Air pruning

Air pruning pot

Every where I look lately there seems to be a reference to Air pruning, so I thought I’d look in to it. After some hours of research it appears to be a good idea.

So what’s it all about? Well basically, its about letting the roots of your pot plants come into contact with the air which will “burn” them. Thus stopping plants becoming root bound. What happens with pot plants is that over time the roots reach the side of the pot and then start growing around the inside of the pot eventually strangling the plant and killing it.

With air pruning you use a hessian pot or a bag made out of a  recycled plastic bottle which allows the large roots to grow through. These roots will then get “burned off” by the air and the plant will grow new capillary roots which are the most efficient roots for absorbing water and nutrients. This will make for a healthier, happier, more productive plant.

Air Pruning Method

You stand the cloth pot filled with regular potting compost in a bowl and pour about two inches of water in the bottom, the pot acts as a wick and absorbs water as it needs it. Just keep the bottom of the  bowl topped up with water and the plant will virtually look after itself. Don’t over fill the bowl as then the air can’t get to the rest of the pot and air pruning won’t take place, all that will happen is a water logged sad plant that will eventually drown.

I am so impressed with the theory of air pruning that I have purchased a pot from E-bay and I’m going to experiment this year with two identical tomato plants growing side by side, one in a conventional pot and one in air pruning pot. I’ll update this later in the year.

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