Warrior nursery pots & Fabric pots/bags

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Anyone using “Warrior” pots or pots similar to them? The ones with the drainage/aeration cone in the middle, to oxygenate under the root-ball area… which is the most prone for no aeration, rot, stagnant soil/moisture, etc.

I am very interested in trying these “Warrior” pots next time I need some nursery pots... they have the same stiff rigidity (which I love) as the standard heavy-duty nursery pots I’ve been using, but with the benefit of better drainage and better oxygen to that root-ball area. But, it has no “air pruning” ability of the popular fabric pots though (since the walls/sides are still solid plastic).

What’s your experience or opinion on Warrior pots?



I have also been interested in fabric grow bags lately, for their claims of making better root systems and non-circling roots, via air-pruning.
Is it really true that plants are healthier and grow bigger and faster with fabric grow bags and make better roots??

I have some concerns and hesitations with fabric-bags though…

- The roots would just constantly escape through the bottom and sides. That also makes them look unsightly. As well as sodium build-up and accumulation on the fabric.

- They are floppy and are not rigid like heavy-duty nursery pots. Making them more difficult to move around… and also looks unsightly in the garden (like random bags of soil spread out through the garden, lol)

- Maybe my biggest concern, the sides (or entire pot) would dry out much much too quickly and require 2-3x more frequent watering. It already takes me 2 hours to water my plants on watering days… I def don’t feel like multiplying that work, lol.

- During watering, the water will run off/to the sides of the fabric, instead of being focused through the soil.

- Re-potting would be messy... since the roots will be stuck to the fabric, needing you to disturb the roots more, and also cut and throw away the fabric grow bag.

…for these reasons, I am much more attracted to the Warrior pots.
 
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JadedEvan

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I've had a lot of success with fabric grow bags. I have a really wonderful picture of some insanely fine growth on a dawn redwood that was grown exclusively in an above-ground fabric bag in 100% pumice. If I can dig that up I'll post a reply on here to share. To address you concerns and share my experiences:

The roots would just constantly escape through the bottom and sides. That also makes them look unsightly. As well as sodium build-up and accumulation on the fabric.
I did not find this to be the case. The roots never grew out of the bag (5 gallon fabric bag), nor did they grow over the top. Salt buildup is a thing. You end up loving a lot more water through these bags, so the opportunity for those to accumulate or have a negative impact seems lower.

They are floppy and are not rigid like heavy-duty nursery pots. Making them more difficult to move around… and also looks unsightly in the garden (like random bags of soil spread out through the garden, lol)
True. I get around this by putting them in an Anderson flat. This provides a little structure in the event that you need to move it around. They aren't the prettiest things, I'll agree to that. Even an old milk crate or wood crate could suffice.

Maybe my biggest concern, the sides (or entire pot) would dry out much much too quickly and require 2-3x more frequent watering. It already takes me 2 hours to water my plants on watering days… I def don’t feel like multiplying that work, lol.
Yes - they do dry out a lot quicker. I think you might be able to find a balance with soil mix to try and offset the frequency of watering. This year I have planted a few trees in fabric bags and put those in the ground. The idea here is that they get the benefit of being in the ground and everything that provides, but being in an easily managed state. No word on the success of this approach. I think if you decide to go raw, above-ground fabric bag, some top dressing might help it from drying out too much

Re-potting would be messy... since the roots will be stuck to the fabric, needing you to disturb the roots more, and also cut and throw away the fabric grow bag.
It is messy, but I didn't find the roots stuck to the bag too much. They are sort of like velcro, there is a certain amount of peeling / cutting that must be done to loosen the tree from the bag. I actually found it kind of nice - unwrapping the roots the pumice falls away very easily and lets you get right to the roots.
 
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Very very interesting. Thanks for sharing. I may have to reconsider the fabric bags.

Your technique is actually what Telperion Farms does, iirc - they plant their trees in fabric grow bags into the ground.
Hmmm... I assume this is for more moisture, stability, nutrients, etc.?

Also...maybe this is a big Pro for the fabric grow bags... but, would watering be easier in a way that the fabric sides can absorb water as well?
Eg: Like spraying a group of fabric pots with a hose instead of individually and carefully watering inside each pot?
Or, even, having your regular garden sprinklers spray water onto the sides of the fabric bags? (as opposed to water from sprinklers just bouncing off of the sides of regular plastic nursery pots).
 

W3rk

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Very very interesting. Thanks for sharing. I may have to reconsider the fabric bags.

Your technique is actually what Telperion Farms does, iirc - they plant their trees in fabric grow bags into the ground.
Hmmm... I assume this is for more moisture, stability, nutrients, etc.?

Also...maybe this is a big Pro for the fabric grow bags... but, would watering be easier in a way that the fabric sides can absorb water as well?
Eg: Like spraying a group of fabric pots with a hose instead of individually and carefully watering inside each pot?
Or, even, having your regular garden sprinklers spray water onto the sides of the fabric bags? (as opposed to water from sprinklers just bouncing off of the sides of regular plastic nursery pots).
I'm in my 2nd year of using grow bags and I'm going to say no to watering from the sides, it would be totally ineffective, take forever, and waste a ton of water. I just don't fill my soil line to the top rim of the bag and water in the middle. I've had good success with growing in them.
 

ysrgrathe

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My experience has been similar to JadedEvan's with fabric bags. They do a tremendous job of preventing circling roots; I've had maples in them for years and the roots look good. I do generally cut them off, if the tree is growing well I find they colonize the entire bag making it hard to remove. If you want to prevent the roots from escaping the bottom keep them off the ground so they air prune.

I think the bags are good for growing out, not as great for bonsai training. You can't tie a tree properly. The technique of putting the bag into a more rigid pot though is a good compromise.
 

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