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Why I Hate Hydroponics Pots

Your hydroponics roots get way bigger than these. Your hydroponics roots get way bigger than these.

I’ve grown with almost every root zone system in the universe, including in the ground out in the woods, in aeroponics, rockwool, ebb and flow and NFT indoors, and in pots. I have to say that one of the things I hate is hydroponics pots, the plastic or clay kind, and here’s why:

Out there in the natural world where plants evolved to grow, their root zone was the ground. Their roots were free to push their way through as much soil as they were able to, searching for moisture, oxygen and nutrients.

Assisting the roots were beneficial bacteria and fungi that have a symbiotic relationship with roots: they actually become part of the roots to create a web of living organisms and roots.

This symbiotic web is empowered to better absorb moisture and nutrients, and is protected from harmful microbes, drought, disease and predators.

As well, bigger roots equal bigger yields, and when we say bigger, we’re not just talking about size of the root mass, we’re talking about the complexity and branching of the root system.

The simple truth is that the healthier your roots are, the more productive your hydroponics plant will be.

But most of us can’t dig a big hole in the ground and plant our plants in that. And I like to use the sun whenever I can in indoor-outdoor grows. So for years I’ve been using plastic or clay pots, and I’ve suffered.

Clay pots are better than plastic pots because they “breathe.” But they’re heavy, and easy to break.

Plastic pots are lighter, and if they’re quality-made you can’t break them, although I can recall picking up a 10 gallon plastic pot after watering and having one side of it break off so that my valuable plant smashed itself on the ground.

And unless you’re growing in 20-gallon garbage bins that have plenty of root room, plastic pots have several big problems. They’re black, so they absorb light. They’re not porous so they absorb heat and hold it in. And they are of limited size, so they can choke your roots.

When your roots have grown as much as they can inside a small pot, they are “rootbound.” They start circling in on themselves and eventually choke themselves so that they can’t absorb enough nutrients, water or oxygen.

Fortunately, somebody else noticed this problem and did something about it. Now you can get hydroponics pots made from super-strength textile. They call them the GeoPlanter or “GeoPots.”

Because this pot is made from long-lasting textile instead of a hard material like clay or plastic, when roots grow to the edge of the GeoPlanter they sprout branched fibrous roots that do not become rootbound.

The GeoPlanter also combats another problem if you’re growing outdoors aboveground in full sun. What happens with clay or plastic pots is that the root zone heats up and traps heat and fries your roots.

In contrast, the GeoPot “breathes” and has a thermal offloading effect so your root zone stays cooler and healthier.

The GeoPlanter manufacturers have created several sturdy, durable GeoPlanter sizes and models that include stabilized GeoPlanters that are framed and rigidized for use in larger applications.

I used to spend time duct-taping Mylar onto my plastic pots to try to reflect sun and heat away from them. I also poked lots of holes in my pots, buried them in the ground to keep them cooler, and even periodically pulled my plants out of their pots so I could prune back the roots to avoid the rootbound problems. All of this was a big hassle and didn’t really fix the root problems caused by growing in plastic or clay pots. So I say thanks to GeoPlanter for making something works better. No more plastic or clay pots for my hydroponics indoor-outdoor plants! It’s GeoPlanter time.

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Roots love GeoPlanter
Last modified on Friday, 27 July 2012 18:28

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