More and more people are growing their gardens in grow bags for a variety of reasons.
1. Cost: Grow bags are inexpensive. Especially if purchased at the right time of year.
2. Size: The average size used in a basic garden are from 5 to 10 gallon. The height makes it easier on those who want to avoid so much stooping, bending and kneeling.
3. It’s pretty easy to move the smaller bags around.
4. A lot less weeding.
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Purchasing Your Grow Bags
The middle of the winter can, often times, yield good sales on grow bags, but, even if you buy in the spring the price is still extremely reasonable. It’s a lot cheaper and easier than building raised beds.
Before we purchase we have to decide what we are going to plant in them. That helps us to determine the size of bags we need.
There are bags that run from 1 gallon to 100 gallons. Maybe bigger but I have never used anything bigger than 100 gallons.
NOTE: Generally these bags come as a five pack. You will get five of the same size in a pack. Unless your buying the larger bags such as 50 and 100 gallons.
The average size we have used in our garden has been 5 gallon, 7 gallon and 10 gallon. The huge majority of things we plant fit in these three sizes.
Most herbs will do well in bags as small as 2 or 3 gallon. Last year we used a 50 gallon and planted a variety of various herbs in that. But, we have also grown a variety of herbs separately in 2 and 3 gallon bags. It all depends on how many bags you want to have.
The small single bags were nice to sit on the steps near the door. I could cut some fresh herbs for a recipe without going far.
Larger plants like Tomatoes do best in a 10 gallon pot but we grew some patio/cherry tomatoes in 7 gallon pots as well. Last year we grew 3 Cherry Tomato plants in one 50 gallon pot.
They make specific bags for Potatoes and we had great luck with them.
Root vegetables are different. The main concern with them is making sure not to plant them to close together. And, of course, you want the bag to be deep enough. You can grow them in the potato bags.
Flowers flourish and do extremely well in grow bags. At least they did for us. We planted one BIG 100 gallon full of a wildflower mix and it was beautiful.
Soil and Fertilizer
It is highly suggested to use Potting MIX and not soil. Because, you want it light and airy in there. Soil tends to compact to much making it harder for the roots to spread.
However: I have seen people using all kinds of mixes in them. Some using soil and compost – then adding a lot of per-lite or other matter that would help break it up and keep it from compacting to much.
Grab your Grow Bag Garden Layout FREE in the library. You will find this may be helpful when laying out your grow bag garden.
The main thing – when using a potting MIX we must be diligent with fertilizing. And some things need it more often than others. It’s a learn as you go thing. Generally once a week for the majority.
I prefer organic and water soluble.. NOTE: We do not always use organic for the flowers..
Once you have decided what to plant the next step is where. Of course we want our grow bag garden in a nice sunny area the same way as any other style of garden.
We will want to place the plants that will grow the tallest in the back so that we do not block shorter plants from the sun.
NOTE: Don’t forget to put some grow bags of flowers in and around your garden to entice the bees to visit often.
Lots and lots and lots…
Since the pots are fabric they drain. We used trays under all the “thirsty” plants like Tomatoes. That way it caught the excess and held it until the plant needed to suck it back up. Even so, the tomatoes and a few others needed to be watered every day. Twice a day at times when it was really hot and dry.
For more specific information on how grow bags work, how the roots do a whole different thing in them, watering and more.. Check out my article and Using Grow Bags.. Why and Why Not