Choosing the right pots, container, or soil bed for your garden can be a daunting task. With so many options on the market in today's garden supply stores, choosing the best one can prove to be overwhelming. Redbud Soil Company has curated our top picks for containers that work especially well with marijuana & hemp.
Standard potting containers are typically injection molded pots that are cheap, and flimsy. They don't have a very long use life, and have disadvantages over other styles of pots. For marijuana production these containers can pose an issue with the holes that are molded into the bottom of the pots. These holes are for drainage, but it's better to look at them as pest highways. Those drainage holes will allow pests to infiltrate your plants root system, and once they get a hold, can be a pain to eliminate. The dark color of the containers (typically black) can also be an issue in the hot sun. In the middle of summer this can dry out your soil faster, and possibly raise the temperature of the root zone to create damaging effects.
Smart Pot style fabric pots have grown in popularity over the last decade in commercial cannabis production. Now, as hemp as become more popular you are seeing this trend in hemp greenhouses, and indoor hemp production facilities. Fabric pots offer many advantages over standard plastic containers. They are light weight, hold their shape well, and you can get 3 to 5 years of use out of them.
One of the most talked about benefits of fabric style pots is that the help to aerate the root zone. Oxygen is needed in the root zone, and this aids that process happening. Another benefit of these fabric pots is that the pot itself acts as a mechanical barrier from pests. Root aphids, and the like can't physically pass through the material. This makes it so that the only area you really need to worry about from an IPM standpoint is the top layer of soil. Without the ability to enter through the holes in the bottom of the pot like standard injection molded containers, pests have a lot harder time taking over your pots. With the proper use of beneficial insects in your soil, keeping pests at bay is much easier.
This style container comes in many different version now. They use to be plain black round containers, but many variations exist on the market today. Today in organic garden supply stores you will find these containers are now available in round shapes, rectangles, squares, and peel away designs. They range from tiny ½ gallon containers all the way up to 1000 gallon pots for growing monstrous outdoor marijuana trees. Handles can be added for easier moving and transport, and fabric pots now come in a n array of colors depending on the manufacturer.
Tan seems to be one of the most popular container colors, because unlike black, it won't attract so much heat. We personally tend to pick tan for this reason, as you never know when it will come in handy. Replacing 1000 containers because of a color choice isn't something anyone ever wants to do.
For 4' x 4' and 4' x 8' standard hydroponic trays you can get fabric containers that can fit into these for easier use on rolling benches. For those not using no-till living soil products this can help catch runoff when watering. The trays can also help to hold the shape of the container as they tend to want to bulge out a little bit due to the size and shape of these larger fabric pots.
Since our company specializes in Redbud No-till Living Soil we have gravitated to using living soil containers by GrassRoots Fabric Pots. The containers are like a standard fabric container, but they have a liner built into them to help retain moisture. In a standard fabric Smart Pot style container you will get a dry ring around the entire outside edge of the container. With the living soil containers the liner that is built in will allow for aeration up top, and down at the bottom, but in the middle it will help to keep the soil more moist like a soil would outside in the ground. This gives your plants more live soil to grow in, and it is touted as increasing yields over a normal style fabric pot. Since one of the long term benefits of no-till living soil is water retention, with these living soil containers you will save even more water. For those of us with years old no-till soil products that's an awesome thing because we know how little water you have to use already with an aged, quality, no-till living soil product.
In the living soil containers the smallest off the shelf size they make is 30 gallons. It was specifically designed for no-till living soil products, and the designers feel that is the smallest size that can work long term. That being said, we have customers that are successfully using 15 gallon Smartpot style containers with Redbud No-Till Living Soil with no issues at all. The most important thing to keep in mind when picking a container size for your no-till living soil grow is that once you pot it, and use it, if you have to change container sizes, then you just tilled your soil. We would always suggest to go bigger in the beginning.
As a Company we solely recommend fabric containers for our soil. It is possible to use other styles of pots, and grow beds, but fabric containers perform the best. They are reasonably priced, and last for many years. We have had our soil in the same containers indoor for 6 + years still performing and producing quality harvests.
Picking the right container doesn't have to be a hard decision. Going with a fabric container with living soil is going to make your plants happy, and you even happier when the end harvest is of the highest quality.