201 Elmwood St. State College, PA 16801

Creating Healthy Roots

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Healthy plant growth starts with the roots. A dense fibrous root system helps your plants absorb more water and nutrients. Most of us already know this, but what you may not know is not all containers promote the growth of a healthy root system. There is a simple trick, known as air pruning, that will help your plants develop this on their own through the use of fabric pots.

What is air pruning?
In a standard pot or container, when the roots reach the edges, they turn and begin spiraling around the inside in search of more room to grow. The roots wrap around one another and ultimately become root bound and strangle themselves. However in a fabric pot this doesn’t happen. When the roots reach the edge, the fabric allows the root tips to push through ever so slightly, causing light and air to dry the tip out. This forces the roots to respond by branching out in search of a new direction. This is air pruning and it is much like when you prune the top of your plants and they begin to branch out below the cut.

Traditional Pots

Fabric Pots

Fabric pots create an excellent balance of airflow and healthy water retention. They allow for very good drainage, so no more worrying about root rot. Also, by allowing air to penetrate the walls and cool off the soil, fabric pots help keep the root zone much cooler than a traditional plastic or clay pot.We hope that if you’re serious about container gardening and want the best for your plants, you’ll give fabric pots a try. They come in all sizes from 1 gallon to giant “raised bed” pots of over 150 gallons and are reusable for over 5 growing seasons. At The Barn, you will find multiple options from Smart Pots and Root Pots.