Why are Smart Pots better for Container Growing?
Choosing the best pot for your plants is one of the most important components for successful container gardening. For more then twenty-five years the Smart Pot has consistently out performed all other growing containers in both commercial nurseries and university testing. The patented Smart Pot is a soft-sided, aeration container, uniquely designed to improve the root structure of your plants enabling them to grow to their full potential.
The comparison below points out the advantages the patented Smart Pot has over various gardening containers.
Better than plastic containers - Hard-sided plastic containers are relatively inexpensive but they are not a very good home for a plant's root structure. Plastic allows no aeration, conducts and holds heat, and provides inadequate or poor drainage. Even on mildly sunny days, container soil temperatures can easily top 120 degrees, damaging or killing the roots and stressing the plant. The #1 killer of potted or container grown plants is over watering and plastic containers with a few bottom drainage holes actually help the soil stay too wet. A Smart Pot is constructed of a porous fabric that allows heat to dissipate and excess water to evaporate. In fact, over-watering is never a problem because excess water drains and evaporates from all of the Smart Pots surfaces; its walls as well as its bottom.
Because the Smart Pot is a fabric container, giving the root ball total aeration and excellent drainage, you can even use a heavier, less expensive planting mix. The type of mix used in a Smart Pot is less critical then in hard-sided pots. Also, another Smart Pot benefit is root pruning, a technique used by many commercial nurseries to produce masses of highly branched roots to improve plant quality. When a root grows to the side of the Smart Pot, it stops growing in length and develops many, many fine branches. By contrast, the roots in a plastic pot continue to grow in length when they reach the side and circle around the side of the pot. This is undesirable as there are fewer roots and these can grow around each other causing girdling or strangulation. A branched, fibrous root structure (root pruned has a far greater root mass than a comparable plant where the roots are circling on the inside of a plastic pot. And a greater root mass will grow a better plant.
Better than decorative containers - Decorative containers are just that – decorative. They are manufactured to look good and are not designed for optimum plant growth. The Smart Pot is designed to promote the best plant growth. It aerates, encourages masses of roots and prevents heat damage. Many customers grow in Smart Pots, then place their plant into a decorative container.
Who uses the Smart Pot?
The Smart Pot is the best container on the market for helping your plant grow a better root structure. Container gardeners who know that better roots are the key to everything else that happens with a plant use the Smart Pot.
Why is the Smart Pot better than hard-sided containers?
The Smart Pot aerates and plastic does not. Aeration stops root circling and releases heat, helping your plant build a better root structure. Better roots will give you a better plant.
How often should a Smart Pot be watered?
Watering the Smart Pot is not too different than watering hard-sided containers. For all containers watering frequency depends on a number of factors including the types of plant being grown, the potting mix and the weather conditions. Keep two things in mind – The Smart Pot is an aeration container. The porous fabric allows water to evaporate so you may need to water a little more. But, the Smart Pot releases heat. It does not get hot like a plastic container, so you may water a little less.
What potting mix is best?
Gardeners are using virtually every potting mix in the Smart Pot. Because the Smart Pot aerates, heavier mixes can be used. Obviously, Smart Pots filled with lighter mixes that are less water retentive may need to be watered more often.
Why is a root system grown in a Smart Pot more desirable?
Any plant is only as good as its root structure. A fibrous root system is a more efficient one and enables the plant to maximize water and nutrient uptake in the limited surrounding soil mass. Also, a fibrous, highly developed root system roots out quicker and establishes quicker when the plant is transplanted.
Is it true that plants grown in Smart Pots donäó»t have to be repotted as often as those grown in hard-sided pots?
Yes, it is true. Remember, roots do not circle in the Smart Pot. Because of the large volume of fibrous roots, plants growing in a Smart Pot can stay longer, and be healthier, growing in a Smart Pot.
Does this mean I can leave my plants a few years in the Smart pots?
Yes! We urge you to try leaving some plants in the Smart Pots for a long time. With healthy roots, you will be amazed at what your plants will do in their second or third year in the same Smart Pot.
Why does the Smart Pot have a fabric bottom?
To help you grow a better plant. The Smart Pot is made with a heavy porous fabric bottom that gives a plant intimate ground contact. This ground contact helps the plant maintain a ground temperature, as opposed to a plastic container temperature. Also, small roots may penetrate the bottom of the Smart Pot. These roots will help intake moisture and nutrients.
My plants were growing well until I moved them. What happened?
Water the plant! Because of the fabric bottom, if the plant is moved to a dry ground area, the dry ground can move water out of the Smart Pot by capillarity. Water when you move plants.
What other advantages are there to growing in the Smart Pot over traditional, plastic containers?
The fabric will not crack or break from frost or when dropped. Heat release gives you better control of slow release fertilizer. A fibrous root structure has fewer problems in cold or warm weather.
How does the Smart Pot work?
Smart Pots are manufactured out of a custom, non-woven, polypropylene material that research discovered has important and unique horticultural applications. As roots grow they soon reach the container walls. In hard sided, plastic containers, these roots immediately start circling and continue to circle. Examine a circling root structure and you find a few large roots growing in circles with very little side branching. These roots often bind or girdled upon themselves. Circling roots can never give optimum growth.
Smart Pots are manufactured out of a tough, porous fabric. When roots reach the side of the Smart Pot, they Air Prune!
What is air pruning?
Air pruning is a natural process occurring when a root comes in contact with the air on the side of the porous Smart Pot wall. The root tip stops growing (pruned) and causes the remaining root to extensively branch. Now, instead of fewer circling roots, the plant develops new lateral roots. New, fibrous roots fill the Smart Pot allowing the plant to maximize uptake of both moisture and nutrients. And when the roots grow well, the plant grows well. Upon comparison, root systems that developed in a Smart Pot have a much greater mass or volume then those found in hard-sided plastic containers. Plants grown in Smart Pots have greater root mass in less soil.
How much soil do I need to fill my Smart Pots?
If you are using a mix that comes in 2 cubic feet per bag then plan on using about 7 bags or 14 cubic feet per 100 gallons.
How tall are the Smart Pots?
Actual size may vary slightly
#1 - 7" x 6"
#2 - 8" x 7"
#3 - 10" x 7.5"
#5 - 12" x 9.5"
#7 - 14" x 9.5"
#10 - 16" x 11.5"
#15 - 18" x 13.5"
#20 - 20" x 15.5
#25 - 21" x 15.5"