David Hobson, a garden columnist, sent me this great photo of his petunia planted earlier this year. Take a look at the root growth (or lack thereof):
It sure doesn’t look like roots “easily penetrate” this fabric, at least when gardeners get them potted up at home. And though I can’t see the top of the plant, I’m guessing it didn’t show “improved transplanting performance,” especially compared to a plug from a traditional liner pot.
Nowhere did I find what this “non-woven fabric” was made of (though there are allusions online to it being biodegradable), but it’s just one more impediment for plants – and gardeners – to deal with.