Fall is a season of change and after experiencing a fairly disappointing summer harvest, we are making some big changes for fall, winter and spring. The two major changes we're making include growing in Smart Pots and amending the beds--including the Smart Pots, with all new organic loam.
Why Smart Pots?I learned that our wooden raised beds probably hold too much of the sun's heat (which was excessive this summer), hampering the plants' root growth ...and causing other problems, too. Smart Pots, I read, are made of a tough, felt-like fabric (polypropylene) that breathes and "air prunes" the roots to encourage growth. (See the study). The breathable fabric pots ventilate well and don't over heat. Nor do they hold in too much water if a heavy rain occurs..or the irrigation system takes on a mind of its own :/
When it comes to starting plants from seed or starts, the Smart Pots' black fabric quickens the warming of the soil, increasing germination rates and speeding up the growth process of the plants.
Another benefit is we can amend each pot individually according to the plant's needs. While in a large bed, all the plants experience the amendments--whether they need it or not.
SmartPots are lightweight (when empty) and portable. They can be moved from sun to shade or vice verse, or hosed off, folded and brought inside for the winter. They also last 3-5 years, which is about how long our wooden beds last.
Finally, they are well priced compared to wood which is expensive these days and Smart Pots come in a wonderful selection of sizes.
Normally, we gr ow our vegetables and fruit (except for fruit that grows on trees ;) ) in wooden raised beds with bottoms that are screened to keep gophers out. Gophers can eat through Smart Pots so we emptied one wooden planter box and put three 30-gallon Smart Pots inside it to take advantage of the gopher screen (See the photo above).
We're Expecting Great ResultsSince this is an experiment, (not highly scientific though) we are growing in our typical wooden raised beds and in Smart Pots. But, I'm very optimistic; I expect to see great crop production from the plants grown in Smart Pots. We planted lettuces in both our regular wooden beds and in the Smart Pots. It will be interesting to compare the results, even if we aren't being truly scientific.
Where to But Smart PotsIf you're interested in trying Smart Pots, we bought ours from Peaceful Valley Nursery. You can order them from a number of places, including Amazon and Smart Pots themselves!
Don't forget to drop by.
Disclaimer: Stable Road Homestead is in no way affiliated with Smart Pots the company or Peaceful Valley Nursery. We receive no compensation from either company. We are customers. Period. These remarks and opinions are our own.