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*Smart Pot -- Container Gardening from High Caliper

A New Approach To Container Gardening
The patented Smart Pot is for the gardener who wants a container that will grow the best possible plant. It is a new and unique advancement in container technology that is better than any other method of container gardening. The Smart Pot is a soft-sided, fabric container that has the rigidity to hold its shape and can even support large trees. In fact, the Smart Pot was originally developed for and has been used by commercial tree growers for over twenty years.
  • The top brand chosen by professional growers for over 20 years
  • Plants grow faster & healthier in our fabric containers
  • Reusable, durable, perfect around your home

Address: 7000 N. Robinson Ave. Oklahoma City, OK 73116
Email:     info@smartpots.com     Contact:    
Phone:    (405) 842-7700    FAX:     (405) 842-7706


Why are Smart Pots better for Container Growing?

Choosing the best pot for your plants is one of the most important components for successful container gardening. For more then twenty-five years the “Smart Pot” has consistently out performed all other growing containers in both commercial nurseries and university testing.  The patented Smart Pot is a soft-sided, aeration container, uniquely designed to improve the root structure of your plants enabling them to grow to their full potential.

The comparison below points out the advantages the patented Smart Pot has over various gardening containers.

Better than plastic containers - Hard-sided plastic containers are relatively inexpensive but they are not a very good home for a plant’s root structure. Plastic allows no aeration, conducts and holds heat, and provides inadequate or poor drainage.  Even on mildly sunny days, container soil temperatures can easily top 120 degrees, damaging or killing the roots and stressing the plant. The #1 killer of potted or container grown plants is over watering and plastic containers with a few bottom drainage holes actually help the soil stay too wet. A Smart Pot is constructed of a porous fabric that allows heat to dissipate and excess water to evaporate.  In fact, over-watering is never a problem because excess water drains and evaporates from all of the Smart Pot’s surfaces; its walls as well as its bottom.

Because the Smart Pot is a fabric container, giving the root ball total aeration and excellent drainage, you can even use a heavier, less expensive planting mix. The type of mix used in a Smart Pot is less critical then in hard-sided pots. Also, another Smart Pot benefit is root pruning, a technique used by many commercial nurseries to produce masses of highly branched roots to improve plant quality. When a root grows to the side of the Smart Pot, it stops growing in length and develops many, many fine branches.  By contrast, the roots in a plastic pot continue to grow in length when they reach the side and circle around the side of the pot.  This is undesirable as there are fewer roots and these can grow around each other causing girdling or strangulation. A branched, fibrous root structure (“root pruned”) has a far greater root mass than a comparable plant where the roots are circling on the inside of a plastic pot.  And a greater root mass will grow a better plant.

Better than ceramic and clay pots - Ceramic and clay pots are better for plant growing than plastic pots.  They provide somewhat better insulation keeping soil temperatures lower then plastic pots.  But ceramic and clay still provide inadequate drainage and do not encourage the best root systems. Both ceramic and clay pots are heavy and can easily break.  The Smart Pot is lightweight, inexpensive, doesn’t break if dropped or frozen and can be folded so it stores easily. The Smart Pot also “root prunes”. Ceramic and clay do not.

Better than raised beds - Raised beds are a great way to garden because they provide good drainage and cooler soil temperatures. Roots grow naturally and have virtually all the room they need. But raised beds can be expensive, require labor to install and are stationary. Smart Pot’s are available in a variety of sizes and also provide an ideal growing environment. The larger size Smart Pots can grow all the plants found in raised beds, i.e. potatoes, watermelons, roses, trees, etc.   Roots grow naturally, like they do in a raised bed. But the Smart Pot is a total growing unit, construction materials don’t have to be purchased, no installation or building is necessary, and are much less expensive. Smart Pots can also be moved to different locations unlike stationary, raised beds. The Smart Pot is made of inert fabric and is completely safe for edible plants, while raised beds are sometimes made of treated lumber that may contain toxic chemicals.

Better than decorative containers - Decorative containers are just that – decorative. They are manufactured to look good and are not designed for optimum plant growth.  The Smart Pot is designed to promote the best plant growth.  It aerates, encourages masses of roots and prevents heat damage.  Many customers grow in Smart Pots, then place their plant into a decorative container.

Benefits of Smart Pots

  • Higher Quality Plants Grow In Less Time
  • Roots Stay Cooler During Hot Weather
  • Inexpensive
  • Light Weight
  • Attractive, Simple Design
  • Plants Need Repotting Less Often
  • Reusable
  • More Forgiving  A Less Expensive Potting Soil Can Be Used
  • Plants Can Be Grown In The Smart Pot's Sides & Bottom
  • Non-Breakable Fabric Lasts Doesn't Crack From Frost Or If Dropped
  • Grow All Kinds Of Plants  Annuals, Vegetables, Herbs, Roses, House Plants & More!
High Caliper Growing, maker of the Smart Pot, was incorporated as Root Control, Inc. in 1984 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  But the story actually began six years earlier when Ralph Reiger took an early retirement from a long career at Merrill Lynch & Co., the financial firm, and started The Tree Farm in Guthrie, Oklahoma.  Guthrie is not the center of the nursery business, and Ralph immediately began having problem finding people who could dig trees ball and burlap. He priced tree spades, but that was expensive, and you still needed skilled personnel. With the help of people at Oklahoma State University, Ralph fashioned the first fabric containers, called them ROOT CONTROL BAGS, and put them out at The Tree Farm in Guthrie in 1980.

The initial harvest was in August of 1982. The first thing Ralph noticed was – the trees lived! August in Oklahoma is hot, and not the right time to harvest 2” caliper river birch, or any other variety of tree. Upon inspection, Ralph realized the fabric Root Control Bag had root pruned the plant’s root structure, giving him a vastly improved plant. It was the first instance of someone using fabric to improve the root structure of a plant.

The Root Control Bag immediately gained the attention of a number of progressive nurserymen. Since incorporating in 1984, the Bag system of growing has gained thousands of customers growing millions of plants, in all fifty states and a number of countries worldwide.

In any wholesale nursery, not every plant gets sold. Customers soon noticed that, with proper care, bag-grown plants could sit on top of the ground for long periods of time, even years.  Some customers, notably the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission in Lincoln, Nebraska and Sun City Tree Farm in Ruskin, Florida, began growing plants entirely on top of the ground.  Inspections of the root structures of these plants revealed highly developed, fibrous, non-circling root masses perfect for transplanting success.  Other customers began to put aquatic plants in the bags, resulting again in quicker growth and a fuller, healthier plant.

Eventually the realization occurred that a properly formed fabric container could be a great asset to anyone trying to grow the best possible plant.  It was the smart solution.  We called one of our best customers, Sun City Tree Farm in Ruskin, Florida, and asked them what we should call the product. “I think you should call it the Smart Pot, replied J.C. Tort, Sun City’s owner, “because I feel smart when I use it.  It is economical, easy to use and does a great job of pruning the roots.” So the name Smart Pot was born.  

Gardening was the next step, as more plants were tested. In every case, aeration made a difference. Suddenly we were growing plants that were very difficult to grow in traditional plastic containers. Potatoes, strawberries, herbs, annuals, all grow better when the container they are in allows the plant to aerate and root prune.

Kurt Reiger, Ralph’s son, is now the president of High Caliper Growing.  Our office is in Oklahoma City, OK.

We enjoy feedback. Let us know how your garden responds to aeration.  Send us pictures! Contact us, or email us at info@smartpots.com. We look forward to gardening with you!

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