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Anyone use grow bags? #5433969 05/20/20 08:53 AM
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Quattro Pete Offline OP
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Anyone into container planting?

I usually grow some veggies (tomato, pepper, carrots, eggplant, etc.) on my patio in containers, just using regular plastic pots. Apparently grow bags, because they're breathable, help plants develop better root system and help avoid over-watering.

I ordered some 7-gallon grow bags to try this year. Just curious if anyone else has tried them and can comment.


https://blog.gardeningknowhow.com/gardening-pros-cons/pros-and-cons-of-using-grow-bags/


✰ 2002 530i   ✰ 2015 Q5 3.0T   ✰ 2018 Charger SRT
Re: Anyone use grow bags? [Re: Quattro Pete] #5434001 05/20/20 09:52 AM
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I've thought about it but I don't think it's a cost effective method. Clay pots are more durable and probably provide better breathability - but have a higher initial cost.

Re: Anyone use grow bags? [Re: Quattro Pete] #5434029 05/20/20 10:27 AM
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i've heard of them and seen them used in several gardening shows, but have not tried them.

i am planting in raised beds right now and have several large washing machine tubs that I am using as planters.


Safety doesn't happen by accident.--author unknown
Re: Anyone use grow bags? [Re: Quattro Pete] #5434060 05/20/20 11:06 AM
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Dave9 Offline
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There were debates about cloth bags in grower forums years ago and every now and then the topic pops back up.

Basically, they reduce the available soil area for roots due to their excessive drying of the soil, so the only good reason to use them for growing benefits, and it is a good reason, is if you have excessive rain and need an even faster draining soil than can be had in a less porous pot material. If that excessive rain doesn't continue, then you'll need to water more and/or more often, with much more attention payed towards doing it, to end up with an optimal soil moisture level.

The whole "air pruning" concept is a load of hogwash. Plants evolved for billions of years to grow in the ground without any so called air pruning. That's just marketing spin started by the brands promoting their air pots and air bags as something special. They have their place but shouldn't be deceivingly marketed as better for the average grower when they aren't.

However depending on what you have access to, if soil is cheaper than containers (which it is eventually if you compost), you can usually get larger bags cheaper than larger containers made from rigid materials. You can maybe scavenge used 5 gallon buckets for cheap, but buying new, especially larger than 5 gallon, can get expensive, yet many plants thrive in larger than 5 gallons of soil. Even then, you need even more soil to grow the same size plant in a cloth bag due to that root pruning effect.

That cost difference, and having them all look the same so it is aesthetically pleasing, are more justifiable reasons to use them if you don't have excessive rain problems.

Last edited by Dave9; 05/20/20 11:18 AM.
Re: Anyone use grow bags? [Re: Quattro Pete] #5434074 05/20/20 11:34 AM
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izualangel Offline
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My advice is based on Utah, so your experience will be slightly different. I've tried grow bags with absolutely no success. It's impossible to keep them moist enough in the summer. I have 4 Earthboxes that I use in spring and fall, and I like those. They can hold a decent amount of water, and keep the soil moist with the mulch covers. In summer they get too hot, and the plants get unhappy. Not a downside, but a caution about those Earthboxes. I dump them out every year into my in ground garden, and every year I find some giant fat black widow hanging out in the bottom, having crawled in the drainage holes. Your location is Great Lakes, so you might not have any of these issues.


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Re: Anyone use grow bags? [Re: Dave9] #5434102 05/20/20 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave9


However depending on what you have access to, if soil is cheaper than containers (which it is eventually if you compost), you can usually get larger bags cheaper than larger containers made from rigid materials. You can maybe scavenge used 5 gallon buckets for cheap, but buying new, especially larger than 5 gallon, can get expensive, yet many plants thrive in larger than 5 gallons of soil. Even then, you need even more soil to grow the same size plant in a cloth bag due to that root pruning effect.

That cost difference, and having them all look the same so it is aesthetically pleasing, are more justifiable reasons to use them if you don't have excessive rain problems.


Last year, I found myself with more plants than I had places to put them.
Cheap solution: cat litter buckets. Drill drainage holes in bottom, some rocks in bottom, garden soil on top.
Did well with cherry tomatoes last year.
Planted some excess banana pepper plants in them this year.


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Re: Anyone use grow bags? [Re: izualangel] #5434217 05/20/20 02:17 PM
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Quattro Pete Offline OP
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Originally Posted by izualangel
My advice is based on Utah, so your experience will be slightly different. I've tried grow bags with absolutely no success. It's impossible to keep them moist enough in the summer.

Yeah, I have the opposite problem here in MI. My container plants seem to suffer from over-watering/too much moisture. Moisture seems to take too long to evacuate due to our rather cool and rainy weather, so I'm ready to try something else.

My main concern is if these bags will be sturdy/steady enough to hold up a large-ish tomato plant and its cage without falling over in the wind. I'm going to have to tie it up to the railing probably.


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Re: Anyone use grow bags? [Re: Quattro Pete] #5434263 05/20/20 03:15 PM
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i think i'm going to experiment with growing in bags. can always route the fruit vine away or down. I have seen videos where the tomato plant is hung up high and then the fruits are brought down low...


Safety doesn't happen by accident.--author unknown
Re: Anyone use grow bags? [Re: John_Conrad] #5434286 05/20/20 03:38 PM
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Quattro Pete Offline OP
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Originally Posted by John_Conrad
i think i'm going to experiment with growing in bags. can always route the fruit vine away or down. I have seen videos where the tomato plant is hung up high and then the fruits are brought down low...

Are they hung in grow bags or in something more sturdy?

The ears/handles on most of the grow bags I've seen look rather flimsy - I wouldn't use them for hanging.


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Re: Anyone use grow bags? [Re: Quattro Pete] #5434853 05/21/20 07:38 AM
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Would the Ikea bags be cheaper? or similar?
Also, for stability and drainage you could set them on a "box" made out of 2x2 or 2x4 (what is cheaper in studs/furring strips in your area) with sides and you drop wires/string for the plants to cling.
This should work pretty well especially with bean plants.

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If winds will still move/take down this contraption, you can weighted at bottom with sand bags.


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Re: Anyone use grow bags? [Re: pandus13] #5434877 05/21/20 08:10 AM
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Quattro Pete Offline OP
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Originally Posted by pandus13
Would the Ikea bags be cheaper? or similar?
Also, for stability and drainage you could set them on a "box" made out of 2x2 or 2x4 (what is cheaper in studs/furring strips in your area) with sides and you drop wires/string for the plants to cling.

If winds will still move/take down this contraption, you can weighted at bottom with sand bags.

Thanks.

If I have to spend money on additional modifications/contraptions, then this will no longer be cost effective. Might as well buy proper clay pots instead.

The bags I just ordered were $2.79 each, shipping included.



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Re: Anyone use grow bags? [Re: Quattro Pete] #5434886 05/21/20 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Quattro Pete
Originally Posted by John_Conrad
i think i'm going to experiment with growing in bags. can always route the fruit vine away or down. I have seen videos where the tomato plant is hung up high and then the fruits are brought down low...

Are they hung in grow bags or in something more sturdy?

The ears/handles on most of the grow bags I've seen look rather flimsy - I wouldn't use them for hanging.


hmmm doesnt sound like grow bags would work for tomatoes. i will use a hanging basket for a few more i want to plant.

even though a little late, i plan to sow a few more seed 'tatoes and i think the bag idea would work for this. thanks


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