Smart Pots are one of the greatest inventions to come along in my many decades of gardening. I LOVE them! Let me tell you why...
First of all, they are so easy to bring home and set up. They fold up flat and are lightweight. Even the biggest Big Bag Raised Bed will fit in any car. They last for years and years. I have had a few of my 20 gallon Smart Pots on the south side of my house for over five years. I leave them out all winter, filled with my wonderful organic soil. In the spring, I remove the top few inches of the old soil and spread it in the garden. Then I add some fresh Quoddy Coast of Maine compost and some Sustane organic granular fertilizer, mix it all in, and I am ready to replant. My oldest ones now have pretty moss growing on the outside which makes them even cooler looking in my opinion!
Smart Pots are made of a fabric that breathes. Oxygen flows into the root systems of your plants which makes them very healthy. Because of this, the Smart Pot company says that their pots "air prune" the roots. In other words, the roots don't spiral around in a circle like in a solid, plastic pot. Instead, they branch into finer and finer roots when they reach the sides. The finer roots do all the work of absorbing the water and nutrients from the soil. That is why plants grow so well in Smart Pots!
Smart Pots are made in the United States. It feels so good to be growing food in a container that was produced in this country. And the soil we use to fill the Smart Pots is ALSO made in the U.S.A. Coast of Maine's Castine Blend Raised Bed Mix is the ideal organic soil to fill your Smart Pots. It has everything already in it including compost, worm castings, lobster and kelp meal, greensand, biochar, and beneficial mycorrhizae. It is OMRI listed for organic farming.
Once your plants start to grow, you will find that you will be watering your Smart Pots quite often. This is because of the big, healthy, efficient root systems and the fact that air flows into the soil very easily. It is part of my routine to deep soak them every few days, sometimes daily when the heat of the summer really kicks in and my plants are monstrous.
I use a lot of 20 gallon Smart Pots. One 2 cubic foot bag of Castine Blend happens to be the EXACT amount needed to fill one 20 gallon Smart Pot! Our heavy duty tomato cages also fit perfectly inside of a 20 gallon Smart Pot. That means you can instantly set up a growing system for one tomato plant, sugar snap pea vines, cucumber vines, pole beans, or perhaps fill the Smart Pot with mixed lettuces or kale.
In this picture, you can see that we slit a few holes in the sides of this 20 gallon Smart Pot and inserted some edible Nasturtium plants! There is ONE tomato plant in this pot with curly parsley added to the base.
I rotate vegetable plant families every year. If I had tomatoes in my Smart Pots last year, I would plant cucumbers this year and beans the next. It makes it so easy to organize your rotations. Plus, if you want to cover your cucumber vines with floating row covers as the seeds are sprouting and the vines are growing, all you have to do is wrap the heavy duty tomato cage with floating row covers and clip on some wooden clothespins. When the cucumbers start to flower, you unclip the row covers and let them start producing fruit.
The latest Smart Pot introduction is the Big Bag Raised Bed. This essentially is an instant garden, 6 feet long and 16" wide. We plant one up every year at Natureworks and it makes a great demonstration bed to show our customers how easy it is to grow food.
In my own backyard, I stacked three Big Bag Beds in consecutive sizes into a "birthday cake" formation, filled it with Castine Blend, and planted everbearing strawberry plants. This was solution to a strawberry tower. As the runners of the strawberry plants are formed, I simply have to pin them down to the layer below.
Get Smart. Get Smart Pots and grow lush, healthy, beautiful organic gardens.