Mylar is a type of polyester film with a range of beneficial properties and uses. Mylar bags are a great addition to your hydroponics or plant-growing set-up. Learning how to utilise mylar bags properly for gardening or hydroponics enables you to increase your planting success and your crop yield.
Beneficial Properties of Mylar
Mylar, or stretched polyethylene terephthalate (PET), is widely available in the form of foil or film bags. Mylar foil is reflective, which is very useful for increasing light concentration in hydroponics. Additionally, mylar insulates and waterproofs, so mylar clear-film bags make an effective mini-greenhouse when they are set up correctly. Mylar bags are also incredibly useful for saving seed or creating a seed bank, as these bags do not degrade, and when properly sealed, they keep the contents fresh and ready for planting for many years.
Using Mylar Bags as Isolation Houses
Isolation houses allow you to completely isolate specific plants. There are numerous reasons for isolating plants. For example, if you want to save seed from a plant that crosses very easily with other species, you isolate it before the flowers open, preventing insects from entering the flowers and cross-pollinating. The exclusion of insects is also worthwhile if you have very delicate plants prone to insect infestation and damage. Mylar bags make very effective and simple isolation houses. Simply slip the bags over the top of the plant and tuck it beneath the base of the pot, or secure it to the sides of the container with duct or waterproof tape. Make sure that there are no gaps around the base of the bag, as many insects can penetrate even small gaps. Ideally, to avoid opening the bag every day to allow fresh air to flow in and out, use a needle to make tiny holes at the top. Make sure your mylar bag is big enough to comfortably accommodate the plant as it matures.
Using Mylar Bags to Store Seed
Because they are waterproof and airtight, foil mylar bags make the ideal container for storing your seeds. You must dry the seeds thoroughly to less than 4 per cent moisture, and then place them inside the mylar bag. For extra protection, add oxygen and moisture absorbers, or desiccants, in the form of silicone gel beads, rice, or diatomaceous earth, and seal the bag using a heat press or a hot iron. Keep the seeds cold, or for the longest storage, place the mylar bag in the freezer.