Smart Pots: A Smart way to Grow

gore April 23, 2012 4
Smart Pots: A Smart way to Grow

Smarts Pots are made from a patented geotextile fabric that is unsurpassed in durability. This fabric is then stitched to form a grow bag that can be filled with your favorite planting mix. When used properly Smart Pots should last 5-7 years. They come in 2 colors, black, and a tan color that is sometimes referred to as California camo. There are a few imitators on the market that offer similar products but their materials and construction make them inferior.

Since 1984 High Caliper Growing has been making Smart Pots, but the marijuana industry seems to have discovered them only recently. Before Smart pots there were only a few options for above ground planting areas. Growers had the options of building raised beds, or using the crappy plastic grow bags available at most nursery supply stores.

Raised beds are wonderful, I love them. I like to grow in very fast draining soil mixes that requires frequent watering. Growing in raised beds makes the soil dry out faster and requires more watering. This might sound like a drawback but it’s part of my strategy. I like to plumb gardens with generous drip systems and fertigate the plants with every watering. Faster draining planting areas can be fed more frequently, much like a hydroponic system. The downside of raised beds is their permanence and construction cost. Smart pots offer the perfect solution.

I have grown in plastic grow bags before and they are awful. The larger grow bags are almost impossible to move, and once they get a torn top, they are very hard to properly water. Smart pots on the other hand are built from a very strong plastic cloth that is very hard to rip.

Beyond the advantages listed above, Smart Pots offer several distinct features found in no other garden container.

  • Heat dissipation
  • Air pruning
  • Bottoms that conforms to the ground, making them more stable

The part on air pruning must not be overlooked. These pots actually prevent roots from spiraling around and around in the container by nipping off the roots tip. This newly pruned root responds by branching, and root mass is increased.

Smart Pot Size Chart

Height Diameter of Base Volume in Gallons Volume in Cubic Yards Volume in Cubic feet
6” 7” 1 .005 .13
7” 8” 2 .10 .26
7.5” 10” 3 .015 .39
9.5” 12” 5 .025 .69
9.5” 14” 7 .035 .94
11.5” 16” 10 .054 1.45
13.5” 18” 15 .079 2.14
15.5” 20” 20 .098 2.64
15.5” 21” 25 .122 3.31
15.5” 24” 30 .16 4.32
18” 27” 45 .22 5.97
18” 32” 60 .31 8.38
20” 38” 100 .49 13.1
24” 50” 200 1 27.2

The good folks out at High Caliper make pots even bigger than the 200 gallon. In fact, they mention on their web site that they can make a pot any size the customer wants.  These guys have even gone a little crazy and built a 1000 gallon pot! People are calling it an instant raised bed.

I have used Smart pots myself and find they offer a more sensible solution over other methods of above ground planting. I have witnessed this ‘air pruning’ first hand and I really think it produces better root masses. If your growing area is too rocky or you are just too lazy to dig holes, then this may be the product for you.

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Rating: 3.3/5 (11 votes cast)

Smart Pots: A Smart way to Grow, 3.3 out of 5 based on 11 ratings



  1. 45YearToker May 9, 2012 at 7:26 pm -

    These air pruning pots are the best. Nothing beats them for container growing. And, just incase anyone is interested in a permanent air pruning pot that will never have to be replaced, there are some plastic ones out of Australia that are super. Of course, they’ll cost you more, but you’ll only have to purchase them once. I no longer remember their name, but if you search well enough, you’ll find them.

    There is also a company making them out of a biodegradable material, so if you’re environmentally conscious, you may want to look into those, as well. They’re branded, RootPots. They are supposed to last for 3 years and then degrade safely back to the earth.

    Both the RootPots and the SmartPots can be washed in your washer, and should be before reusing them. Just get all the sand out first, or your wife will have your hide! I’ve used mine for 2 years now, and they show no signs of actually degrading, yet.

    I have used both types, and while I’ve heard criticism about the SmartPots having reduced the thickness of their material, causing plants to dry too quickly, I haven’t found this to be the case. I have had one tear, however. But, my stapler put it back together, and with a better repair, using needle and thread & some care, it will last just as long as the rest.

    One important CAUTION regarding these fabric pots; the roots grow thru the bottoms and into the earth beneath. Normally not a problem, but you MUST consider what has been put on that earth before you allow this to happen. My 1st time with these, I hadn’t thought about that, and, I’d treated the soil with Imodacloprid to fight insects that develop in the soil. Saw no problem with this, as I was using pots & didn’t expect the plants to have access to the chemically treated soil.

    When I discovered the roots growing out the bottom of a pot & a couple of inches into the earth, I had the plant tested and found Imodacloprid in it. it’s a systemic insecticide, meaning that once it contacts the plant in any way, the plant absorbs it and circulates it thru it’s system. I had to scrap the plant. I then put the rest on pieces of plywood to prevent a reoccurrence. I had no further problems.

    One last good point about using these kinds of pots–they don’t heat up the soil and the roots when exposed to the sun on extremely hot days very much, a real plus!

  2. William Fowler April 20, 2013 at 4:30 pm -

    How much water is needed for a 300 gallon smart pot for marijuna growth and how often the watering

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  4. Green Pinky July 25, 2014 at 2:08 am -

    Hello. I have a couple of plants in 1 gallon fabric pot but I need to “pot up” transport my plants into bigger pots. How do I or what technique do I use to transport without damaging the roots??? Please help….