The water is absorbed rapidly and acts as a reservoir for the plantís roots to draw upon thus ensuring conditions for healthy plant growth.
Appearance- Free flowing off white granules. Particle size either 0.5 to 1.0 mm or 1 to 3 mm depending on application.
Bulk density- +/- 700 g/l (un-compacted).
Absorption- Up to 500 g of water/g of Aquadiamonds
capacity (depending on water quality).
B.O.D.s +/- 10mg 02/gm Aquadiamonds.
SUMMARY OF ADVANTAGES
Rapid and high water absorption.
Reduce seepage losses.
Maintains water supply to plants.
Reduced irrigation frequency.
Applied with conventional machinery, without pre-wetting.
Long lasting, once only treatment.
High bulk density minimizes windage loss.
Higher plant establishment rates.
Reduced losses due to transplant shock.
1) Landscaping - Arid Climates
In arid regions where rainfall is infrequent and variable, mean temperatures are high and summer winds are hot and dry, the growth of plants is usually limited by availability of irrigation water. This can be an expensive item to the grower, since the cost of distilled seawater may be twenty times as high as that of pumping ground water.
Aquadiamonds is especially useful in sandy soils, where the natural water retention at field capacity is low. Addition of small amounts of Aquadiamonds to sandy soils significantly increases the amount of water available at low moisture tensions. This, in turn, can improve plant survival rates, permitting a more efficient use of water resources, since water would otherwise percolate too quickly through the sand to support healthy plant growth.
A further benefit of Aquadiamonds is that it can help decrease erosion by the formation of a light crust on the soil surface. The soil stability is further enhanced as Aquadiamonds can stimulate root growth, which will consolidate the protection against erosion, as they grow.
2) Aquadiamonds as a growing medium additive
Another important use of Aquadiamonds is as an additive to a growing medium such as peat. Incorporation of small amounts of Aquadiamonds into the growing medium can result in one or more of the following benefits.
a) Reduced water consumption
b) Lower failure rate of plants
c) Reduced watering frequency
d) Reduced labor costs associated with (c)
e) Reduced losses due to transplant shock
Addition of Aquadiamonds will also facilitate the handling of peat in dry climates where problems of peat drying out and having to be re-wet can be largely overcome.
The amount of water that any soil can retain and hold readily available to plants is determined by the size distribution of individual pores, especially the proportion of micro pores. In the porous structure of the soil there are two forces trying to remove the water:
(1) Upwards -transpiration of plants and soil surface. (2) Downwards - gravity.
The smaller the pores the higher the force by which the water is held. These forces are expressed in bar or cms water, and the term pF is used where: pF value - log10 (-suction in cm water), i.e. a suction of 2 bar corresponds to a pF value of 3.3. The relationship between moisture content and pF value is strongly dependent on soil type. If pF value is plotted vs moisture content (see figure 2) there are two important points relating to the pF value (i.e. suction value).
1) The Permanent Wilting Point - the maximum suction that plants can exert to withdraw water from a porous medium. The P.W.P. is generally taken as pF 4.2. (or 16 bar).
2) The field capacity (F.C.) is the moisture content of the soil when, after saturation, the soil is allowed to drain freely for 1-2 days. Generally a pF 2.0 corresponds to moisture content at F.C. This means, therefore, that for the plant, water is available only in the suction range between 0.1 and 16 bar i.e. pF 2.0 and pF 4.2. Water held at lower suctions will drain very quickly and that held at higher suctions is available to the plant.
An increase in available water capacity could result in:
(a) Decrease in drainage losses of water when the soil is wetted to levels higher than field capacity.
(b) Extend the period where the soil is able to supply the plant with water and
(c) Extend the irrigation interval in irrigated agriculture.
In order to show that Aquadiamonds was capable of increasing the available water capacity and that this water was available to the plant, two series of independent tests were carried out.
1) Effect on available water capacity
The soil used in these tests was a sandy soil similar in particle size distribution to a sandy desert soil from Saudi Arabia.
Further independent tests using a 50/50 mixture of fertile arable calcareous sandy clay and sand have indicated that if Aquadiamonds were used in practice at a rate of 5 tonnes per hectare, and incoroporated to a depth of 15 cms the water holding capacity could be increased by approximately 500 tonnes per hectare equivalent to 5 cms additional available water. In soils of inherently low available water capacity, such as sandy soils, this could be of great importance, leading to reduced frequency of irrigation.
Identical tests to those were repeated using a competitive material based on a Urea Formaldehyde Foam.
The results are based on a dosage of 30% by volume which is at least twice the recommended dosage. (Lesser amounts did not alter the results.)
Tests show that although the U.F. foam can increase the water holding capacity, the water that is held would preferentially drain away rather than be available for the plant. Between pFís 2.0 and 4.2 the addition of the foam has no effect on the moisture holding capacity of the soil under test and therefore its effect as a means to promote plant growth by improving water availability is negligible.
APPLICATION AND DOSAGE RATES
1. For surface cover plants in landscaping applications Aquadiamonds should be distributed evenly in the topsoil to a depth of 10 cms. Rates will vary depending on soil type and available water but should be in the range of 1 to 5 Kg/m3.
2. Aquadiamonds can be applied using current techniques. Following addition, the treated soil should be saturated with water before planting begins.
3. For shrubs and trees Aquadiamonds should be added to the hole prior to transplanting at 0.1 to 0.5 Kg per plant, dependent upon type. For grasses the recommended dosage rates are 0.1 to 1.0 Kg/m3 of soil.
For use as an additive in substrate preparations levels of 0.1 to 0.2 by weight are recommended.
Postal address: AQUADIAMONDS - 640 Desire St., Unit B, New Orleans, LA 70117-6214 ( U.S.A.)