DIY Smart Pots: A Complete Guide to Transform your Garden
Humans are getting smarter with each passing minute. For thousands of years, we have been cultivating plants to make the living. Let me tell you a little historic fact. 10,000 years ago, Egyptians and then Romans were likely the first to grow perennial in containers, so that they can bring them indoors during colder weather. Gardening practiced today is still the same, the only difference which differentiates us from our forefathers is we have grown a lot smarter. One of the aspects of our smartness is modern inventions in the field of gardening that makes the growth of plant faster and easier. One perfect example is smart pots.
So, after all that build-up, let’s have a look at what smart pots are, their advantages, and how you can make them:
What are DIY Smart Pots?
The original fabric aeration container used for growing plants is called smart pots. Similar to the material used in landscaping fabrics, the fabric used in smart pots is light and porous.
We make DIY Smart pots for better gardening. They are usually used in organic gardening and the material is BPA-free as well. Moreover, by air pruning (creating lots of small finger roots) smart pots produce healthier roots, helps in growing more fruitful plants, and are designed to enhance your gardening experience.
An Easy Method of Making DIY Smart Pots at Home
To make DIY smart pots at home, you will need a lightweight wire. You can also use hardware clothes if you want to. To give it some rigidity, use 10-gauge wire mesh. And the last but most important thing is landscape fiber. It is fuzzy on one side and smooth on the other side and comes in different widths. It is recommended to face the fuzzy side inwards.
Method of Making Smart Pots:
People always search online “how to make your pots?” Here, we are answering this.
- Choose your pot size first and then roll on the heavy-gauge wire joining the ends together. Place it on the ground to form a cylindrical fence.
- To form the bottom, place a fine mesh on the ground. You can fold the extra edges or cut them in a circular shape and it should cover the entire bottom. It will also allow roots to penetrate the soil.
- Now, the third step is to Unroll the fabric. Drape it to cover it completely along the inside wall of heavy gauge wire. It is recommended to cut it wide enough to leave the fold at the bottom and an edge for fixing. Keep one thing in mind that the bottom of your smart pot should remain uncovered.
- Fix fabric to wire around the edges and wire should hold the fabric well.
- To provide stability to the wireframe, fill the edges first. Don’t buckle, you must place the dirt in position gently. And that’s it. It’s done!
You can also watch DIY smart pots YouTube videos for better visual understanding. Moreover, you can buy Smart pots on Amazon as well.
Some people also debate about radicle bags vs smart pots. Both are beneficial for plants’ roots and have more or less the same functions. Cannabis growers prefer Radical bags as they can deal with Cannabis sensitivity. Vegetable growers prefer Smart pots. All in all, both are very good at gardening.
How DIY Smart Pots are Better than Traditional Plastic Containers?
All gardeners want to grow healthier and weed-less plants. DIY smart pots are designed to produce healthier plants as they have a “patented fabric design”. Professionals are using it for over 25 years and now it became a household name.
So what makes DIY smart pots better than plastic containers? The answer is very simple. The reason why plants grow better in smart pots instead of plastic pots is that smart pots “promote roots growth”. Let’s look at the harmful effects of plastic containers.
Harmful Effects of Plastic Containers on Plants
Plastic containers lead to premature wilting of plants if you leave them in the direct sunlight. How? When exposed to sunlight, plastic containers get very hot in summer. Due to this, the temperature inside the pot can also exceed 120 Fahrenheit and eventually causes root damage.
Comparing plastic container with smart pots, on hot days, smart pots remain cooler because it allows air to pass through it. So, say yes to Smart pots and so no to plastic containers.
Gardening is easy with DIY smart pots:
Digging is the biggest headache in gardening. You have to take care of:
● The clay soil that will grow the plants, and
● A draining system, which has to be good.
By using smart pots, you don’t need to take care of such things. Courtesy of smart pots, your garden can be set up in minutes. Furthermore, DIY smart pots make plants stronger as it is resistant to insects, weather fluctuations and illness. Hence, making gardening an easy and enjoyable hobby for you.
- Note: Always use Homemade Smart Pot Material in Gardening.
Unique features of DIY Smart Pots
Smart pots have many unique features that differentiate them from other pots.
· It keeps the roots cool as it is made up of breathable fabric.
· It prevents overwatering by creating a healthy root system.
· It is easy to pack away as it is light-weighted.
· It is customizable and can easily add pocket holes for spreaders.
Advantages of using DIY smart pots
Now it’s time to tell you about the advantages of DIY smart pots. Smart Pots are made up of porous industrial clothes and are used as plant growing vessels. It allows air to pass through it and makes plants healthier. It has many other advantages too which makes smart pots a smart choice. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of using smart pots and why it works so well in growing plants:
Keeps plant cool
Its fabric is porous which makes roots cooler. How? As air can easily pass, it reduces the temperature.
In the hotter months, heat builds up in containers. This problem is solved by smart pots as it allows your plant to breathe. The natural way to grow plants healthier is in the ground because it keeps the root cooler. But if you grow your plant in a plastic pot during summer, it gets hot and provides a hostile environment for the plant. Think about it this way, what would you like to wear in summer — a cotton T-shirt or a plastic raincoat? Similarly, plants need to breathe too!
Overwatering is prevented in Smarter pots
Overwatering is a common problem with growing plants, especially in containers. You will see mentioned several times that some herbs like rosemary do not like wet environments. Overwatering leads to root rot and thus the whole plant gives overall poor performance.
As smart pots are made up of porous fabric, water naturally flows out of the bottom and plants will never have excessive water. Without a smart pot, it is difficult for you to know how much water is in the bottom of the container unless you have a water meter to check.
You don’t need to water your plant more often
By using smart pots, you don’t need to water your plants more often as smart pots have an easy draining fabric. Contrarily, if you use a plastic container instead of a smart pot, you may need to water it more. Moreover, you will need a saucer too if you plan to bring your plant indoors. But if you use a smart pot, you can also use heavier or rich soil because the soil will remain wet and compacted in it.
To prevent your container from root-bounding, air root pruning is effective. When a plant starts to outgrow in a plastic container, the root will start to grow in a circle at the bottom. If you use a fabric pot, roots will naturally prune by air which keeps them healthy. Root tips stop growing when it reaches the bottom and branches out. It creates a naturally fibrous ball as it allows the plant to take water and nutrients much more effectively.
It is Flexible
A unique feature of smart pots is that you can create your own pockets in them (just like strawberry pots). If you want to grow herbs, then these are perfect for you. Cut small sections depending upon where you want to add a pocket. You can do it before or after filling your smart pot.
Moreover, you can even hang your smart pots by adding openings in their bottom. If your garden shed has limited space then fabric pots are great options.
How to use a Homemade DIY smart pot in the garden?
When your plants are getting overcrowded, they should be moved to the other area of the garden but the problem is to pick a suitable place for them. If you are facing this problem then smart pots make a great temporary home. It is also easy to move sick or diseased plants by using smart pots. That is why we claim that Smart pots are a good option if you are thinking about moving your plant from one place to another.
How to clean smart pots?
If you want to clean your pot, there are two ways to do it. The first and easiest way is to empty the bag. Then let it dry out first and after that, you can brush the excess dirt off of it. If you use your smart pot to house sick or ailing plants, then sterilizing it is a better option and it is the second way of cleaning a smart pot. You sterilize it by washing it with peroxide and then leave it open to dry.
Taking care of your pot:
Make a blend of baking soda with water and fill the bucket with this solution. Use soft-bristled scrub to wash the pot gently with that solution. It will remove stains from it. After that, let it dry.
Moreover, during the off-season, you can empty your pot and store them indoors as well. The easiest way of doing it is to stoop out the soil and let the bag dry. After the pot is dry, gently remove all the extra dirt from it, and guess what, it’s done!
To sum up, if you are fed up with plastic containers, then give smart pots a try. Growing plant in a smart container is a trend these days. Use DIY smart pots if you like growing plants in pots because when it comes to durability, safety, and quality, they are best for plants and your peace of mind. We are sure that once you start using smart pots, you will never go back to buy traditional containers again. Do tell us about your experience in the comment section if you buy them.
What kind of fabric are smart pots made out of?
Non-woven double-layered polypropylene material is used to make a smart pot. It is UV resistant that protects the roots of plants.
Also, small holes are present there for free circulation of air. If you are growing plants outdoors in the early season, then the black fabric warms growing media. They also allow heat to escape as the material used in it allows roots to breathe. On top of that, they are BPA-free and have a soft texture as well.
Are smart pots worth it?
Yes, smart pots offer so many benefits that it just makes sense to use them. These pots have a boost root system oxygenation design that prevents root disease and even supports optimal drainage. They virtually eliminate root rot and parasites associated with it. In addition to this, there is never a risk of harmful chemicals leaching into the soil as they are chemically inert. The best part is that you can control the environment in smart pots.
Moreover, their durability also makes them desirable. They have a long growing season of at least 3–5 years.
Are smart pots reusable?
Yes, your smart pot will be ready to fill and plant again when the next gardening season rolls around.
What to fill Smart Pots with?
You should fill smart pots with lightweight soilless potting mix. The drainage system of this medium is perfect for pot plants.
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