Pots and planters made from traditional materials such as plastic, terracotta, and metal, are a staple in the garden. This goes especially for people who are either building or growing a container garden. When it comes to planters and pots, you probably do not spend much of your time thinking about the material at all. These products look the same and they serve the same purpose after all, regardless of what they are made of.
But if you are an eco-gardener who wants to use the best products for your crops, then you’ll find that fabric grow bags may be the best choice for your garden. What are fabric grow bags and how are these different from your regular planters and pots? In today’s post, let’s take a look at the many benefits of using fabric grow bags compared to regular planters and why you should make a switch, right now:
The Basics of the Bag Culture
Before we get into the pros of using fabric grow bags, it’s important to get to know more about the bag culture. The bag culture became popular in the late 70s to early 80s after a massive hurricane damaged most greenhouses in the US. Grow bags became popular simply because they are much more practical than maintaining a greenhouse, not to mention, more resilient to severe weather changes. This term simply describes the process of growing a plant out of a bag, much like how you’d use a regular pot to grow a plant. This method is used to extend or expand the available growing media to a plant’s root system.
At some point, a plant will outgrow a regular planter. When this happens, you need to either use a bigger pot to accommodate the plant’s growing root system or plant it directly into the ground. In some cases, an already potted plant has to be placed inside or on top of a grow bag filled with new grow media to promote root growth. This is the reason why most greenhouse and indoor gardeners prefer to use grow bags to expand the crops’ root zone volume.
Some growers may think that fabric grow bags are just a temporary solution or an optional product that they can live without. Not true at all. Grow bags could also work as standalone planters for individual or multiple plants. This goes especially for indoor gardens or hydroponic gardens, fabric grow bags serve many purposes!
Materials: Fabric Grow Bags VS Regular Planters
Fabric grow bags are made from a permeable, breathable non-woven polypropylene material. Usually, these products come in tan or black shades. Because the material promotes air circulation and proper drainage, it is hard to over-water the plants grown in grow bags.
4 Benefits of Fabric Grow Bags
Healthier Plant Roots
Potted plants tend to develop tangled root systems. As the roots grow and expand, they form circles that eventually lead to a ball of tightly packed roots that inhibit plant growth. When a plant’s root system is tangled in circles, it is unable to harness oxygen, water, and nutrients from the soil. Eventually, the roots begin to encircle the pot, which leads to structural damage to the plant. In some cases, rot sets in due to poor drainage. This is why it is so important to check and trim the plant roots regularly to avoid girdling roots and promote air pruning! Unfortunately, plastic planters are notorious for inhibiting air pruning.
Air pruning is a process that burns off the plant roots naturally. As the roots burn off naturally, healthier branching roots will grow. With the new feeder roots, the plant is able to absorb more nutrients and water from the soil, accelerating plant growth.
You won’t have the same problem when you are using grow bags. Grow bags promote proper root growth and air pruning. The overall root structure and mass of the plant improve too! Unlike plastic planters, grow bags won’t constrict nutrient uptake, these products allow dominant roots to grow without causing girdling.
Did you know that the kind of planters you use could affect the soil temperature? Certain planter materials, like plastic, and metal, retain more heat from the sun. Most plants are quite sensitive to temperature changes. Pots made from non-breathable materials tend to trap heat, which “cooks” the plant’s delicate roots from the inside, causing the plant to wilt and die.
Fabric growth bags are made from breathable, permeable material that does not retain heat. These products promote proper air circulation that cools the soil down and let heat escape from all sides. This ensures that the plant is never exposed to excessive heat.
Minimizes the Risk of Over-Watering
Some plants hate standing water while others are overly thirsty. Standing water can cause rot to set in, leading to mold or fungus growth as well as diseases. If you are growing plants that are sensitive to excessive moisture, we highly recommend using fabric grow bags. Fabric grow bags’ breathable material allows water to drain away, leaving the soil moist, never wet. It is hard to over-water plants if you are using fabric grow bags! Traditional planters, especially those with small drain holes, retain excess water. When the plant roots are exposed to excess water, the plant could drown or become diseased.
Space Efficient and Versatile
If you do not have much room to spare for regular pots, which could take a lot of space, try investing in fabric grow bags instead. Fabric grow bags are just as sturdy and useful as regular planters and pots, but they are so space efficient. These products do not crack under the intense heat nor do these break when accidentally dropped. Fabric grow bags are easy to move around because these products are made from a lightweight material.
In addition, fabric grow bags can be folded and stored neatly without taking much space. You can reuse fabric grow bags season after season without worrying about where to store these planters once the growing season is over. Some types of grow bags could be planted directly into the ground. These products are not as durable as those made from non-woven polypropylene material because the material is biodegradable. However, biodegradable grow bags will be useful when planting delicate crops that are prone to transplanting shock.
Are fabric grow bags the better choice for growers? Traditional planters have their own advantages; these products are sturdy and efficient. However, fabric grow bags are just as hardy and useful. Of course, your choice boils down to what’s best for your garden and your plants.
Grow bags can be used for small scale and large scale gardening. These are an excellent option for gardeners who grow individual plants and herbs. Grow bags could be used to fill a raised bed too. If the grow bag is large enough, you can use a single fabric grow bag to grow several plants!
ECO gardener grow bags come in different shapes to accommodate small to large plants. These heavy-duty grow bags are durable so these will last you years of use! Tune in for more gardening tips and other resources by signing to our mailing list.