A team of engineers at the University of Texas at Austin has developed a soil material that contains hydrophilic (water-absorbing) hydrogels and natural sandy soil in a 1: 3 ratio. It belongs to the category SMAG, which means "superabsorbent gels".
The gels and sand are initially crushed and mixed, after which water is gradually added to the mixture. The resulting mass is placed in a vacuum oven at a temperature of +90 ° C for 12 hours, where it turns into a solid lump, which is then crushed. This is called SMAG soil.
At night outdoors, gels actively absorb water from the relatively humid air. So, only 1 gram of SMAG soil absorbs 3-4 grams of water. And during the day, when the temperature rises, the gels release the accumulated moisture into the remainder of the potting mix, where it is absorbed by the plant roots.
According to the test results, for different types of plantings from 10 g to 1 kg, SMAG-soil is provided with moisture up to 1 sq. meter of farmland. In addition, water that evaporates during the day provides a higher level of moisture in that particular location, which in turn guarantees its reabsorption at night.