Like most people, I love a good deal. That’s how I ended up picking up a Smart Pot circular garden bed. It was originally about $18 but had been reduced to $4. That’s a pretty good deal for something I had initially marked off my shopping list because of how much it cost. If you’re also wondering about whether a Smart Pot should find its way into your garden, I’m here to give you the 4-1-1 on them.
Smart Pot Positive
These planters are made of fabric. That helps make them lightweight and therefore easy to drag to a new spot if the location you chose isn’t working out for your plants. This gives the Smart Pot an advantage over similarly sized terra cotta planters, which are heavy enough on their own and even worse when filled with dirt and/or plants. The Smart Pot is also somewhat more flexible than terra cotta, which could be helpful in tight or oddly shaped spaces. There’s no need to worry about how fast your plants will grow, mine grew equally well in them during the winter as the same ones did in similar-sized terra cotta pots.
These containers are useful even on solid surfaces like concrete or porches. Gardeners in spots with colder weather will be glad that the Smart Pot won’t crack in the freezing temperatures like terran cotta and sometimes plastic does. These containers are easy to assemble and take down when you’re done using them. They even fold into flat shapes that don’t take up much storage space. Smart Pots are hypothetically washable but do so at your own risk. People with whom you share a washer and drier with might not be pleased to find the machine full of dirt.
The Not-So-Smart Pot?
The main downside to these containers is their high prices. You’ll want to keep your eyes open for sales. Another option to consider is making a DIY Smart Pot on your own at home. (Yes, I’m putting that on the project list).
Another problem I noticed was that it was very easy to bump into the container while working in the garden and knock the plants inside it catawampus. The Smart Pots are clearly not as stable as terra cotta or plastic containers. Therefore, they may not be the best choice for growing delicate plants. Heck, even the mustard greens and onions have kept flopping sideways in the Smart Pot.
I was a little concerned that the dark colored cloth might not be good for my plants, considering how hot it can get here. The vegetables I’ve grown have been fine during the winter. However, I can’t say what will happen when the outdoors temperatures crank up. Some years earlier, I had several plants that died for no reason other than I put them in a black pot on my front porch. But they were indeed pansies…
Other Notes Regarding Smart Pots
I would not class the Smart Pot as a “raised-bed”, although it’s certainly marketed that way. The one I bought didn’t seem large enough to qualify, but the larger sized ones might accurately fit that description. The medium-sized Smart Pot functions more as just another container for a container garden. While it is very nice for creating a popup raised bed without much effort, a collection of lower priced containers in terra cotta or plastic would work just as well. They can also be a good deal cheaper.
Like most garden pots, the only additional materials that you need is a bag of dirt and some plants. The Smart Pot offers plants some protection from harmful elements found in garden soil like nematodes, but the same is equally true of plastic and terra cotta containers.
The Smart Pot’s breathable fabric allows excess moisture to wick out, which is a necessary aspect for planters. But the moisture that’s seeping out could also cause stains to appear on decks, patios, concrete walkways, etc. You might want to use a cheap picnic table liner to prevent stains if the Smart Pot is set up somewhere that could be a problem. As always, best of luck and happy gardening!
Buy a five pack of the 3 gallon size for around $19:
or buy a five pack of the 5 gallon size for around $23: