EverGrow Bags (EG Bags) restrict and partly contain roots. How?
When the bag is planted in the ground, the roots begin to spread inside the bag. Fine roots can penetrate the furry fabric, and grow through the outer fabric into the surrounding soil - however, as they thicken they get squeezed by this strong, outer material, reducing their vigour. The tree responds by laterally branching out more fine roots inside the bag. Once a tree or plant's roots fill the bag, it’s growth becomes restricted.
EG Bags can be used above or below ground. Used above ground, root tips stop when they reach the material sidewalls and sense the open air. The root tips ‘air prune’, again branching laterally along their length, so they are fully contained within the bag.
Roots don’t circle and root bind as they do in plastic pots. There is no need to repot, there is a healthy cycle of old roots breaking down and new roots being formed.
Bag size and pruning are your main controls of the tree’s final size. Vigour differs between species and growth is affected by many factors but in general a bag below ground will support a leaf canopy around 10 times the size of the bag. Above ground there is more growth restriction as the roots can’t access surrounding soil. Roots above ground tend to get hotter and drier, needing more regular care. For bags kept above ground we recommend choosing a bag size larger to help counteract this.
Check your plant’s specific needs. For planting above ground use only a quality container mix. Below ground some of the existing soil if friable and suitable for the plant, can be blended with potting mix and/or compost. . Partly fill the bag, and press the potting mix firmly into the base. Standing in the bag and using your feet works well! Add soil around the plant’s roots, firming against the sides to pack out a smooth, cylinder shape. Soil will sink as it settles. Leave a 2-3 cm gap at the top. A layer of stone or bark will suppress weeds, retain moisture and disguise the protruding fabric, but check periodically to ensure roots haven’t 'leapt’ over the bag rim.
Space trees with the mature size and spread in mind. EG Bags drain no faster than their surrounding soil. If drainage is poor, plant the bag half depth, or sit above ground. The tough, white base prevents roots penetrating through the bottom when bag is placed above ground.
Protect your tree in strong winds with stakes in the ground surrounding the EG Bag and stretchy ties.
Branches can break when heavy fruit bends them too far. Support using soft ties or props.
EG Bags inside pots or planters will prevent your tree/plant outgrowing its pot, or becoming root bound. No need to root prune and repot. Secure your tree/pot to avoid it being blown over in the wind.
IMPORTANT: When sitting EG Bags into pots, be aware the bag’s white base is waterproof. To avoid the white base acting like a plug and drowning plants you must ensure water can seep through the side walls of the EG Bag, past the edges of the white base, and then flow under the white base to the pot’s drainage hole(s).
This can be achieved with a loose layer of pebbles, stones or polystyrene chunks across the inner base of the pot and partly up around the sides of the bag. Check for free drainage.
In fruiting season your tree will need regular water, however in the dormant winter months it will need far less. EG Bags above ground need extra watering. Water crystals can be useful. If the potting mix has dried out, and will not easily absorb water, soak the whole EG Bag in a tub of water to rehydrate.
Tips for retaining moisture: Use a saucer to catch and absorb run-off; shade the bag with other objects or material; mound up soil, woodchips or bark around the bag; make a ‘wicking bed’ or a slow dripping system.
When planting a young fruit tree in a 20 or 30 Litre EG Bag we recommend cutting the trunk off between knee and hip height (500mm - 1 meter). This does not include bushing plants such as blueberries, Feijoa and citrus etc which are already shaped and best not to prune in the first year. WIth fruit trees, where you cut on the trunk does depend on the existing branch structure and also the final height and shape you desire. Ensure you leave at least 15-20cm of trunk above the highest grafting or budding scar on grafted trees to allow branches to grow from this area. Apply pruning sealer. This cut is essential for creating a low, compact structure. You may choose to cut higher for 30 & 40 Litre EG Bags as they produce a bigger tree.
Header cuts are best made in late Autumn through to very early Spring - which are also the best times to establish trees.
‘Topping’ your tree may seem brutal, but your tree trunk will respond in the Spring by popping out buds, which quickly form new branches.
Prune and train the best placed buds into your desired shape. Remove unwanted buds. Stone fruit usually suit an 'open vase' shape. This lets light into the centre which encourages fruit spurs to develop on the lower branches. Pip fruit are often shaped with a ‘central leader,’ or espalier style along a fence or against a wall.
Check specific plant requirements. Most trees benefit from a slow release fertiliser in Spring and/or a compost mulch. Liquid fertiliser is a good option for bags above ground - use a saucer to absorb run off. Your tree also gains energy from light (photosynthesis) which fuels growth, flowering, & fruit development.
The growth rate and size achieved will differ with each species and cultivar. These differences may require some adjustment in the training methods and spacing used. If you find your tree planted in the ground is growing too vigorously, you can experiment with some of these options and then observe the results.
Walnuts are not recommended for planting in EG Bags due to their long tap root.
EG Bags will not restrict raspberry roots when bags are planted underground.
Avocados - contact us for more information.
Take your trees with you when you move house! Gently lever the whole bagged tree out of the ground with a spade(s). Planted underground, some roots will have grown through the sides. If you discover larger, protruding roots it is likely they will have a thin ‘bottleneck’ where they exit the EG Bag, and have been constricted by the tough fabric. Such roots can be cut off when shifting. The mass of feeder roots within the bag will ensure the tree can easily handle a shift – however it’s best to do this while dormant.
SAFETY WARNING: Bags may be very heavy when filled. When shifting or lifting bags please follow safe lifting practices such as team lifting, and using a sack barrow.
EG Bags used above ground have a 10 year U.V. warranty. Planted underground they last much longer. Materials are chemical resistant and will not rot, tear or fray.
Results may vary and depend on many factors. The customer assumes all responsibility for the care and performance of their planting. If for any reason you are unhappy with your purchase please contact us & we will do our best to help.
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