My next door neighbour was a very keen gardener and frequently used rice bags to grow some of her plants. That was back in the 70s and I have not seen anyone use this recycle planter technique since. I suspect she learnt the technique from her birthplace, Malaysia.
Lately I have heard mention of this planting technique. So here is a little summary of what I know. Let me know if I missed anything.
Ricebags come in a variety of qualities and the quality can affect plant growth.
To get the full benefits of ricebag planting the correct weave is needed to:
- One, ensure the plant can adequately drain whilst also holding adequate moisture for a plant’s optimal growing condition; and
- Two, allow the root system to breath
The quality of the ricebag will also affect the longevity of its function as a planter. After reading Laurie’s blog on ricebag planting in Sri-Lanka it seems the bags degrade after 12 months in tropical conditions.
Sunlight is also a cause for some concern – some ricebags become brittle after being exposed to the sun for only a short while.
There is one product on the market that addresses this issue. Woolly Pockets. They are made from recycled plastic and allow a plants root system to breath -like the rice bag – however they are designed to last. The weave of the fabric is just right to ensure adequate air and water flow to maximise plant health. There are also indoor Woolly Pockets that are lined. To read more on these pockets go to Vertical Garden/Living Wall section of Garden Beet’s website.
If you want the ricebag look without planting directly into the pot I have just spotted these cool recycled rice bag planter pot holders which are like little jumpsuits for ugly plastic pots. You do not plant directly into the bag so there is no need to worry about soil and moisture and if you keep them indoors they should last an age.
There is one size (diam 15cm x 13cm) and it comes in various colours. Each one is handmade therefore no two are the same.