Smart pots

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Soft-sided fabric gardening container

Smart pots are round, flat-bottomed soft-sided bags made of a heavy black fabric. They are light in weight and easy to move. Nurseries use them for growing trees. According to the Smart Pots website, one advantage of Smart Pots is that they prevent that pot-bound root-circling so common in plastic pots. I can’t really say one way or the other on this.

I use my Smart Pots for growing potatoes. I put six inches of soil in the pots, and roll down the pot’s sides. As the potatoes grow, I roll up the sides and add more soil. The spuds grow above the seed potato. The best part of my Smart Pots is harvesting the potatoes. All the potatoes are contained in the bag, so when the potatoes are ready for harvest, I run the soil through a big sieve, and get pretty much every single potato, even the teeny tiny ones the size of a pea. There are no volunteer potatoes left behind that have to be pulled up to make room for other crops. And very few potatoes get damaged during harvest.

When you’re done, with the potatoes, you can dump out the soil; roll the bags up; and put them away until next spring The bags last a long time. I’ve been growing spuds in mine for several years, and they look pretty much like new. They range in size from a one gallon container (7” wide by 6” high) all the way up to 400 gallons (70” wide by 24” high). They range in price from $3.00 up to $80 for the really big honkers. The ones I use run around $20.00. I use the 35 and 45 gallon size for my potatoes. They are now making some with handles, though I have not used them. They are also pretty much gopher proof!

Stopping by their web site in the course of writing this review, I see they have branched out into a wide variety of other uses. They have Compost Sacks, garden beds, wall planters and special open seamed pots for transplants.

04/1/16 -- Amy Thompson