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Author Topic: Air pruning pots--opinions?  (Read 7877 times)

starling1

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Air pruning pots--opinions?
« on: August 05, 2014, 06:06:04 PM »


Tell me what you like about them, don't like about them.

Tropicaliste

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Re: Air pruning pots--opinions?
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2014, 11:27:32 PM »
This may get merged into the other posts on air pots.
Pros:
Works the way it says.

Cons:
You must adjust your potting medium or water more.
The roots grow through, so it must sit on a rack. Even if it's on concrete, it will grow through the bottom some.
If you overwinter, the soil dries out quickly. If the pot's the fabric kind, then it will wick away the moisture slowly unless you're waterning frequently.
Constant water can cause algae and moss to grow on the outside oin the case of fabric air pots.
Doesn't insulate like regular pots.

For all those reasons I've switched to using copper paint. It's cheaper too. :)

cos

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Re: Air pruning pots--opinions?
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2014, 11:57:27 PM »
Thank you Tropicaliste . Outstanding & concise .

starling1

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Re: Air pruning pots--opinions?
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2014, 12:29:58 AM »
This may get merged into the other posts on air pots.
Pros:
Works the way it says.

Cons:
You must adjust your potting medium or water more.
The roots grow through, so it must sit on a rack. Even if it's on concrete, it will grow through the bottom some.
If you overwinter, the soil dries out quickly. If the pot's the fabric kind, then it will wick away the moisture slowly unless you're waterning frequently.
Constant water can cause algae and moss to grow on the outside oin the case of fabric air pots.
Doesn't insulate like regular pots.

For all those reasons I've switched to using copper paint. It's cheaper too. :)

can you tell me about your soil mixture using rootbuilder type pots?

ricshaw

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Re: Air pruning pots--opinions?
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2014, 12:32:59 AM »
 :(  they are more expensive.

bsbullie

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Re: Air pruning pots--opinions?
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2014, 12:44:25 AM »
I have used and seen used air pruning or accelerator pots.  I have even met the creator of one style of accelerator pot.  While they may have some benefits,  the cons outweigh the pros, IMO.

Pros : prevent roots from circling, girdling and strangling the plant.

Cons: no matter what potting mix you use, the pot loses soil and the level drops over time; soil dries out very quickly;  the weeds have a field day and it is tough and time consuming to remove them; the manner I which the roots grow in g Hess p poo ts can cause the root system to be too weak at times.
- Rob

starling1

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Re: Air pruning pots--opinions?
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2014, 12:46:01 AM »
I have used and seen used air pruning or accelerator pots.  I have even met the creator of one style of accelerator pot.  While they may have some benefits,  the cons outweigh the pros, IMO.

Pros : prevent roots from circling, girdling and strangling the plant.

Cons: no matter what potting mix you use, the pot loses soil and the level drops over time; soil dries out very quickly;  the weeds have a field day and it is tough and time consuming to remove them; the manner I which the roots grow in g Hess p poo ts can cause the root system to be too weak at times.

Nobody has mentioned increased oxygen flow yet, which surely must be a pro?

bsbullie

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Re: Air pruning pots--opinions?
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2014, 12:53:00 AM »
Hard to say that they have a benefit. ..I know a nursery with hundreds, or even thousands of them and have seen hundreds of plants grown in them with no man or visible benefit.
- Rob

starling1

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Re: Air pruning pots--opinions?
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2014, 12:56:46 AM »
Hard to say that they have a benefit. ..I know a nursery with hundreds, or even thousands of them and have seen hundreds of plants grown in them with no man or visible benefit.

Maybe it depends on the tree?

I'm guessing that black sapote would do really, really well in them as this species has a fibrous root system that strangles quite easily.

Also, I will do anything for more Zills seeds when they're going, including eating a sample of my own dung smeared over a water cracker, if necessary.

nullzero

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Re: Air pruning pots--opinions?
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2014, 02:09:27 AM »
I have used and seen used air pruning or accelerator pots.  I have even met the creator of one style of accelerator pot.  While they may have some benefits,  the cons outweigh the pros, IMO.

Pros : prevent roots from circling, girdling and strangling the plant.

Cons: no matter what potting mix you use, the pot loses soil and the level drops over time; soil dries out very quickly;  the weeds have a field day and it is tough and time consuming to remove them; the manner I which the roots grow in g Hess p poo ts can cause the root system to be too weak at times.

Nobody has mentioned increased oxygen flow yet, which surely must be a pro?

Air pruning containers work well. I like the superoots and the fabric containers. I typical use mostly coco coir in the fabric containers +70%, I find this works well. Since it never rains here I can restrict the moisture in the winter. While the summer, the coco coir holds ample moisture during the hot long days. The fabric containers dry out pretty fast in the summer, so I would not recommend a mix with +15% perlite or high drainage.

Persimmon seedling in 3 gal fabric


Paulista Jabo, believe its a 10 gal superoot


Ugni molinae, 10 gal fabric
Grow mainly fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Tropicaliste

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Re: Air pruning pots--opinions?
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2014, 06:46:49 PM »
Although I've never tried the superroots pots, opting for the fabric grow bags, when the superroots became available locally, I weighed the pros and cons in my head, and the copper paint still won out. Price wise, it's about 1/4 the price than buying all new superroots pots. More importantly, the problem outlined in my cons list remains, I must overwinter inside and the rootball dries out too fast, the roots grow through the bottom because remember, pots inside means trays inside and the roots grow through the pots into the trays, and lastly the lack of insulating the root ball.

I would point anyone interested in root pruning, to posts by Mark in Texas, and to the following youtube videos by a man named Carlos on channel GraftingAvocadoes, who I believe is a member here as well.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nADhg-AoRbc
and a review of fabric pots.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTiQ_D_P21E&list=UUbMoLV68ygA6pvno1OGcsUQ

Lastly the original mix I used when I lost two Lychee airlayers was potting soil, perlite, and pine mulch, then the second plant I lost, for giving the fabric pots a 2nd chance was a mix of peat moss, perlite, and mulch. Lost my Java plum that way. I want to stress that I'm not a person advertising for Microkote, but I've switched to it, and don't plan on going back. Thanks :)



bangkok

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Re: Air pruning pots--opinions?
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2014, 10:42:03 AM »
So it seems that the extra oxygen provided to the roots doesn't make a huge difference in the results?

I think i will use homemade latex/copper inside my pots but i will only paint some lines with it inside the pots.

If roots really won't grow over the copperpaint then i don't see why i have to paint the inside of the pot totally. Also i 'm not very keen to use much copper because it will leak out one day but anything is better then a thick layer of circling roots.

Doglips

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Re: Air pruning pots--opinions?
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2014, 11:05:38 AM »
So it seems that the extra oxygen provided to the roots doesn't make a huge difference in the results?

I think i will use homemade latex/copper inside my pots but i will only paint some lines with it inside the pots.

If roots really won't grow over the copperpaint then i don't see why i have to paint the inside of the pot totally. Also i 'm not very keen to use much copper because it will leak out one day but anything is better then a thick layer of circling roots.
Your potting medium (drainage) is going to have a huge effect on how much air gets to the roots.  Perched water table is a major potted plant killer. 
I think it would be difficult to argue that you don't get increased air flow with root pruners, especially the cloth bags.  I don't think it should the primary motivation for going to them. Change you mix if your worried about air flow.

bangkok

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Re: Air pruning pots--opinions?
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2014, 12:21:33 PM »
So it seems that the extra oxygen provided to the roots doesn't make a huge difference in the results?

I think i will use homemade latex/copper inside my pots but i will only paint some lines with it inside the pots.

If roots really won't grow over the copperpaint then i don't see why i have to paint the inside of the pot totally. Also i 'm not very keen to use much copper because it will leak out one day but anything is better then a thick layer of circling roots.
Your potting medium (drainage) is going to have a huge effect on how much air gets to the roots.  Perched water table is a major potted plant killer. 
I think it would be difficult to argue that you don't get increased air flow with root pruners, especially the cloth bags.  I don't think it should the primary motivation for going to them. Change you mix if your worried about air flow.

Well i 'm only worried about rootcircling, the airflow is easy to control but i thought the extra holes of the superoot pots would let the plants grow faster.

I use citywater full of salts so i don't want the water to evaporate much because the salts will build up.

My plan now is to paint a spiderweb with homemade nutricote inside the pots to stop rootcirdling. It's a big job to do so i hope it will last for many years.

Triloba Tracker

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Re: Air pruning pots--opinions?
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2014, 02:31:48 PM »
I think it all depends on how you use the pots.
I have the Superoots Airpots. I have a 3-foot tall papaya in one, with Al's Gritty Mix as the potting medium. This combination is NOT good for a Papaya outdoors in the summer in Tennessee. I cannot keep the thing watered. Overkill I guess.

I have not un-potted any plants that have grown in the Superoots to inspect the root system.

I am strongly considering moving to "regular" pots with MicroKote or similar coating.

buddyguygreen

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Re: Air pruning pots--opinions?
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2014, 03:08:08 PM »
With the smart pots your always gonna have to water but with my plants like jaboticaba, and camu camu, also mangosteen I put in a saucer about a inch deep with water and it seems to keep them moist for an extra couple days with no watering with fox farm ocean forest soil mixed with some extra peat moss. With the super roots pots the ocean forest soil with the extra peat moss It stays moist for 3 or 4 days with no watering and I have another mangosteen and a durian in those. so you just need soil that holds water good or can draw water up from a water source below. Thats my experience with them but they work good on most plants in building a nice full healthy root system. Thumbs up for me.

FRUITBOXHERO

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Re: Air pruning pots--opinions?
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2014, 05:58:46 PM »
I use Root trapper ii pots and love them, they are ticker then the fabric pots and the roots do not grow outside of the pots! They also last 4 to 5 years here in South Florida, My only problem with them is if you have to pot up then the pot is no good anymore you need to slice it down the side and work the plant out as the roots are trapped  to the side of the pot, So no twist roll & pull! But my trees seem to do better in them they regular nursery pots...Oh and they cost a bit more!
 My neighbor used the fabric recycle bags as pots...Not sure how well that is  going to work out for him, Just 2 trees planted in the last 3-4 months so we will see.But seem like a good cheap option
« Last Edit: August 11, 2014, 06:01:00 PM by FRUITBOXHERO »
Joe

Tropicaliste

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Re: Air pruning pots--opinions?
« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2014, 06:16:55 PM »
Bangkok: The way the copperpaint works is, the root tip reaches the paint, it then tries to absorb the paint, the paint terminates the tip the way air would, and the hairy roots grow out of the main roots. If you don't entirely coat the inside the root tips may grow to where there's no paint. I coat the inside well and according to the Microkote folks, you can resuse the same pot again, the paint doesn't "wash out".

Triloba Tracker: I would recommend you switch ... It's been more economical to buy pots, even decorative pots, paint them and enjoy the same root pruning. I'm not in any way affiliated, just a happy customer, and would recommend to all my friends here switch too ...

Triloba Tracker

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Re: Air pruning pots--opinions?
« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2014, 04:28:59 PM »
Triloba Tracker: I would recommend you switch ... It's been more economical to buy pots, even decorative pots, paint them and enjoy the same root pruning. I'm not in any way affiliated, just a happy customer, and would recommend to all my friends here switch too ...

Excellent!  I'm basically on the same wavelength with you. My only hesitation would be the worry about copper somehow "poisoning" the fruit or causing environmental damage.

Do you just order direct from Microkote? I think that's the only way to get that brand.

Tropicaliste

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Re: Air pruning pots--opinions?
« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2014, 08:11:04 PM »
Triloba Tracker: I'm not worried. The company says the copper they use is approved for organic growing, it doesn't absorb beyond the terminated root tip. It's on the site. I know they provide coated nursery pots out in Ohio, and I figure the nursery wouldn't let the public buy plants if they didn't trust the Microkote.

I ordered directly from their site, because the 8 ounce was cheaper than horticulturalspecialties.com, but when the hort folks had the sale on the 32 ounce, that was cheaper. That brings me to my only gripe on the product, I should've ordered the 32 ounce, because of my generous coat, the 8 ounce doesn't coat as many of my pots as I'd anticipated. I will wait for when the hort folks put the 32 ounce on sale and buy then.

Mark in Texas

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Re: Air pruning pots--opinions?
« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2014, 08:47:55 AM »

Excellent!  I'm basically on the same wavelength with you. My only hesitation would be the worry about copper somehow "poisoning" the fruit or causing environmental damage.


Have used copper hydroxide paints for years, on all kinds of plant material - trees, citrus, veggies, etc.  The copper ions are not translocated into the root system. They are not translocated passed the terminated root tip and the roots are not exposed to the paint as it only affects a centimeter or less space directly adjacent to where it's applied.  If it was taken up by the roots the plant would be harmed or killed due to toxicity issues.

There are very few Cu ions sloughed off to do any environmental damage contrary to the hype some in the air root pruning systems want you to believe....all for the sake of sales of stuff like RootMaker of course.

I also use Dr. Whitcomb's Rootbuilder and have some info and photos on them in a thread.  http://tropicalfruitforum.com/index.php?topic=7511.msg96609#msg96609

If I had to choose between the most effective root tip pruning method it would be copper hydroxide paints applied to the pot walls/bottom.  Side benefit is no increase in watering or maintenance required.

Mark

Mark in Texas

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Re: Air pruning pots--opinions?
« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2014, 08:52:00 AM »
Well i 'm only worried about rootcircling, the airflow is easy to control but i thought the extra holes of the superoot pots would let the plants grow faster.


These products are designed to stop root spin-out.  By terminating the root tip the plant grows a very fibrous, very effective/efficient root system with much great uptake potential in a small volume of soil.  Think "topping" but underground. By terminating the root tip, stopping the tip's apical dominance thingie, you induce the roots to branch behind that point, up to 4" behing, according to Dr. Whitcomb, designer of his RootMaker system.

See this post by ajosin for a cheap way to make your own paint, and do it right.  ;)
Quote

Microkote used to be made under the brand-name SpinOut by Griffin L.L.C. until SePRO bought the rights. After the re-branding they added  other metals labeled as "nutrients". In my opinion this is all marketing; the roots will be stopped and not absorb anything near the Microkote layer - so really the only active ingredient is the chemical that stops the roots from growing further (this chemical is copper hydroxide which was the original ingredient in SpinOut).

Microkote is pricey ($28 for 8oz). But you should be able to make your own.

1) Buy some dry Copper(II) Hydroxide, this is used usually as a fungus pestizide. Interestingly, SePro stuff can be bought on ebay (http://www.ebay.com/itm/CuPRO-5000DF-Fungicide-Bactericide-61-3-Copper-Hydroxide-SePRO-3lb-foil-bag-/370622313276), this is probably the same stuff they put into Microkote. Other sources are     
KOCIDE 3000 (made by DuPont) or http://kingquenson.en.alibaba.com/productshowimg/424951536-200579235/Copper_hydroxide.html.
2) Dilute the Copper(II) Hydroxide in latex paint. The original SpinOut was made with 13 oz/Gal of Copper(II) Hydroxide (source: http://hortsci.ashspublications.org/content/28/5/527.6.abstract). Remember to account for the original concentration of dry Copper(II) Hydroxide in the pesticide bag (this is typically 50%, for which you would add 26 oz per Gal of latex paint).

Remember to read all the instructions in the bag when handling pesticides.

This costs about 10x less than buying the Microkote solution which is over-priced and over-marketed (b/c of those extra additive "nutrients") in my opinion.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2014, 08:55:56 AM by Mark in Texas »

Tropicaliste

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Re: Air pruning pots--opinions?
« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2014, 10:22:09 AM »
Mark in Texas: I was hoping you'd chime in. I was on the fence too about Microkote until I saw your posts. I don't feel comfortable mixing my own, so I bought it from the company.

I'm postings some photos for those interested.





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Re: Air pruning pots--opinions?
« Reply #23 on: August 13, 2014, 11:04:44 AM »
Tropicaliste - I too am a little doubtful of my own skills in making my own, but who knows, I may try it after all.

How far did your 8oz bottle go? I'm sure the company could give me an estimate but better to hear it from the horse's mouth.

It is WAY more expensive than I seem to remember from my initial looking into it.

Mark in Texas

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Re: Air pruning pots--opinions?
« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2014, 04:23:05 PM »
Yeah, MicroKote is a a little pricey.  Pots look good though!  I've always used Griffin's Spin-Out and when I run out, I'll make my own.

Good luck

 

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