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smartpots and 5-1-1 observations

Posted by hairmetal4ever Z7 MD (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 18, 14 at 12:20

I'm so far impressed using a slightly modified 5-1-1 in fabric Smart Pots with ground contact.

I used somewhat smaller fines in this mix (only 1/4" or smaller instead of 3/8"), but otherwise it's "regular" 5-1-1. I had concerns about the wicking and evaporation of the smart pots causing me to need a LOT of watering, but I've found I can get by nearly a week without watering, but that may change as the pots fill with more roots.

Here's the WOW factor for me -

June 25, I transplanted some Scarlet Oak seedlings that were in 3" square, 4" deep root pruning cells (Rootmaker 18-cell trays) into the 1 Gallon smart pots.

Yesterday, I moved one and noticed that it had some resistance - in three weeks - a dozen or so roots had penetrated the fabric into the soil below. In THREE WEEKS! An OAK seedling!

I don't know if it's the vigor of the plant, or the breathability of the pot and 5-1-1 mix, but I'm impressed.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: smartpots and 5-1-1 observations

Yes, oak seedlings have a strong desire to tap! But I've found that all of my plants - from veggies to cryptomeria - thrive in a 5-1-1 or similar mix. My #5 nursery containers are requiring water every 2 - 3 days in this California heat, but I certainly could have adjusted that by increasing the container size a gallon or two.


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