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Smart Thoughts

Bright Lights, Big Tomatoes: Urban Gardening with Smart Pots

An Oasis in the Concrete Jungle

The urban gardening movement has exploded over the last two decades. With accelerating urbanization throughout the globe, that’s not likely to change soon. Urban gardens create community space, improve food security, slash carbon emissions… Heck, they even reduce noise pollution. They’re also a welcome change of pace from frenetic city life.

If you’re ready to up your urban gardening game, it’s time to consider Smart Pots. Check out these three powerful tips to make Smart Pots work for you.

  1. Win the Race for Space

In metropolitan areas, gardening space is at a premium. That’s especially true for rooftop gardens. So making the most out of limited square footage is a top priority. Smart Pots help you maximize available space by dramatically improving plant yields. Whether you’re growing edibles or ornamentals, Smart Pots can help you grow healthier plants while producing higher yields.

The key is a process called air pruning. In a plastic pot, a plant’s roots will circle the container, becoming a thick, tangled mass. The resulting knotted root ball isn’t efficient at delivering nutrients. Unlike plastic, Smart Pots are permeable to both air and water. When roots detect the presence of oxygen in the soil, they don’t circle the pot. Instead, they branch to form dense, fibrous root structures. All those healthy roots deliver a potent dose of water and nutrients. They resulting plants are dramatically larger and healthier than plastic-grown plants.

For best results, plan the layout of your garden before you put seedlings in pots. Group full-sun plants together and use walls or other structures to create shade for partial-sun species. To help your plants get exactly the right amount of light, you can even take a time lapse with your phone or camera. It’ll help you determine where the highest and lowest intensities of light occur throughout the day.

  1. Keep it Organic

A huge advantage of rooftop gardening is knowing what’s in your food. Unlike knockoff fabric containers, Smart Pots are 100% BPA-free. They’re also chemically inert — so you know nothing is leaching into your soil. Keep your vegetables healthy by using natural, homemade pesticides.

To deal with pests, consider an all-natural pesticide like Green Cleaner from Central Coast Garden Products. This safe, nontoxic product is effective against spider mites, broad mites, and russet mites, killing both adult bugs and their eggs. It also destroys the powdery mildew (PM) fungus, a prevalent plant disease throughout North America. Green Cleaner hits powdery mildew with a one-two punch. First, it coats the PM with active oil, limiting spore reproduction. Then, a combination of alcohol and citric acid dehydrates the mildew while simultaneously killing with its natural anti-fungal properties.

For other garden pests, give diatomaceous earth a try. It’s incredibly effective and inexpensive. Diatomaceous earth is made from fossilized algae. When these fossils are crunched into power, they form sharp microscopic structures. When bugs are exposed to the powder, it punctures the exoskeleton, resulting in death by dehydration. Diatomaceous earth is non-toxic to humans and animals. Sprinkle it on the ground around your plants and put some directly in the pot. You can even sprinkle it on the plant itself to annihilate pests.

  1. Rinse and Repeat

In urban gardening, sustainability is the name of the game. Smart Pots do their part with extraordinary durability. Unlike plastic pots, which eventually crack, disintegrate and end up in oceans, Smart Pots are incredibly long-lived. In fact, they have a conservative life expectancy of three to five years, depending on your level of care. To keep your Smart Pots in tip-top shape, wash them out at the end of the season, fold them up and store them inside. You’ll have high-quality rooftop garden containers for years to come.

Across the globe, urban gardeners are on the cutting edge of innovation. With growing demand for scarce urban space, there’s always an incentive to improve. If you want more from your urban or rooftop garden, give Smart Pots a try. When you see huge plants and jaw-dropping harvests, you’ll be glad you did.

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