Allowing more oxygen into a pot (Grow Pot)

earthworm73(WA z8)December 27, 2012

I am liking the concept/theory behind the grow pots and it makes sense to me. I was wondering if I poked some good holes into my existing plastic pots would I get the same benefits as if I used a real grow pot and/or the like? Also what about using those pond baskets? Seems like they are pretty much the same as a grow pot but on a smaller scale.

Here is a pot that is similar to the ones mentioned in this thread
http://www.sears.com/botanicare-root-routing-pot-5-gal-botanicare/p-SPM5933031005

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earthworm73(WA z8)

I meant Airpots not Gro Pots.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2012 at 10:33PM
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overdrive

i doubt it - the benefit of grow pot, is that is "air prunes" the roots, so they don't keep going around in a circle. it will always do that in a plastic pot even with several holes, and then when you water, the water will run out the side holes and not reach the bottom = fail. pm.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 2:13AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Best way to get air to the roots is to use a well-aerated medium.

I have used pond-baskets for some plants, and I would recommend you use a large basket
so that the mix doesn't dry out so quickly.

Josh

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 1:13PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

I have used them and still do...

Honestly, in my opinion, there is no difference on my plants as compared to the ones growing in open mixes as regards growth and vitality.

But, I have yet to check to see what the roots look like along the edges or Airpots.

Mike

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 2:13PM
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greentiger87

I agree with mike.. with an open medium like gritty mix, pots like that aren't very helpful. And you have to add a liner of some kind to prevent the gritty mix or 5:1:1 from just falling out.

Now assume you're using standard potting soil. Would you get the same benefits with a DIY version? For the most part, yes. Do some exploration in the cannabis growing world - there's a particularly well known DIY version of these kinds of pots that apparently works excellently. A few holes aren't gonna do it though.

There are some situations where using a peat based mix in a netpot/pond basket has been useful for me. Growing cuttings and seeds is one example - you get the benefits of soil blocks without all the headache. For shallow rooted plants like cucumbers and beans, you can just plunk the net pot right into the ground without disturbing the roots at all - makes a huge difference as far as transplant shock goes. Believe it or not, when the weather warms up, the soil in net pots actually stays moist longer and doesn't overheat like in black plastic pots. This is presumably because of the air circulation that doesn't allow the temperature to build up. Note, this is also touted as one of the main benefits of soil blocks.

In a method a user here discovered (I forget the username), you can half bury net pot transplants in the soil instead of transplanting them during the summer. The top half of the net pot can then be mulched loosely with coarse bark. This keeps transplants from wilting even while they're still getting established. Again, a function of air circulation. It's definitely worked for me.

For seed starting and cuttings, I've lately moved on to coarse diatomaceous earth and had even better results.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 2:53PM
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emgardener

I made a diy air pot with landscape fabric and plastic fencing cut and tied to a pot shape.

Used a heavy organic mix. The problem was soil around the outside of the pot would dry out even though the middle was wet. So the roots would not grow to the outside and the pepper plant in the pot did poorly. It actually got less aeration than a normal pot, because it did not have roots out to the pot walls.

The cannabis one mentioned was interesting. The grower took a common black 5-10 gallon pot and drilled a lot of big holes in it. But when growing he put it inside another pot so the soil did not dry out along the outside. In the pictures you can see roots growing out the holes.

One experiment for the coming summer will be to take a heavy organic mix in a container and just use a pipe or stick to poke holes in the soil all the way from the top to the bottom. The idea is these will be "aeration columns". Since they'll be toward the center of the pot they won't dry out and roots can get to them to enjoy the air, while still being moist (like a gopher tunnel).

greentiger,
I'm the one who half-buried net pots last year.
You mentioned coarse diatomaceous earth for seedlings.
Please give details, this sounds very interesting.
I've been trying to get totally away from using any peat moss for seedlings. The peat moss dries out too easily and it takes too much detailed attention for me to keep it from becoming hydrophobic.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 7:07PM
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