Superior drainage and aeration
Grow bags are made of breathable fabric which provides superior drainage and aeration. It is the aeration that makes them preferable to most other garden containers. When a container has no aeration, the roots grow out until they reach the walls of the container. Once this occurs the roots signal the plant to make more roots which results in a root bound plant. Eventually, the plant smothers itself with a mass of roots going that fill up the container.
Root bounding does not occur with grow bags. Instead when the roots reach the wall so the grow bag they are burned off, which causes the plant to produce new healthy roots that branch off the original ones. This is known as “air-pruning”. In pots, the roots of the plants tend to grow in circles entangling themselves. This increases the likelihood of having oxygenation or water stagnation issues, especially in larger pots that lack proper drainage. When the roots reach the edge of a plastic pot, they continue growing in search of more water and nutrients only to begin encircling the pot. This begins the process of structural damage to your plants. The roots become constricted leading to less water and nutrient intake. The stem of your plant will also become compressed which leads to tissue damage further restricting nutrient intake.
Fabric grow bags help to alleviate this issue because as the roots meet the edges of the fabric pot, they sense the drier soil that is exposed to the air. At this point, they know they have reached their growth limit. The roots become “air pruned” which is vital to growing healthy plants in containers. This prevents overgrowth of roots eliminating girdling roots (roots that damage the structure of the plant).
You will also get many more fibrous roots when air pruned. A more fibrous root system (many small root tips) allows the plants to take in more nutrients and water. Plastic potted plants encourage a few large roots to dominate and encircle the pot which constricts nutrient uptake.
- Temperature Control
During the heat of summer and in direct sunlight plastic pots can get quite hot. Since they are not breathable, they trap all the heat which can cook your plants. Fabric bags regulate temperature due to their breathable quality. Excess heat can escape from all sides of the grow bag.
Where do you store the pots when not in use? Do they become empty eyesores on the back porch or stacked up in the shed in hopes they don’t get crushed or broken in the offseason? Traditional pots will need to be stacked for storage in the offseason. However, grow bags can be folded up and stored with minimal space each season.
Grow bags are lightweight and usually come with built-in handles making them easy to move to different locations. They are popular among Rv’ers since the can be brought from inside to out with ease and they take up minimal space when storing.
Fabric bags are constructed from a breathable material which allows for the air pruning we just mentioned to occur. As the roots reach the sides of the fabric pot, they are exposed to oxygen which kills off the root at the end. This allows for your plant to grow another root directly from the source.
With every root that grows the plant is strengthened and will grow more rapidly above the soil surface. By developing this root structure early one on it will increase the chance of the plant keeping its natural root structure when it comes time to replant. Grow bags are much better at controlling the temperature and water content of your growing medium than traditional plastic pots. In the cold, the fabric will keep your plant warmer, and in the hot sun your plant will be kept cooler, so it doesn’t overheat.
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