Grow bags are a popular solution for people who don’t have enough land for a garden but really want one. They are universal because you can place them anywhere and have flowers and fresh veggies without having to buy extra land.
It’s a cost-effective and easy-to-use option. You can use these bags inside or outside. Basically, it’s just a bag with the soil you can grow anything in. They are made from thick fabric that is breathable due to the small holes in it. DIY bags are made from a variety of fabric materials as well.
There are many varieties of these grow bags by heights and width, and if you choose suitable ones, your garden will flourish in any space.
In this article, we’ll see how to use these grow bags, as a lot of people make mistakes or spend a lot of time tr
So hop on board and get ready for tasty tomatoes and beautiful flowers!
ying to find information online. The guide is beginner-friendly and packed with useful information.
How to Use Grow Bags: A Step-by-Step Guide
To start growing using such grow bags, you will need:
- Soil (clean, organic);
- Nutrients (optional);
- Grow bag (may already come with the soil);
- Plants or seeds.
Now, let’s get to the algorithm.
Step 1: Choosing a Proper Location
If you need a space-saving option, grow bags are a must-have. You can place them on a porch or a windowsill. They are even suitable for hanging on the walls and fences. This is also a way out if the soil near your house is poor. You’ll spend more money trying to fertilize it. Instead, get several grow bags and choose a location.
There’s only one requirement as to the location – sunlight. Make sure the area is well lit during the day. You should also take into consideration the plants you’re going to grow and how much space they will need. This is especially important for hanging gardens.
Kind tip: To improve the quality of the soil in your garden, dump the contents of the grow bags that you don’t need there. In several years, you won’t recognize your garden.
Step 2: Choosing the Soil
You can buy grow bags with or without soil. In either case, choose a mix that is suitable for the plants you want to grow. The general requirements are the ability to hold moisture and light weight. To make sure what kind of soil you need, refer to local gardeners, or read the ingredients on the grow bags that come with the contents already mixed.
You can also read reviews online to make sure the final choice will be suitable.
Step 3: Planting Seeds or Plants
You can choose to plant seeds and be with your veggies or greens right from the start or transfer existing plants there. You can also use seedlings germinated at home or by other gardeners. In this case, you won’t have to wait for the germination and worry about it but be with the plants from their very birth.
Choose plants that don’t have too long roots that go deep into the soil. While there are bags for those as well, it’s easier to start with:
These also love sunlight and warmth. For example, a lot of shining light will help your tomatoes and cucumbers get more flowers and then food. And if you’re into peppers, sun and heat will help them grow spicier and healthier.
Kind tip: to make sure you don’t confuse the plants as they grow, mark the bags.
We’ll see the planting algorithm taking tomatoes as an example:
- Plant quite deep into the bag while it’s only half-filled with the mix of soil and compost;
- Make sure there’s enough space between the plants as tomatoes love a lot of room;
- Fill the bag only as the plants start to grow, submerging the lower part fully in fertilized soil. This will strengthen the roots;
- Add more soil while your tomatoes are growing.
Kind tip: If you’re planting peppers or herbs, there’s no need to put the roots deep in the soil, so you can put them in the higher layers.
Step 4: Watering Your Plants
There are many types of grow bags, but a lot of them have a layer of thin plastic at the bottom, perforated for successful water drainage. So there’s no danger of watering your plants too much and making them sit in water for a long time. The plastic also helps the fabric bag last for a longer time. But if you’re considering a totally biodegradable option, fabric-only is fine as well.
Don’t worry about the fabric getting wet all the time. Unless it’s a DIY one, these bags are made from materials that last for a long time, even in such a moist state.
Keep in mind that raindrops might leave stains on the fabric. But for most gardeners, it’s not a problem since those stains provide a retro look to them. Others choose to move the bags inside when it’s raining to avoid stains and over-watering the soil.
As to the process of watering, do it like in any other case. Take a container with water and pour some in the areas where your plants are located. For convenience, you can also create a drip system using bottles or pipes. It will help greatly during dry, hot seasons, or if you don’t have time to water plants every day.
Step 5: Supporting the Branches and Harvesting
Use bamboo sticks or other objects to tie heavy branches of tomatoes or cucumbers to allow them to grow freely. If a branch breaks, your tomatoes won’t ripen. After that, just wait for the veggies to get enough life and be suitable for harvest.
As you harvest all the greens and veggies:
- Use the soil, roots, and stems as compost for the future garden;
- Wash the bag with soapy water;
- Rinse and dry;
- Store in a cool, dark place until the next season.
How to Use Fabric Grow Bags: Why Fabric Bags Are the Best
When you ask, “How to use grow bags?” it’s usually about fabric bags. They are made from a variety of non-woven pressed fabrics, such as felt. The material has small holes for water and air to penetrate it well, providing more freedom for the plants, unlike the confinement of a plastic pot.
In regular pots, the roots don’t feel very comfortable as they touch the walls. It might also be more difficult for them to absorb the water and nutrition you provide. As a result, the harvest might be humble, and the plant doesn’t grow as well as it could have. Plus, when the temperature rises, your plants are more likely to get shocked in a pot than in a grow bag that is always ventilated, allowing for a natural cool-down. There are other benefits to fabric grow bags.
You can use one bag for a couple of plants, allowing them to create their own ecosystem, develop roots together, and feed one another using the soil microbes that are different in various plants.
Encouragement of Self-Pruning
The roots are self-pruning due to the air pockets they meet on the way through the soil. As a result, you get a complex root system that has a lot of hairs, each with an ability to absorb nutrients.
Mobility and Longevity
Grow bags are quite durable and portable. If you have a redecoration going on, moving the plants to a different location won’t require a lot of labor. You won’t need to transplant your veggies and worry if they like new soil or not. One grow bag should be able to serve you for about 7-8 seasons.
Ease of Watering
It’s very easy to water plants in grow bags. You don’t have to guess how much you need because all the excess water will successfully drain through the holes in the fabric. However, you may under-water some plants, especially during the summer season. Check on the soil moisture and add water as needed to make sure there’s enough for the plants to thrive even when it’s 90F outside.
The Ability to Create Vertical Systems
Another space-saving option is a vertical grow system. You can hang several grow bags on top of each other, leaving enough space for the plants to grow. This will also help you water the plants, as the mix of water and nutrients will move from the top bag gradually to the bottom one.
Answered Questions and Tips to Improve Your Grow Bag Experience
Here, you’ll find out useful information about growing tomatoes and potatoes in grow bags, watering them, and protecting your plant babies.
What Size Grow Bag Should I Use for Tomatoes?
This depends on the variety you’re about to grow. A universal solution is to get an 8-10” bag and larger bags for tomatoes (5-7 gallons). Smaller types can grow well in 1-gallon (6-8”) bags as well.
You should know that tomatoes like space a lot. If you want them to be healthy and happy, make sure every plant has enough space.
How to Water Tomatoes in Grow Bags?
Tomatoes should be watered like any other plant. But here are some reference points for you to water them well at all stages of growing:
- Remember that you should water the tomatoes after planting them very well. The soil should be moist but not too much;
- As the plants start to grow, water them every day in a usual manner. The best time for them to get fresh moisture is morning;
- In the summer, as the temperature is higher, it’s recommended to water the plants twice a day;
- Tomatoes need about 1-2” of water a week;
- When growing in grow bags, you may need to water tomatoes more frequently as they dry pretty fast. It’s better than having the plants sit in the water the whole time (if you plant in pots);
- Utilize a drip system that provides grow bags with a constant mild water supply. You can get bottles or pipes to make the drip system, and make sure you always have fresh, clean water there;
- Use a self-watering system like wicking in hydroponics. Fill a tank with fresh, clean water, put it under the bags, and use wicks to supply the soil with moisture.
How to Grow Potatoes in Bags?
Growing potatoes isn’t a lot different from growing any other plant in a bag. Here’s an easy-to-follow algorithm:
- In your bag, put about 5 cm of a mix of compost and soil;
- Plant the seeds in the mix;
- On top, put as much growing medium as needed to cover the tubers;
- Water the plants regularly so that the soil is always moist. But make sure it’s not soggy all the time;
- As the plants sprout, cover them with a compost mix as they grow up more and more. When the bag is full, leave the plants to grow as far as they want;
- When the time comes, get rid of the top layer of dead leaves and get to the spuds. You can choose to harvest some of the early.
Using grow bags is less risky if you want 100% of your harvest safe and sound!
How to Use Potato Grow Bags: Useful Tips
Here are some additional tips on growing potatoes in grow bags:
- Keep them covered with soil at all times to avoid damage by the sun (sunscald). Plants need sun a lot, but not too much;
- Place the grow bags in a place where every day they would receive warmth and light from the sun but keep the soil moist at all times;
- Check for pests and diseases regularly;
- Check for other damages by unearthing one of the tubers. There shouldn’t be any issues if you use clean soil;
- Harvest as soon as you see small potatoes. Don’t harvest everything; enjoy your potatoes at different stages of development;
- Harvest everything by fall so that no potato is frozen and damaged in the late fall and winter.
Grow bags are an amazing alternative to regular soil growing. It’s suitable for people who want to save space or don’t own land for a proper garden. It’s convenient to use such bags; they come in different sizes and are much better than pots made from plastic or clay. The roots feel free; the air passes through easily, aerating the soil; you can grow more due to the amount of saved space.
We really hope you’ll try using grow bags if you haven’t already. If necessary, come back to this article to freshen your knowledge.
How did you like it, by the way? Was the information useful? Are you going to try growing in grow bags? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to share your experience!