Haxnicks Vigoroot Planters
A number of forms of air pruning pots are available, I am a fan of these types of containers, as they prevent plants’ roots from becoming pot-bound. I have found that plants grown in air pruning pots establish more readily when they’re planted in the garden, when compared to plants grown in regular containers. They’re very effective.
Last year, as part of my Tomato Trial, I used Haxnicks Vigoroot Planters for the first time.
What are Haxnicks Vigoroot Planters?
Haxnicks Vigoroot Planters have been designed to air prune plants’ roots. In a regular plastic pot, a plant’s roots will grow down to the base of the pot. Once the roots have reached the bottom of the container, they then will circle around the base of the pot indefinitely. Consequently, the plants grown in many containers eventually become pot bound and regular pots tend to be full of very long, yet tangled roots.
In contrast, plants that are grown in air pruning pots do not become pot bound. The roots reach the bottom of the air pruning planter, where the roots are naturally pruned as they reach the base of the pot. An air pruning pot triggers the plant to produce a greater number of individual roots. Consequently, the roots grown in these pots are much shorter in length, they have a vertical, somewhat tufted growth habit, rather than a spiralling, circling habit.
Haxnicks recommend that their customers position their Vigoroot Planters on greenhouse shelving, or on gravel, to allow the maximum air flow around the planters and their plants’ roots, which will maximise the air pruning capability of these containers. You could also place your Haxnicks Vigoroot Planters on wooden pallets with open slats, which I am sure would have a similar effect in increasing the air flow around the planters and the plants’ roots, to enhance the air-pruning effects of these planters and benefit your plants.
Haxnicks spent eight years developing their Vigoroot Planters. During this time, they trialled a number of different materials and formulas, until they came up with the product that is available for customer to purchase today.
Haxnicks Vigoroot Planters are made from recycled polyester with a UV stabiliser. I’ve only had my Vigoroot Planters for a year, but I am told that these planters last around eight years, and the planters can, in theory, be recycled when they are no longer usable.
Benefits of Haxnicks Vigoroot Planters
Haxnicks Vigoroot Planters are smaller than the regular plastic pots that I use for my Outdoor Trials. The Vigoroot Planters hold less compost than my plastic trial pots, making them more cost effective.
During my Tomato Trial, I found that many of the tomato plants that were grown in the Vigoroot Planters produced a greater harvest than the tomato plants grown in the larger plastic pots that were used in this Trial.
I am a fan of air pruning pots, having seen their positive effects on plants for many years now. Haxnicks Vigoroot Planters have been created as air pruning pots. These planters have been designed to maximise the growth of healthy roots, they prevent plants from becoming pot bound.
Plants grown in air pruning pots establish readily when planted in the garden. I find that plants grown in air pruning pots tend to have a stronger, more vigorous growth habit.
There are many benefits of using Haxnicks Vigoroot Planters. Vigoroot Planters are light, they can be folded or rolled up and put away when not in use, making them ideal for those of us with small gardens.
Disadvantages of Haxnicks Vigoroot Planters
I found there were a few disadvantages of using Haxnicks Vigoroot Planters. These planters are not rigid like regular containers, so they can slump in one direction or another – they’re not as stable as terracotta, ceramic, or plastic solid pots.
I found that it wasn’t quite as easy to support the tomato plants that grew in the Haxnicks Vigoroot Planters as it was to support the tomato plants grown in the plastic pots for my Tomato Trial. Having said this, it would be easy enough to build a simple but sturdy frame, to stand over a row of Haxnicks Vigoroot Planters and support the plants.
During my Tomato Trial, in hot weather, I noticed that the leaves of the tomato plants growing in the Haxnicks Vigoroot Planters wilted more frequently than the leaves of the plants grown in the plastic containers. The plants grown in the Haxnicks Vigoroot Planters would have benefitted from being watered more often that the same plants grown in the plastic pots. The tomato plants that were grown in the plastic containers did not need watering as often as the plants that were grown in the Haxnicks Vigoroot Planters.
Haxnicks advise their customers that plants grown in their Haxnicks Vigoroot Planters will require more frequent watering than those grown regular containers, but as this was a trial, I need to keep the growing conditions consistent between all of the trialled products. So, accordingly, all of the tomato plants – the plants grown in the two types of container and the plants that were grown in the soil – all received the same quantity of water during my Tomato Trial.
Haxnicks Vigoroot Planters have a slightly wooly texture, I admit that I have some concerns about the fibres from these planters loosening over time and eventually coming away from the planters and being left in the soil. If you plan to wash your Haxnicks Vigoroot Planters in a washing machine (Vigoroot Planters can be washed on a delicates or 30C wash) it would be wise to wash your Vigoroot planters inside a pillow case or cotton bag and use a Cora Ball to collect any microfibres that are shed during the washing cycle to prevent these micro plastics being washed into the drains and waterways.
Aesthetically, I prefer the look of a terracotta, ceramic, or stone planter to the appearance of a Haxnicks Vigoroot Planter, although these types of containers tend to be more expensive than the Vigoroot Planters. I am not keen on the look of plastic planters either!
Using Haxnicks Vigoroot Planters
During my 2018 Tomato Trial, I compared growing tomato plants in Haxnicks Vigoroot Potato/Tomato Planters against growing tomato plants grown in my regular plastic containers – the pots I use for many of my Outdoor Trials. I also grew plants of the same tomato varieties directly in the soil, so I could compare the harvests of all three growing methods.
Tomato Trial Results
Average yield per tomato plant grown in Haxnicks Vigoroot Planters, plastic containers, and directly in the soil:
Total harvest of tomatoes grown in containers and in the soil, showing the numbers and percentages of damaged tomatoes:
Average harvest in kilos per tomato plant grown in Haxnicks Vigoroot Planters, plastic containers, and directly in the soil:
Comparing the total harvest of tomato plants grown in Haxnicks Vigoroot Planters, plastic containers, and tomato plants grown directly in the soil:
I used Haxnicks Vigoroot Potato/Tomato Planters during my Tomato Trial, here’s a link to these planters on Haxnicks’ website. You can see the full range of Haxnicks Vigoroot Planters here.
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