What are grow bags? Do you really need them? These are the first few thoughts that popped into my head when I started reading about grow bags. They seemed like this fresh new buzzword for people like me and you with green thumbs. However, the more I learned about them, the more certain I became that they weren’t just a fad.
In fact, grow bags are a great asset for people who don’t have a backyard. This little gardening solution is a great way for you to grow a vegetable garden on your patio, terrace, or greenhouse. Think of it as a container garden that’s slightly better than the original.
I figured that some of you must have the same questions as I had when I learned about these amazing container bags. So I figured that I should write up a mini-guide to help you out.
Why Use Grow Bags?
As the name suggests, these are bags that are used to grow plants (preferably vegetables/fruits). The bags are made from either plastic or fabric. The ideal ones usually have holes in it for aeration and drainage. The bags are filled with compost and soil to create the perfect environment for your chosen plants. You then grow the planted seeds by watering them and maintaining them.
That sounds simple enough. However, why are grow bags considered better than container gardens?
Here are a few reasons:
- better drainage system than container gardens
- they create well-aerated and breathable environments for the plants
- healthier root system because they prevent root bounding
- they minimize over-watering and regulate the temperature
- you can use them outdoors/indoors without any issue
Other than that you can reuse them for another year or two. Plus, since they are foldable, storing them requires less space than the plastic containers you usually use.
Best Grow Bags in the Market
Once I find a gardening tool/solution, I try to look it up online to find the various options out there. In this case, I wanted to know what kind of vegetables/fruits I could grow in a bag. Also what kind of different variations were there for a normal grow bag.
Let’s look at some of the options I loved:
1. Tomato Grow Bags
Who doesn’t love growing fresh cherry tomatoes in their garden?
I know I do! That’s why these canvas vegetable grow bags were a great option for me. They don’t just give you a medium to grow your tomatoes; they’re pleasing to look at too. The rustic look will add another element to your gardening space.
But do they function well?
- They’re super easy to use
- Hold up to 20 gallons of soil which gives your tomatoes ample space to grow
- They are foldable – making them easier to store
- Great drainage and reliable aeration
Pro-tip: Despite all these advantages, you must know that they can get heavy once you fill them. So, since tomatoes love heat, choose a nice sunny spot for the bag before you fill it up.
2. Potato Grow Bags
2 Pack 7 Gallon Smart Grow Bags With Velcro Window Vegetable Grow Bags, Double Layer Premium Breathable Non-woven Cloth for Potato/Plant Container/Aeration Fabric Pots with Handles This potato bag is probably the coolest grow bag on this list. It comes with a window to keep tabs on how well your potatoes are growing. They are also sturdier than most bags available in the market so you won’t have issues with durability.
I also appreciate the fact that the design includes handles: that makes it easier to move around.
More benefits include:
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Breathable fabric allows potatoes to grow properly
- Promotes good rooting system
- You can reuse it again for the next harvest
- Doubles up as storage bags
3. Strawberry Grow Bags
Looking for a simpler way to grow strawberries?
This strawberry bag is the one for you. The hanging bag is perfect for vertical gardening and they can accommodate around 22 strawberry plants. Think of all the fresh fruit you’ll get as compared to a regular planter!
The bags are made from breathable felt that is light and easy to carry. It comes with hooks and eleven holes that ensure your strawberry shoots have room to grow.
- Washable material
- Facilitates vertical gardening
- Minimizes plant diseases (e.g., mold and mildew)
- Easier to water the smaller strawberry shoots
- Minimizes plant decay
Pro tip: The grow bag tends to get heavy when you fill it up with soil and while you water it. So be sure to use strong hooks and a steady place to hang from or it might collapse on you.
4. Carrots Grow Bags
Root vegetables often get suffocated in a container garden. However, you won’t face this issue with a well-designed grow bag. This particular one is made from biodegradable material that is breathable. The bag comes with 5 drainage holes that reduce the chances of over watering your vegetables.
My favorite thing about them is the little flap that allows you to harvest your veggies and also keep a check on them as they grow.
- Promotes healthy roots and reduces root bound gardening
- Eliminates the threat of diseases and fungal growth
- Protects carrots from environmental elements
- Can store up to 10 gallons of compost
- Easy to move around with the help of handles
5. Hydroponic Grow Bags
Are you looking for something that yields more produce?
You’ll enjoy working with these hydroponic growing bags. The bags are made from a thick felt-like material that resists heat and allows lots of air. The bag is sturdier than most container bags because it’s thicker than the rest. This feature makes it easier for you to move it around without worrying about rips.
Another great thing about these grow bags is that they’re available in various sizes (3 gallons to 20 gallons).
- Ease of use
- Extra capacity that permits the roots to grow freely
- Minimum plant damage by environmental conditions
- Better aeration and drainage than potted plants
- Lasts for 3-5 harvest seasons
6. Large Grow Bags
Gardzen 6-Pack 30 Gallon Grow Bags, Aeration Fabric Pots with HandlesiPower 20-Gallon 5-Pack Grow Bags Fabric Aeration Pots Container with Strap Handles for Nursery Garden and Planting(Tan)VIVOSUN 5-Pack 30 Gallons Heavy Duty Thickened Nonwoven Fabric Pots Grow Bags with Handles
Sometimes you just need a larger sack to grow your veggies. Want to grow zucchini and squash on your back patio? A large grow bag would be perfect.
Wish you could grow a salad garden all in once place? Yep! A large grow sack will accommodate that too: just plant a lettuce and a cucumber in the middle, a few onion sets and garlic around the edges and some herbs in between and you have the perfect salad garden in a container. What I love about this arrangement is that when the weather cools off, you can move it indoors, in a sunny space and continue to enjoy delicious salads for some time.
7. Grow Bag Trays
Grow bags are wonderful, but not without fault. Water will evaporate a lot faster than other containers, so you need to figure out a way to keep your soil moist. I like using the bottom of a storage bin like this to sit my grow bag in. This way my bags are neatly organized and I can water them easier. Just add water to the tray and the plants will suck it up as needed.
These trays will also keep your area neat and free of dirt, as everything is contained: a big win in my book!
Frequently Asked Questions about Grow Bags
1. Can grow bags be reused?
You might have noticed that all of the grow bags on my list can be reused. That’s because I have chosen ones that are easy to wash and clean. Their durability and sturdiness also play a role in this. So you should always try to pick a bag that is made from tough material.
That will ensure that you can utilize the bags for more than one year.
2. How long do grow sacks last?
Most high-quality grow bags can last for 2-3 years. Their durability for most parts depend on how well you maintained them while growing the plants and also how you store them. If you do things properly then you can extend their lifespan to 5 years.
3. How do you water them?
Grow bags need more water than a standard planter. That’s because their optimized drainage system sucks up the water at a faster rate. Therefore, it’s important for you to create a daily schedule for watering your plants in these containers.
You can also try creating a self-watering system to irrigate the plant. You can do this by placing a bottle/container in the soil. It should be strategically placed like a drip so that the plants get watered throughout the day.
4. How to clean grow bags?
Since most are waterproof and washable, all you’ve got do is hose them down to clean them. After that, dry them under the sun and then store them in a clean place. Then take them out for the next harvest season whenever you want.
5. Where to plant grow bags?
The best part about grow containers is that they are portable. So you can shift them across the deck and position them anywhere you want. The ideal spot is somewhere sunny, airy and open so that plants get access to all the essentials (light, air, and water) that help them grow.
My favorite spots are:
- On the deck
- Inside a greenhouse
- Hanging near the kitchen window
6. Will roots grow through grow bags?
Yes and no. The answer to this question depends entirely on the type of bag you’re using and the plant growing inside it.
Typically, these containers contain more than one drainage hole to give your plants room to grow. These access points allow the roots to grow out of the bags and prevent root binding that’s seen in potted plants.
7. What’s the ideal size for a zucchini bag?
The rule of the thumb in container gardening is that zucchini plants require 12-18-inch of soil to grow. So you need to pick something a bag size that is between 20-40 gallons. Your choice will vary according to the variety of your zucchini plant.
8. Where to buy grow bags?
Since they are so popular these days, you can find them in many stores: your local garden store, Walmart, Loews, Home Depot, and many other stores. I prefer to buy mine online: this ways I get a nice variety to choose from at a great price. And I can see reviews from people who used that specific one I’m looking at. Here’s Amazon’s selection: best I found anywhere!
Let’s Sum It Up…
On the whole, grow bags are a clever way of gardening by promoting healthier root systems. They also eliminate common gardening issues like weeds, mold, and over-watering. Plus, their compact size makes them an ideal choice for gardening in small spaces.
Go grab a grow bag and start gardening!