I posted awhile ago about my waterball garden using Deco beads by the makers of SoilMoist™. I was impressed enough with the Deco beads that I wanted to try the SoilMoist™ as well. SoilMoist™ has been successfully used in the horticultural industry as a water management system. Essentially what the granules do is absorb moisture like a sponge then releases it to the soil as the soil dries. It is used for planting trees, shrubs and containers. While it is used for transplanting edible fruit canes like raspberries to lessen transplant shock I've decided not to use it for any edible plant until I can be sure there are no issues with the polyacrylamide breaking down to acrylamide after several seasons of use.
The granules should be kept away from all drain systems as there is the potential to cause blockages. They should also be kept out of reach of children and pets. One of my concerns when using outdoors in planters is to be sure the granules are buried well below the soil surface. Shiny objects tend to attract some birds but this is one item that should not be where birds could get at it whether it is hydrated or still in granule form.
The granules are a milky white hard crystal. Once they expand they turn into a shimering clear jello-like substance looking very much like crushed ice except sparkly. It is easy to see from the expansion how the gel could push plants from the container when they expand. I will report back on how the gel performed in my non-edible containers and houseplants.