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Author Topic: Fabric containers / Smart Pots for fruit trees  (Read 3904 times)

mangomandan

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Fabric containers / Smart Pots for fruit trees
« on: January 21, 2012, 03:31:58 PM »
Thank you to CoPlantNut for mentioning these, as I had not heard of them.
Has anyone had good (or bad) luck growing tropical fruits in these?
I'm thinking of trying a Pickering mango in one.  Would it be important to start with a smaller pot and gradually step it up?

CoPlantNut

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Re: Fabric containers / Smart Pots for fruit trees
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2012, 05:08:31 PM »
Hello,

In my experience, I've been able to get a larger plant growing out of a fabric pot than an identical-sized plastic pot-- meaning you don't need as large a pot to get a plant to bear fruit, and you don't need to repot quite as often.  I would say it is still important to start with a smaller pot and gradually step it up, to encourage as dense a root system as possible.

My only complaint with the fabric pots (and I've tried several types) is that roots will grow right through them if given a chance.  Fabric pots placed directly on the dirt will quickly have the plant's roots growing through the fabric on the bottom of the pot and into the ground.  This has some adavantages, such as helping to prevent the plant from blowing over.  If you wait too long before moving the plant and severing all those roots, it may become quite a chore- much worse than a plastic pot with only a few holes in the bottom that you would need to prune the roots from.  If fabric pots are placed so that they touch neighboring fabric pots, the roots will also grow right through the side and into the other pot- at one point I even had a Jamaica Cherry send a runner through the side of a pot and into the guava next to it.  So fabric pots are certainly out for containing anything invasive.

This isn't a problem as long as I enforce a 1/2 inch gap between the pots, and move them occasionally if they are placed directly on the ground over the summer.

   Kevin

nullzero

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Re: Fabric containers / Smart Pots for fruit trees
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2012, 05:22:16 PM »
I am using them with pretty good results, its only been about 3-4 months since repot. Currently, I am using them in the more drought tolerant trees like pomegranate, jujube, and citrus. I bought a batch of (10) 18 gal fabric containers from ebay for a good price (think it was $89). I am going to possibly repot Julie mango in one next month. My main worries with them were drying out to fast due to the increased aeration (I don't know if I would repot the Lychees in fabric containers). I have been trying a 5/1/1 mix of Pine bark, Perlite, and Peatmoss. The plants seem to like this mix.

Cara Cara Orange and Anna Apple in fabric containers.


I am also trying out superoots air pruning containers with a Ewais Mango, so far its going well. I will be able to tell a bigger difference in performance of the trees once the temps warm up in the spring time. I try to also raise the fabric containers off the ground with a brick, however I have not done this with all of them. Thanks Kevin for the heads up, I am going to try to finish up raising the rest of the containers off the ground.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2012, 05:24:27 PM by nullzero »
Grow mainly fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Tropicdude

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Re: Fabric containers / Smart Pots for fruit trees
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2012, 01:08:02 AM »
I picked up a couple of "geopots", from Pepe at the Yellow Green market when I was in Fla, in Dec, I used them to plant those bare rooted mango trees in.
I like the idea of how these kind of "pots" air prune the roots, and cause them to grow laterals. also better filtration and air to roots, is better for most plants.
plus since they fold, they are easy to transport in my suitcase.
William
" The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago.....The second best time, is now ! "

mangomandan

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Re: Fabric containers / Smart Pots for fruit trees
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2012, 04:33:26 PM »
Many thanks for the feedback.  I've ordered a few fabric pots and one superoots one.   If nothing else, it will be fun to experiment with them.

 

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