User avatar
Allyn
Green Thumb
Posts: 485
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:38 pm
Location: Mississippi Gulf Coast - zone 8b

Trying Root Pouches for the first time

I picked up some Root Pouches to try since the description sounds interesting and it looks like I should be able to use them like SiPs if I set the bag in a shallow pan of water. Does anyone have experience with them? It seems like it would be hard to up-pot out of them so should I up-pot into the size bag that would be appropriate for the final container? I have 10 and 15 gallon bags and I'm thinking about trying them with tomatoes, peppers, and honeydew melons.

User avatar
Allyn
Green Thumb
Posts: 485
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:38 pm
Location: Mississippi Gulf Coast - zone 8b

Re: Trying Root Pouches for the first time

So I'm guessing no advice on the Root Pouches, then. I'll give my report as things progress. I have some trays coming that are a couple of inches deep and should accommodate two or three pouches.

In looking at the chart to determine pouch size, they recommend much smaller sizes than I'm used to. For example, 5 to 7 gallons for watermelon and pumpkin, and 5 to 10 gallons for tomatoes and peppers. Is that because in 'regular' containers we have to allow enough room that the roots don't circle the pot and these air-prune pouches don't have to worry about that?

User avatar
Allyn
Green Thumb
Posts: 485
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:38 pm
Location: Mississippi Gulf Coast - zone 8b

Re: Trying Root Pouches for the first time

Interestingly enough, no one has an idea? Okay. :)

I planted strawberries and a melon yesterday. For planning purposes, two three-gallon pouches fit in a 1020 tray.
Image

I put the melon in a 15-gallon pouch. That's a much larger pouch than the grow-guide suggests, but I'm curious, at the end of the season, to see what the root structure looks like. The grow-guide suggests 5 to 7 gallons for watermelon and pumpkin. I assume honeydew would be similar?
Image

I still have peppers, basil, and more tomatoes to put in pouches.

SQWIB
Greener Thumb
Posts: 935
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:21 pm
Location: Zone 7A - Philadelphia, PA

Re: Trying Root Pouches for the first time

Sorry just saw this.
I use grow bags"air pruning pots"
Been using them for a few years for tomatoes, eggplants, zucchini and peppers.
Trying them indoors in my grow tent, bottom watering in a large pan.
There's a ton of info out there for rain gutter gardening that you may find interesting.
Larry Hall has quite a few hours ideas for using grow bags.
The grow bags wick well but can dry out quickly if not in a tray or pan.
I haven't up potted yet but I will be transferring my indoor plants to outdoors come spring.
I have seen roots grow right through the bags, mainly if the bag is on the ground.
The outside of the bags can sometimes get a mold on them, you can also see excess salt in the form of a white appearance on the outside of the bag.

User avatar
Allyn
Green Thumb
Posts: 485
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:38 pm
Location: Mississippi Gulf Coast - zone 8b

Re: Trying Root Pouches for the first time

Thank you for the info. I do plan to keep them in trays. It seems like keeping them in shallow trays that act as a reservoir should be the same as growing in SiPs, just without the expense of materials (buckets, PVC) and the time and effort put into construction. Plop a bag in a tray...done.

Why is it you recommend gutter gardening? Curiously enough, I was scouring some articles and blogs reading up on gutter gardening just last night. It seems like in many of the 'fail' results, the shallowness of the gutter was blamed. Our summers are insanely hot from June through September and trying to keep 6-inch deep hanging baskets (even with water reservoirs and in full shade all afternoon) in enough water to keep the plant alive means watering 3 or 4 times every day. It just seems like a shallow metal gutter would get too hot and cook the roots and the water requirements too much to make it worthwhile. Am I thinking about this wrong?

SQWIB
Greener Thumb
Posts: 935
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:21 pm
Location: Zone 7A - Philadelphia, PA

Re: Trying Root Pouches for the first time

No you are not looking at it wrong but Look at what other folks are doing not necessarily just rain gutter gardening.
Some use tubs with a kerick float valve, filling around the grow bags with pea gravel to keep mosquitoes at Bay.
The feed to the trays can be fed by gravity from s rain barrel or directly from a garden hose.
You can Daisy chain the tubs together on a level surface.
But like I said, mosquitoes can be a problem in standing water.

I used drip irrigation without any drip trays.
I use a drip tray in my grow tent.
I'll post a bunch of stuff tomorrow, posting from my phone is limited.

User avatar
Allyn
Green Thumb
Posts: 485
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:38 pm
Location: Mississippi Gulf Coast - zone 8b

Re: Trying Root Pouches for the first time

I use mosquito dunks in my SiP reservoirs. That seems to work to keep the mosquito population down.

Watering the SiPs and the bag trays isn't a problem since the bags are deep enough to hold enough mix without drying out quickly and by keeping everything grouped by the hose faucet, I can top off the reservoirs when I water the chickens (which in the heat of summer is a few times each day). Starting with a really shallow metal container that has all the earmarks of being impractical in my climate just doesn't seem like its worth the effort to make it work. Early on, I wanted to do some drip irrigation, but the water in the hoses got scalding hot in the summer, so I gave up on that.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 27811
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Trying Root Pouches for the first time

I kept on thinking I could comment, but really, this is one of those back-burner projects of mine so I have “book” resources (and all kinds of crazy ideas in my head) but no practical experience.

So far, my favorite concept to use as my own springboard, if I ever decide to try using root pouch-type bags is to put them in openwork plastic shopping bags or laundry baskets for lightweight support and then use the raingutter-based sub-irrigation design that has been tweaked to use 4” pvc pipes positioned between two rows of cinderblocks. The pvc pipes are capped on the ends and attached to auto-refill float valve-supplied hose.

There are several obstacles to implementing this for me, not the least of which is lack of flat, level area to situate a run or multiple runs of the sub-irrigation system. But if I ever put together my rather over-the-top dream integrated system of aquaponics tied into rain barrels/harvesting/sequestering and my little pond. I would like to incorporate this and vertical wall gardens (another design concept that has been on my mind for a long time) into the whole thing.... :-()
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

SQWIB
Greener Thumb
Posts: 935
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:21 pm
Location: Zone 7A - Philadelphia, PA

Re: Trying Root Pouches for the first time

Apple, a lot of what you said can be done fairly easily.
But a true Aquaponics in our zone is a tough sell, tilapia fingerlings would be a good source for aquaponics but they require warmer water and take about a year to mature IIRC.
Trout can be done in our area but I believe they take two years to grow out.
I do aquaponics growing peppers with so so results, only I don't eat the koi. Lol.
The pond is fed from a rain barrel that has worked out pretty good so far. Maybe I'll toss in a few trout and see what happens, oh yeah, the other problem is racoons and heron.

User avatar
Allyn
Green Thumb
Posts: 485
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:38 pm
Location: Mississippi Gulf Coast - zone 8b

Re: Trying Root Pouches for the first time

applestar wrote: I would like to incorporate this and vertical wall gardens (another design concept that has been on my mind for a long time) into the whole thing.... :-()
Vertical wall gardens...I was scouring articles and blogs looking at those last night, too, before I was click-baited over to gutter gardens. As trailer-trash as it can look at times, I like the idea of recycling milk containers and soda bottles into a wall of herbs and lettuce. My husband hates that I won't throw away those big plastic containers (a lot of them are turned into chicken feeders and waterers; when they get dirty, toss them in the recycle bin) but ahead of a storm when other people are scuffling over the last case of bottled water at the big box store, I'm filling gallon jugs for free before the electricity goes out. Anyway, I have gallon bottles, I just need a design structure I like.

SQWIB
Greener Thumb
Posts: 935
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:21 pm
Location: Zone 7A - Philadelphia, PA

Re: Trying Root Pouches for the first time

Here is a page on my website about grow bags, I didnt want to clutter up this thread with a copy/paste.

Air Pruning Pots


And a couple photos from the last two years.
Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image


I have been using the grow bags for stuff Like Zucchini but haven't had much luck, If I use the Air Pruning Pots this year, they will have either eggplant or peppers in them.

These are not grow bags, (well I think one is), but these pots are lined with the same material (pond underlayment) I use this for wicking material and to keep the soil intact.
Image

User avatar
Allyn
Green Thumb
Posts: 485
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:38 pm
Location: Mississippi Gulf Coast - zone 8b

Re: Trying Root Pouches for the first time

Thank you for the pics. I figured someone had to be using them here and I was surprised when no one responded initially.

SQWIB
Greener Thumb
Posts: 935
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:21 pm
Location: Zone 7A - Philadelphia, PA

Re: Trying Root Pouches for the first time

I picked up some 2 gallon and three gallon pots from "247garden" for my indoor grow and they seem to be working fine.

Image

Image


My first go around with Grow Bags, I ordered "Awesome Pots", the ones I ordered were a "closed top design" designed to have a "mulch" flap and strings and bungees for staking and trellising. I was quite impressed with the bags but not the cost or the initial seller. The guy had a great product. I am guessing it was over engineered and the cost was a turn off for most folks. I do love mine though.




You and Applestar may be interested in these also.

Hanging Grow Bags


Oh BTW, you wont get a huge root system on the Melon.
10 gallons is plenty for tomatoes, 5 gallons for peppers 5 gallons for melons also. IMHO

User avatar
Allyn
Green Thumb
Posts: 485
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:38 pm
Location: Mississippi Gulf Coast - zone 8b

Re: Trying Root Pouches for the first time

I did like the close-top design, but the cost was prohibitive. So far (and I know it's quite early in the process) I am happy with the Root Pouches. The fabric is much thicker than some of the thin-walled bags out there and the cost is affordable. I'm handy with a sewing machine, so I'm going to keep an eye open for suitable landscape fabric to make my own bags in future. I can probably get less expensive ones on Amazon, but Amazon is flooded with Chinese-knockoff products and Chinese sellers imitating actual brands that I can't trust what I get there anymore.

Return to “Container Gardening Forum”