Calling all "judges" for the annual DG County Fair! Vote for your favorites here!

Question about plastic grow bags

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

I ordered some from GHMegastore, but am a little confused by what I got. My tomatoes are in 2 1/2" pots under lights. I thought the grow bags looked like the perfect next step, and a good space saving option as well. The size and shape are fine, but the holes seem huge. Should I line the bags with newspaper? Cheesecloth? Other? Otherwise, won't the soil fall out?

Has anyone had experience with these bags? Thanks!

Pam

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Here's a link to a picture of the bag I'm talking about

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/fp.php?pid=8444773

I thought it would be a good next step for tomatoes. I will need to give them more root room pretty soon, thought these would be light weight and easy to carry out to the cold frame when the time comes (I have 28 plants- they get heavy!).

Now I'm thinking to line them with a paper towel so the dirt doesn't spill out all over the place. I thought someone posted that they used these bags, that's why I ordered them.

Anyone?

Thanks, Pam

Washington, DC

If you are going to line them, try coffee filters. They are stronger than paper towels and will still let the water drain off.

Used them in my winter sow jugs when I cut the drainage holes too large. Worked great.

belleville, NJ(Zone 6a)

Wow, that is a clever idea! I'll have to try that.
I've been looking at the grow bags too, containers are so expensive! Do they work well? Do they really stand up? I guess the dirt makes them heavy, but still it seems like they'd bend or tip...

amy
*

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Great tip to use coffee filters! Thanks!

The person who wrote about th bags said he folds down a cuff around the top, which helps stabilize them. I'm thinking that once they're all full, I'll have them close together in a 1020 flat and they'll hold each other up. And tomatoes aren't all that fussy so even if it gets a little messy it should be all right. The plastic seems strong enough even though it's thin. Live and learn, right?

Pam

San Diego, CA(Zone 10b)

Pam,

Try Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply (www.GrowOrganic.com). They sell a larger range of Grow Bags than I have seen elsewhere. They have nine sizes ranging from one quart for $0.15 to 30 gallons for $2.49. I just got an assortment of their bags and I can see that I'm going to have to buy more Vermiculite and more peat moss. As to the peat moss, you might try "Beats Peat," which they also sell. It's not 100% peat moss, but neither is the stuff they sell at Home Depot. Anyway, it's cheaper. Home Depot sells a 2 cu. ft. bag of peat/sphaghum moss for $9.47, but Peaceful Valley sells what expands into 3 cu.ft. for $8.99. I've used it, and I have no complaints; in fact, I just ordered another brick of it, and I'm going to be ordering more.

Carmel, IN(Zone 5b)

I am also a big fan of coffee filter for keeping potting mix in the container. Our Master Gardener's group lines thousands of gallon-sized pots with them for our annual plant sale. The paper is strong enough to last for a while, but also breaks down to be planted.

Pam--grow bag are pretty strong. I've been reusing some of mine, and I'm going on year 3 with most of them. Folding the top down does help a bit to stabilize them.

(Pam) Warren, CT(Zone 5b)

Thanks, mom2goldens. Coffee filters are it, and folding down. I really wasn't worried about the quality of the bags, just the holes. And they were so cheap I ordered a lot, so I'll be using them for a while. So again, thanks!

belleville, NJ(Zone 6a)

This is probably a really kindergarten question, but what do you use so much peat moss for? Do you mix it into the dirt/potting soil?
thanks!
amy
*

Carmel, IN(Zone 5b)

Amy--when you grow in any type of containers (including starting seeds), you want to use a light-weight potting mix that does not contain any dirt or soil. Potting mix usually contains peat, or coir, along with some other components that allow for a loose, light mix, such as. perlite, or bark fines. The lighter weight mix allows for good root growth, and good drainage.

Don't hesitate to ask questions--that's how we all learn!

There's a good discussion over in the container gardening thread if you're interested. Check the top 2 "sticky" discussions here: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/f/containers/all/

San Diego, CA(Zone 10b)

amethystsm,

I fill my Grow Bags with 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 vermiculite, and 1/3 soil. I just filled a 15 gallon Grow Bag, and I can see that I need more of the peat moss and probably more vermiculite. I had half a yard of soil delivered, so I should have enough of that for awhile. Here are some calculations I just did to help with my planning. 1 dry cu. ft. = 6.43 dry gallons; 10 dry gallons =1.56 cu. ft. Two cu. ft. peat/sphagum moss from Home Depot=$9.47, 3 cu. ft. from Pleasant Valley=$8.99. Those 15 gallon bags hold a lot. I'm going to keep their usage to a minimum. 5 gallon bags should be enough for most plants.

belleville, NJ(Zone 6a)

Thanks Mom and Snorkel!
I've done containers and been pretty successful with them in past years, but now i'm in a new place with not as much room (or budget) so i'm definitely interested in solutions that save either!

amy
*

San Diego, CA(Zone 10b)

Plastic bags do wear out. When they do, I just slip them, including plants and soil, into new bags. I now have many plastic "pots" made of two layers of plastic bags. When they wear out, I'll add a third layer. This is not too difficult with 5-gallon bags. I might add that it is more easily done when the soil mix is not too damp. It's lighter that way. Finally, although I do this by myself, it would be easier with a helping hand.

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

During the late 70's and early 80's when I owned and operated a commercial greenhouse in Nebraska, the commercial potting mix was made up of 1pt peatmoss and 1pt perlite. I made up my own in a large garbage can. It was the perfect mix as it was well drained, retained moisture, and cheap to make. Plants thrived in it. Great for starting cuttings in. With cactus and succulents the mix was more with perlite or sand. Plant food ofcourse had to be added since the mix contained no nutrients for the plants. Easy now with the granulates.

It would be a great mix to use where weight is a negative factor. It weighs less than any other potting mix.

MiracleGro potting soil contains too much bark and black flies. The only other potting soil that is of value is Expert. Less bark and finer cut. However, I still prefer the peat/perlite mix.

Post a Reply to this Thread

You cannot post until you , sign up and subscribe. to post.
BACK TO TOP