Field Growing in Grow Bags

Jzack605

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Was wondering if people grow stuff in ground that are in grow bags with the same effect of ground growing without it. Thinking it may keep roots in check and make it easier when it’s time to lift them.
 

leatherback

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Would using grow bags, and holding the roots in check be the opposite of what you want to achieve by ground growing..?
 

Jzack605

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I see people putting plates, CDs, etc. to train roots to not go as deep. So thinking about grow bags as an alternative. I am wondering if it will have same effect as being in a pot though. Some of the grow bags seem to allow roots to escape still, which wouldn’t be a bad thing.
 

Tieball

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Some grow bags, not all of them though, may likely deteriorate when buried with full surrounding contact in the soil. I always believed that the grow bag needed air on all sides to perform. I grow in the ground using floor tiles...I like the wild root growth to propel trunk thickening. I have not used grow bags in the ground.
 

Punky

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Telperion Farms use grow bags, and Ryan Neal loves to buy their material. The topic is covered in an episode of the podcast Asymmetry. I recommend giving it a listen. They are seeing idententical growth rates as growing without the bags, but the root system is more compact and easier to transition to a pot. Their speculation is that you get the microbiome and even moisture benefits despite the restricted volume of roots.

 

Jzack605

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Telperion Farms use grow bags, and Ryan Neal loves to buy their material. The topic is covered in an episode of the podcast Asymmetry. I recommend giving it a listen. They are seeing idententical growth rates as growing without the bags, but the root system is more compact and easier to transition to a pot. Their speculation is that you get the microbiome and even moisture benefits despite the restricted volume of roots.

Were they putting the grow bags in the ground and getting similar results?

Will give a listen.
 

GGB

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@Punky beat me too it. listen to that podcast and it will answer all your questions, plus Gary Wood is totally the man (he's speaking half the time)
 

Shibui

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I have used root control bags when growing advanced trees for landscape planting. The bags make it so much easier to lift the trees when grown. The material the bag is made of allows feeder roots to grow through to get nutrients and water but constricts those roots as they get thicker and so root prunes all thicker roots. That root pruning means there are lots of new roots constantly forming just inside the bag so when the bag is removed and the tree planted there are lots of roots ready to grow out into surrounding soil. RCBs are also good because the trees do not need to be potted up after removal. They can be stored, sold and transported in the bags. That's great for landscape trees.
Bonsai is different. We need the roots to fit into a bonsai pot. If the RCB is smaller than the bonsai pot that would be fine but invariably the bags are larger and deeper than any bonsai pot and most training pots so the roots still need to be pruned off. That means you have lost most of the advantage of the RCB.
I find it far better to root prune my field grown trees regularly to encourage plenty of fine roots close to the trunk. That not only makes digging easy and transplant safer but will give a far better nebari. I have not found it necessary to plant on tiles or boards. I can achieve great shallow root systems on my trees just using proper root pruning.

My methods have been developed over 30 years of practical field growing for bonsai and work extremely well here but you are welcome to use any methods that are currently in favor.
 

cmeg1

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I like it,just have not did it yet.
Just make sure you use heavier bags by Rootpoch Brand .They are the only brand I know that uses entrapment pruning and can last a few years or so in ground.
Other brands air prune and roots would row into ground and defeat purpose.
I use them all the time above ground.
 

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moke

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I planted 10 of my 6 year JBP contest trees in Root Pouch bags in a raised bed of pumice, lava and D.E. they definitely grew very well compared to the others that were planted in different containers.
This fall I was able to pull them all from the bed and place them in a shed for winter storage for a little protection. They all had some smaller escape roots growing into the bed which I pruned.
Next spring they will all go back into the ground.
this photo was taken sometime in June I believe? they put on a lot more growth throughout this past summer.

272876
 

TyroTinker

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I like it,just have not did it yet.
Just make sure you use heavier bags by Rootpoch Brand .They are the only brand I know that uses entrapment pruning and can last a few years or so in ground.
Other brands air prune and roots would row into ground and defeat purpose.
I use them all the time above ground.
What size do you use? @moke too!
 

moke

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Here's the link to the item I am using, I bought several different sizes.
 

penumbra

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I think it was about 30 years ago, maybe more, when grow bags became available. I remember attending a talk at the Mid Atlantic Nurseryman's Tradeshow held annually at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. I was hooked and planted out much of my stock in grow bags. It made in very simple to dig a plant, even in the heat of summer, with no problems.
This year I bought several in smaller sizes, less than 1 gallon to two gallons, to use for growing out bonsai starters. I didn't have the opportunity to use many of them yet but I am looking forward to using them in the spring.
Caution must be observed when picking your bags as some are designed for in ground use and others for above ground use.
 

sorce

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The material the bag is made of allows feeder roots to grow through to get nutrients and water but constricts those roots as they get thicker and so root prunes all thicker roots.
I don't see this as being physically possible.

Pics!

Sorce
 

penumbra

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I don't see this as being physically possible.
It absolutely is so. You just need to research it a bit. As stated earlier, I had a lot of experience with these 30+ years back for nursery stock of all sorts.
 

cmeg1

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Caution must be observed when picking your bags as some are designed for in ground use and others for above ground use.
I believe this is Paramount!
Would make great Winter storage for grown out trees......I will eventually use this
 

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