cloth bags

Jane McGary
Sun, 14 Oct 2018 10:45:57 PDT
I buy chrysanthemum starts (rooted cuttings) in nonwoven fabric "pots." 
The specialist growers write that although the bags are biodegradable 
and can be penetrated by roots, it is best to remove the bags when 
potting the young plants on. I move the rooted cuttings into 4-inch 
plastic pots as soon as they've recovered from shipping and removal from 
greenhouse conditions, and grow them on until I see roots at the drain 

These bags might be useful for growing bulbs from seed, since they are 
cheap and the young bulbs can be potted on when they go dormant. On the 
other hand, the bags aren't reusable like plastic pots, which (though 
made from petroleum) can be reused for many years. If you use them to 
start annuals, I'd be sure to wait until the seedlings are well rooted 
before removing the bags. Some annuals might not have roots strong 
enough to penetrate the fabric. I don't know, as in my area annual seeds 
are usually directly sown. Also, I'm not sure whether the bags would 
allow free enough movement of water to prevent rotting of 
moisture-sensitive plants such as many bulbs.

Jane McGary, Portland, Oregon, USA

On 10/14/2018 7:05 AM, Jane Sargent wrote:
> What is the experience with starting or growing plants from seed in 
> biodegradable cloth bags? These are available really cheaply on Amazon 
> and would have the theoretical advantage of preventing transplant 
> shock. I have never tried using them.
> We woke this morning to our first frost here in Central Massachusetts 
> (zone five) this morning. It's about 3 weeks late, so the zinnias have 
> continued to be ebullient.
> Jane Sargent
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