Organic vs Synthetic debate :)
Everyone seems to love to debate this topic, so I thought I would start a thread for fun and see where it goes.
I am no scientist and have no formal horticultural training, it's just a hobby for me.
My view on containers is that synthetics are the way to go and the organic approach should be left to raised beds and growing in-ground.
I look at containers like a fish tank, a closed system. The fish in your fish tank rely on specialized bacteria to break down their waste and prevent the fish from dying due to ammonia, nitrite, and or nitrate poisoning. In order to maintain these bacteria populations, frequent water changes are required.
When growing organically, all sorts of microbes are needed to make the nutrients available to your plants and support a healthy root zone. In a container supporting these microbes would require frequent refreshing of the growing medium similar to water changes in an aquarium. This would be sure to be stressful on your plants and be quite a bit of maintenance on the caretaker, just as in my opinion, doing water changes on an aquarium are. Which is why I no longer keep fish.
This is why I fell synthetics are the way to go in containers, and organics are perfect for growing in-ground.
Of course, the bigger the container, the more stable the closed system becomes. Just like with aquariums, the bigger the tank the less frequently you have to do water changes (as long as the fish population is reasonable). So, maybe in really large containers organic approaches become possible, but why wouldn't you just grow in the ground then?
Just a thought that I felt like putting out there.