In this Article I shall share some knowledge and an experiment which you can try and implement on your plants for growing your plants faster, healthier, stronger and better yielding. And am sure you will be really shocked to see the results of this experiment at the end of the video. You can grow a large fruit tree in a smaller container using this method. I will also show you which containers to choose for this method and also How you can make your own DIY pots and planters at home for this purpose.
What is AIR PRUNING?
You might have heard about Air Layering, Water Layering and Root Pruning. But what is Air Pruning. This is a pretty simple concept. I will try to make it more simplified in this video but very quickly without boring you and I shall explain the scientific details. Please watch the entire video and we will leave the complicated microscopic level explanation to the scientists and the PHDs.
So, the term Air-Pruning is a growing technique where in the dry air (mind you its dry air not humid air) touches the tips of the growing roots and these growing root tips are burnt by air and stop growing, but proximal to this they start giving out multiple branching of fibrous roots which are the most important roots for nutrient absorption. This process continues and there is abundant development of fibrous roots within the root ball. And For beginners, Tap roots are for anchoring the plant to the soil and fibrous roots or hairy roots are for nutrient and water absorption.
Well, this Air Pruning is somewhat similar to the Principle of Pruning of branches. The same thing happens with roots. If you cut the tips off, it stimulates lateral growth further up the root shaft, thus filling the space with lustrous dense fibrous roots.
So, now before moving on to the experiment, I will quickly show you something which clearly indicates the benefits of Air pruning technique. You can see this root ball. This is an entangled form of roots growing within a bound container. Whether its plastic or cement or clay pot, this is what happens as the plants and the roots continue to grow. There is no space for root development. The growing roots hit the rigid wall of the container and go around and grow in the available space and get Root Bound. Yes this is called Root bounding and this is the reason why we need to repot our plants into a larger sized container once a year or so. But if you apply the concept of Air pruning, this does not happen in air pruning pots.
Air pruning benefits:
It not only provides an enormous surface area to absorb those soil nutrients, but Drainage will also improve, increasing the amount of oxygen in the root zone and reducing the pooling of water, which in turn reduces the risk of root rot. You will notice faster growth of plants, healthier plants, and significantly increased yields.
So, Now How do I implement this in my Containers at Home gardening or Container gardening Level?
Best is to start air pruning early. When a cutting or seedling has rooted, you can transplant it into a air pruning pots.
So what are these air pruning pots. Well, if you have understood the concept, these can be easily anything with good aeration at the lateral walls. Lets learn something about these pots before we move on to the actual experiment.
So, Now we will look into different ways to design your own DIY air pruning pots and planters. First example is, you can drill multiple holes in a plastic container like atleast 4 holes per square inch all over the walls of the container. Now you have to find a way to prevent potting medium and water from coming out of the container and also to prevent too fast drying out of the soil. But allow only aeration within the container. Best ways is to place in a piece of thick fabric cloth or a weed block fabric or landscape fabric if you have and pour potting mix into this. Here am showing you a simple Hack to use your old jeans for this purpose. You can cut it like this depending on the size of your container and optionally stitch or staple the bottom to make it like a bag. You can also use any laundry or vegetable basket with holes in it or even a fabric shopping bag or whatever. Also the wooden or the bamboo basket will serve the purpose. You can use these DIY things or you can choose these options what I am using in this experiment.
- You can even use these Fabric Grow Bags which have a good lateral aeration system and ideal for growing fruits and vegetables.
- Coco Coir Pots or just called Coco Pots: I am using these coco pots for my experiment. There is a lot to discuss about these coco pots which am thinking to make a separate video on the benefits of these.
What I did was about 2 months ago, I transplanted a small tomato sapling into this coco coir pot. Used the same universal soil mix, I use for all my plants and just watered it regularly. This was growing really fast. I have not done anything to this plant. Not even added any fertilizer but once in 15 days, I sprayed neem oil soap solution to combat those leaf miners.
You can check the present status of this plant. Its really large for the size of the container. The container if only about 10 inch diameter and 10 inch depth and the tomato roots are supposed to be very strong and growing really deep. I do not want to dig it out at this moment, because I don’t feel like taking it out and disturb the plant. When this stops growing and yielding, I shall show you the root ball. You can follow my Instagram page where I post most of my updates.
Actually this was my first experience with air pruning and at present I Personally feel we should use air pruning on every plant we grow in containers. Try it yourself; you won’t be disappointed. Will keep adding more plants to this technique and will share the results with you in my coming videos including the DIY Jeans air pruning pot we made. So that you don’t have to spend money on those costly hitec air pruning pots available in market.
If there are so many Pros on air pruning, there should be some disadvantages too.
The only disadvantage I see is the Plants dry out quicker than conventional pots, so frequent watering or drip irrigation is recommended.
So, there you have it folks, That was something new to learn in gardening – that’s about Air pruning.
#airpruning, #gardenhacks, #hacks, #gardening