The term microplastics is used for two things that occur in the environment from what may be left behind from plastic products.
Mostly the term microplastics refers to a manmade product that is “microbeads.” These are purposely put into many health and beauty aids, as well as detergents, soaps, and cleaners. These are small, actual pieces of plastic (beads) that cannot be seen with the naked eye and are 5 mm long or smaller. Microbeads are even added to exfoliants and toothpaste.
The other is microscopic pieces of plastic that can be left behind from clothing or manmade fabrics.
Plastics are everywhere, and the best way to limit the amount of plastic that ends up in the environment is to re-use the plastic that has already been created and is on earth. Use post-consumer plastic and not products that are adding new plastic to the equation.
Root Pouch fabric bags are made from recycled post-consumer plastic water bottles that were already on earth and disposed of.
There are several different comparisons of gallons:
Nursery trade gallons versus standard gallons
Liquid gallons versus dry gallons capacity
U.S. gallons versus imperial gallons
When referring to gallons there are different capacity equations In the United States and other countries. A U.S. liquid gallon is defined as 231 cubic inches, which is about 3.785 liters. In the United Kingdom and Canada, a gallon equation is referred to as an imperial gallon. One Imperial gallon is equivalent to approximately 1.2 U.S. liquid gallons.
*Note when liquid gallons are used as reference to gallon size, they are the capacity of liquid that can be stored in that size, not the mass of the liquid itself.
The volume of liquid found in a container of milk for instance is much different than the volume of soil found in a nursery pot.
To confuse matters more the term 5-gallon nursery pot will vary between nursery pot suppliers depending on if they are manufacturing a standard 5 gallon, a squat 5 gallon, a tall 5 gallon or a tapered 5 gallon. Most horticultural pot companies refer to their sizes as #5 rather than a 5 gallon because of this.
Differences in Gallons themselves:
1 liquid U.S. gallon = 3.78541 liters
1 Imperial liquid gallon = 4.54609 liters
1 dry gallon = 4.40 liters
Another variation in what the inside dimensions are of a fabric hand sewn container versus a hard plastic (injection molded pot) is the fabric material is cut. When the fabric is sewn into a pot it will vary up to ½ an inch in the folding of the seams which will cause a variance in the dimensions, therefore creating slight differences in the volume of its contents.
Bottom line if you ever thought that a 1 gallon you get at a nursery with a perennial plant looks a lot smaller than a 1-gallon jug of milk, you were right! One is holding soil; the other is holding liquid and the two have a different conversion of volume.
A 1-gallon nursery pot may only really hold 0.664 gallons of soil.
A standard nursery trade gallon is approximately equal to 0.71 of a U.S. liquid gallon.
The gallon sizes in nursery containers should be considered approximate sizes. The best way to figure out which size container you will need is to check the dimensions.
Short answer is no not at this time. Our understanding is that at this time the federal government does not view growing Cannabis as a federally legalized act and has not yet required that they meet FDA standards test 21 CFR 177.1630 (contact with food, drugs, biologics and cosmetics).
The FDA requirements are of course inevitable since it is important that container manufacturers create safe non-toxic containers for the use of growing plants that will be consumed by humans.
We at Root Pouch believe it is important to our customers that our containers have been tested and have passed safety test for contact with food. We have decided not to wait until it is required and have taken it upon ourselves to ensure that the containers we produce are free of harmful contaminants that may effect the quality and safety of the plants grown in them.
All our grow bags have undergone rigorous testing by BACL (Global testing and certification lab) in accordance with FDA contact test 21 CFR 177.1630
Root Pouch fabric does not air prune like other fabric pots, rather it prunes by entrapment.
Air pruning fabrics allow the root to squeeze through the fabric. Root Pouch traps the root tips in the fabric creating dense fibrous root systems while containing the roots within the bag.
Young plants can be planted directly into next shift up pot or into soil. Fabric will degrade in 12-18 months
Root Pouch degradable plant pots are made of PET derived from recycled plastic water bottles.
This material is melted back to a sterile liquid state then spun into fibers that are mixed with natural fibers which degrade over time. Because the plastic is re-melted it is once again sterile making it a great choice for growing plants for human consumption. Root Pouch does not use new petroleum as do some other fabric companies, so Root Pouch does not contain any toxins. It is BPA free and UV resistant.
Root Pouch fabric does not air prune like other fabric pots, rather it prunes by entrapment.
Air pruning fabrics allow the root to squeeze through the fabric. Root Pouch traps the root tips creating dense fibrous root systems while containing the roots within the bag, making it the best choice for in- ground and pot-in-pot applications. When used as an in-ground grow bag another advantage Root Pouch offers over all other bags is the natural fibers in the fabric draw water towards the pot from surrounding soil lessening the need for drip systems.
Natural fibers are bio-degradable, depending on the mixture amount of natural fibers and synthetic fibers (PET) will determine how long the fabric will be able to restrict the roots from penetrating the fabric once the fabric is exposed to soil on both sides. When the fabric starts degrading, the roots can then penetrate into the surrounding soil. Root Pouch offers 5 different densities and natural fiber blends to fit all types of growing.
Root Pouch fabric does not simply hold dirt it provides a healthier root environment.
Root Pouch is made from recycled plastic water bottles. These water bottles were destined to end up in landfills. This not only prevents the water bottles from ending up in oceans and the environment but also eliminates the need to make additional pots or bags that are petroleum based using natural resources.
Root Pouch non-degradable plant pots are made of PET derived from recycled plastic water bottles. This material is melted back to a sterile liquid state then spun into fibers.
Because the plastic is re-melted it is once again sterile making it a great choice for growing plants for human consumption. Root Pouch does not use new petroleum as some other fabric companies do. So Root Pouch does not contain any toxins and It is BPA free and UV resistant.
One significant difference in Root Pouch and all the others is the weave of our fabrics.
All other fabric companies boast that they air-prune roots. Root Pouch does not air-prune, our fabric weave prunes by entrapment.
Air-pruning works by the weave being loose enough for the roots to squeeze through, once the root hits the air it stops growing and signals the tree to send additional roots.
Entrapment pruning is when the fabric weave is too tight and does not allow the root tips to squeeze through and traps them signaling the tree to send additional roots.
Both methods of root pruning produce the same great non-circling dense fibrous root system when used above ground where there is air surrounding the pots. Growing in the ground as well as pot-in-pot where there is no air is quite different.
Other fabric pots allow roots to penetrate their bags into surrounding soil which is not the most effective way of controlling roots within the bag.
Root Pouch is far superior to pruning roots in all growing applications, this coupled with the natural fibers ability to draw and absorb water from surrounding soil make it the better choice for in-ground growing.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, this picture was a tree that was planted 3 years ago with the bag left on.
(Pictured is the Grey, 250 g/m2 bag) As you can see the roots are fantastic, they are strong, fibrous and very dense.
Depending on the fabric used and how long the plant has been in the pouch, the answer varies, the tree photographed has been grown in a Root Pouch now for three seasons and the roots are fibrous and dense.
With the exception of our boxer line, the fabric is made of a blend of natural fibers as well as PET. Root Pouch has perfected the process of mixing natural fibers into the fabric. No other company has this ability. The natural fibers are biodegradable and will start the degrading process quickly once dirt is on both sides of the fabric (buried with the tree) the bag when in the ground almost acts as a healthy membrane protecting and nourishing the roots. The PET does not break down, and thus our boxer line will not break down at all..
We created the natural fiber bags for the sole purpose of having a product that could be planted with the plants in the field, and then allowing growers to dig up.
The reason we state on our website to remove the bag is because we distribute our product to every state and most all countries across the globe. Some countries as well as some states have restrictions on commercial horticulturist such as landscapers from planting any containers in the ground, to stay.
Our direct customer base is not the end user, or consumer, it is the commercial growers and landscapers so all our advertising is directed on a commercial platform. That is why we advertise (website) that we recommend to remove the bag.
Again take a look at the picture and I’m sure you will agree, that is a beautiful root structure. That is what you can expect of your trees roots with a little care in 2-3 years after you plant it.
Degradability is the ability of the fabric to in part become structurally unsound and allow the roots of the plant to freely penetrate into the surrounding soil. The amount of degradability and the duration of time taken to reach different stages of this are all determined on the following.
Density of the fabric along with the contents of the fibers used in the actual fabric and the percentages used of PET verses natural fibers. This also determines the tinsel strength of the fabric itself which changes as time elapses when the fabric is exposed to soil on both sides of the fabric, which allows the degradation of the biodegradable natural fibers mixed in with the PET.
Of course the actual PET in the mixture is not biodegradable and does not biodegrade. We have many different degradabilities of fabric available to us.
When discussing our non-degradable fabrics it is important to distinguish between PET, not bio-degradable meaning never breaking down, and “”
Nothing lasts forever, saying it lasts forever would imply the pots could be used over and over forever always achieving the optima results they were originally intended to produce.
Not even a standard plastic pot will last in the environment more than a couple of seasons when exposed to the elements.
It does not disappear but it will lose its tinsel strength and therefore not be as good as new nor can it be used for its original intentions forever.
What we prefer saying is if the pot ends up in a land fill, a degradable pot will end up being a fraction of the carbon foot print of its counterpart plastic pot.
A non-degradable pot is designed to not allow roots to penetrate freely for many years and not only is it a far smaller carbon foot print than its plastic counterpart, it itself was made from recycled plastic bottles and not new petroleum so it is a “post-consumer product”
Better for the planet, better for the plant!
The actual contents of the PET versus natural fibers used or the way we are able to combine the two is a closely guarded secret of Root Pouch and is the reason we are able to offer degradability.
Root Pouch ability to grow perfect dense fibrous root systems.
Ashley and Jim from Root Pouch stopped by a testing facility in Germany, February 5, 2016
The Chamber of Agriculture in Germany is conducting an ongoing test comparing three different types of containers( Root Pouch Fabric, Traditional Plastic and Air Pots.. The test will continue for an additional 6 months. Test results will be published fall 2016
The trees shown in the video have been growing in the containers for 12 months.
Testing is conducted by Doctor Andreas Wrede head of Horticulture.
A little about the test facility :
Horticultural Center Landwirtschafts-kammer Schleswig-Holstein
In horticulture center many organizations and institutions working together: Above all, the Chamber of Agriculture with the advisory for horticulture in business administration, cultivation techniques and plant protection. In the corresponding test operation, extensive tests are carried out mainly in nursery, known as nursery competence center. In addition, the training advice for horticulture in Ellerhoop takes place.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6ubBsGarr0
Root Pouch manufactures all of it’s own fabric, enabling us to determine the density, porosity and impregnability. Controlling and selecting the raw material that is used in its creation.
Each fabric is designed for a particular function. All of our fabrics are clean and safe.
Developed to meet safety and sanitary requirements to better ensure a safe product for human applications, Root Pouch fabrics are designed to support use for growing materials that come in contact with products to be consumed.
Our fabrics have undergone and passed rigorous testing by global, international testing & certification laboratory in accordance with FDA contact test 21 CFR 177.1630. [contact with food, drugs, biologics & cosmetics ].
They are BPA free and UV resistant.
Root Pouch is the only Company that uses both recycled plastic fibers along with natural fibers, vegetable fibers or bamboo. These natural fibers mixed into the netting of the fabric will retain moister much more evenly around the pot. While allowing the fabric to breath it is also now helping in cooling down the plant in summer as well as allowing the plant to stay warm in the winter, similar to a blanket surrounding the tender roots. Due to the natural fibers within the structure the fabric will have different tensile strengths depending on the density of the fabric. Root Pouch makes seven different densities of fabric depending on the pot strength that is required. Regardless of the density the pots are guaranteed to always hold the weight that is required for that size of container.
The main reason Fabric pots are so widely used is not to create a stronger pot, but to create a better pot, that provides a breathable healthy growing environment. Fabric pots, unlike traditional black plastic pots, allow water and air to flow through its structure nourishing the root of the plant. It also does not allow the plants roots to circle once they meet the resistance of the wall of the pot. Instead, through a couple of different means, the fabric causes the plant to send out new fibrous roots rather than circle and harm the plant.
The type of stitch we use is called an Industrial Lock Stitch.
Our side seam stitching is nicknamed in the clothing industry as a French
Stitch Seam. It will not unravel when pulled. The Industrial Lock Stitch gets
its name because of its industrial use in outdoor products where unraveling is
a concern for the overall wear and tear of a product. Other fabric companies
use what is called an Overlock Stitch, which is used widely in the garment
industry. The problem with this stitch is that it will easily unravel when
pulled. This stitch is commonly used in items such as clothing where its
functionality is more aesthetic than utilitarian.
Snow and ice have no more effect on Root Pouch fabric then they do on traditional plastic containers.
Keep in mind a plant in a fabric Root Pouch container will fair the extreme cold far better than any other container type. Just like a human, what would help a person in sub-zero cold or wind? If they were wrapped in plastic or wrapped in fabric? Plants and plant roots are the same. Fabric allows the heat given off by plants to be contained and keep the plant warmer in the Winter… and cooler in the Summer.
Root Pouch fabric pots when set can-tight (pots touching each other) will exchange heat between them.
The most threatening thing, snow and ice bring is weight. Plants that are branched loaded down with the weight of ice and snow will break. This goes for plants in fabric, plastic and even in landscape.
Root Pouch winter prep and care are basically the same as any container. All pots should be placed can-tight (each pot touching the other) in a protected area, hoop house or cold shed is great for overall winter protection to consolidate space in an enclosure. Plants should be set in a pyramid. Bottom row each pot touching each other, next row on top between plants or trunks. Exactly as a can yard grower would winter protect if they were protecting plants in plastic containers.
If houses are not available and plants are to stay in can yard. Then again treat same as you would if the pots were in plastic.
Put all plants can tight, you can stack on level to help conserve heat to roots. The danger here (same as any plastic pot) is wind. The pots on the outside parameter exposed to the wind will add the threat to roots freezing. To prevent this some growers will line bales of hay around the outside parameter of pots, this not only shelters the outside pots from the wind but conserves heat. If hay is not available anything that blocks direct wind is beneficial such as thin rolls of Styrofoam rolled around the outside parameter or last resort sheet of plastic. It is important to remember that plants need oxygen.