From the last post, SoilMoist is a soil conditioning polymer that improves the water retention of soil. When exposed to water, SoilMoist swells into a gel-like substance.
The Chemical composition of SoilMoist is cross-linked polyacrylamide
^Chemical structure of poly acrylamide.
Cross-linked polyacrylamide is highly hydrophilic, it can H-bond with water, which explains it’s usefulness as a water retention agent in soil.
Concerns have been raised that polyacrylamide used in agriculture may contaminate food with acrylamide, a known neurotoxin. While polyacrylamide itself is relatively non-toxic, it is known that commercially available polyacrylamide contains minute residual amounts of acrylamide remaining from its production, usually less than 0.05% w/w.
Information found on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyacrylamide
SoilMoist is a commercial soil additive that boosts water retention of soil. It claims to reduce the need to water plants by reducing the infiltration of water, that is to say, water will drain through the top layer of soil less quickly, improving the residence time of water in the planting layer.
The product also claims to reduce compaction of soil.
SoilMoist has products differing in the size of the polymer (granular or fine) that benefit different applications. The granular version is an all around water retention aid that can be tilled or mixed into the top layer of soil. The fine version of the polymer is advertised for use in coating plant roots prior to transplantation to prevent transplant shock.
The product is advertised for agricultural or domestic use and claims to be environmentally friendly.
SoilMoist website: http://www.soilmoist.com/products/landscapers.php
Above is a picture of a flowerbed benefiting form SoilMoist application. The picture was chosen form the SoilMoist website because the guy on the right looks like Rambo.
Investigating polymer application to improve soil retention.