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Contain Potentially Invasive Plants in Fabric Grow Pots

People hoping to develop an edible forest garden or even a small perennial food producing plot should consider focusing on native plants that require little care and offer bounteous returns. In some cases, such prolific food producers will be labeled “invasive” or “aggressive” by modern gardeners who have grown accustomed to notions of annual planting, square-foot gardening, and calendar-based planting and harvesting. Fabric grow pots are one solution for containing potentially invasive plants that benefit your health and your garden.


As one begins to grow her own food and recognizes the intense work that goes into babying even only a few annual plants, though, she sees that perennial polycultures offer the opportunity to reduce routine gardening work significantly. With such polycultures in mind, Charles Thompson of Central Alabama Permaculture Enthusiasts suggests trying ten vigorous growers in fabric grow pot containers for better soil aeration, no-drown watering, improved drainage, and containment of potentially invasive roots, tubers, and vines.


Growing Comfrey in Fabric Grow Pots Mitigates Invasion

Comfrey in The Blue Heron Edible Forest Garden, photo by Charles Thompson

Among the most popular perennial plants are a host of herbs that once established are generally trouble-free growers. Many herbs easily take over grow areas to choke out less assertive plants. Additionally, several forageable plants are known to pique adventurous gardeners’ interests only to be demoted in hearts later for their aggressive grow habits.


What is it about gardeners that makes us so hungry for the bounty of the harvest and equally disdaining of producers that exceed our imaginations? At the least, this conflict seems counterintuitive. At most it seems counterproductive. Fabric grow pots and other container gardening options help to strike a balance between in gardens certain plants are welcome food sources with limited garden rights.



Growing the plants listed here in containers will help gardeners to control their productivity and extensions, gauge their value in the garden, experiment with certain polyculture developments, and determine the best spots within the broad garden design as container gardens are easily rearranged as necessary to optimize light, shade, water, and other factors.


Ten very useful plants that will benefit your polyculture and may work best in fabric grow pots are:

  • mint
  • thyme
  • oregano
  • marjoram
  • chives
  • horseradish
  • sun choke
  • hopniss
  • bellflower
  • comfrey
sun choke

Sun Choke Rises by Paul Fenwick


Notorious garden over takers, the first six plants on this list are herbs with a variety of uses, including flavoring, medicinal, and garnishing purposes. Excellent in teas, soups, salads, and home remedies, each of these is extremely easy to grow, but some people shy away from bringing them into their gardens because of their vigorous grow habits. This is one reason herb gardens are so often grown in spirals, raised beds, or containers. Anyone who worries that herbs will take over their garden should consider planting in containers that are easily placed in yards or on balconies to harness light and receive natural watering, easily brought inside for overwintering, arranged for optimum layering to beautify and maximize height differences.


contain potentially invasive hopniss is fabric grow pots

Hopniss Flowers and Tubers Are Edible

Sun choke, hopniss, and bellflower are all food producers that are highly desirable for a variety of reasons but sometimes kept out of gardens either because they do not show up on traditional grow lists or because they have been reported to over take great spans of garden space. Many people report, too, though, great success growing these in polyculture situations similar to the Three Sisters’ Garden that normally includes corn, squash, and beans. Each of these three plant combinations may be grown in container gardens, and this seems a perfect solution for the invasion problem.

creeping bellflower fabric pots

Creeping BellFlower Is Beautiful and Edible.


The last plant on this list, comfrey, is not typically consumed, but it offers excellent health properties when used in salves, creams, and other topical home remedies. Its greatest use for polyculture gardens and other grow spaces, though, is as a dynamic accumulator. Drawing nutrients directly from the soil, comfrey store houses nutrients. Simply adding comfrey leaves to soil at the base of your plant or to your compost goes a long way toward improving the health of many gardens. 

 Added to many gardens for just this reason, comfrey is an extremely resilient plant, too, and growers often grumble that it is nearly impossible to remove once planted as cutting the roots only promotes the growth.


There are many reasons to take a chance on any and, in fact, all the plants on this list. Beautiful, useful, and easy to grow, each of these plants stands to enhance your garden, and aggressive growth does not have to keep you from including them in your garden scheme. If you dream of growing them directly in the ground but are afraid to commit to what might develop into an overwhelming relationship, consider container gardening them first to give them a try. Using fabric grow pots as opposed to traditional containers seems an excellent solution for related concerns, too.


Some of the issues commonly encountered with container gardening are poor soil aeration, poor drainage, and eventual the eventual binding of the plants roots. These very real concerns are easily addressed by selecting quality fabric grow pots. Perforations in the wall of the fabric grow pots promote excellent aeration, drainage, and water flow. A prime ratio for soil aeration, drainage, and moisture retention eliminates other threats such as root spiraling and binding. Root rot, too, presents no threat for fabric grow pot gardens.


What’s more, sun chokes, hopniss, and bellflowers are highly prized forageables that can be hard to find and difficult to harvest in bulk. Growing them in containers eliminates the problem of tracking them down and gathering enough to store. With sun choke, hopniss, and bellflowers growing together in a large fabric grow pot, year round harvest is simplified, and each of these will benefit from having their soil disturbed for periodic collection.


Consider growing your own container garden of herbs, three sisters or friends, and comfrey to imagine larger scale polycultures for your garden space. There’s no time like the present to increase your garden time and your edible yield.

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