The concept of the Root Ring came from the old school outlaws in the mountains.
Over the last 40 Years there have been cannabis growers hiding in the hills throughout the west. From Northern California to Southern Oregon outlaws have been planting weed and looking for ways to grow more with less. In 2003, I found a company at the Farwest Trade Show in Portland Oregon trying to sell fabric pots to the nursery industry. They were struggling to make sales because horticulture growers don't give two shits about root zone development or transplant shock. All they care about is how much a 1 gallon pot costs. They're not gonna spend 25% more on a pot cause it makes a healthier root zone.
I had a grow store back then and all my grower buddies did care about yield, root zone development, transplant shock and all the other factors make a healthy plant. The Oregon Rainforest Company was the first grow store in the US that sold Smart Pots back in 2004. I told the owner of Smart Pots, "You gotta sell these to weed growers" . He took my advice and the rest is history. Today, I would argue that the most copied product in our industry is the fabric grow bag. Geotextile fabric is ideal for containing roots, which is why it is used industrially underneath the roadways of America, but it is also the problem with a fabric grow bag. Its stops root growth at the base of the bag.
In 2013, my buddy Mark and I realized that it was better to cut the bottom out of the grow bags to allow the roots to grow into the ground. We found there were 6 main benefits to Root Rings.
- Increased Yeild (Un-obstructed root growth)
- More drought resistant plants (Roots tap into ground moisture)
- Increased Aeration from above ground geotextile fabric (versus in-ground)
- Native microbe and fungal colonization (indigenous microbes easily move into root zone)
- Water and ultimately nutrient savings (rings need less water than grow bags)
- Lower Cost (less fabric needed)
When we tested the Root Rings the difference was obvious. So we patented it. We also realized that we could easily make rectangle raised beds shapes with the fabric to create the Rizobeds. On top of all that, Rings and Beds are made with recycled materials and can be recycled thus saving the forests from being harvested for raised beds.
Now in California there is a big push for Cannabis Appellations, which are similar to Wine Appellation's adding value to growers in specific climate zones (Alder Point, Ruch, Applegate, So-Hum, Potter Valley, Willow Creek, Comptche, Grass Valley, ETC). Technically you are not growing in and of the Appellation if you are growing in a fabric grow bag. Root Rings allow you to claim Appellations of Origin while increasing the native Terroir of your plants.
If you care about yield, water consumption, Cannabis Appellations, your soil food web and all the other key aspects that make your cannabis great, Root Rings and RizoBeds are the way to go. The final benefit is that they cost less which is one more reason to recycle your old bags and throw up some Root Rings and RizoBeds
Cheers, Keep it Outlaw and never stop growing,