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Grow Bag Soil

New Harmony, UT(Zone 5b)

Hi - I'm new to veggie gardening and plan to grow tomatoes and peppers in 10 gal. grow bags. I realize this question may lead to a zillion answers but I'll ask anyway. What is the preferred growing medium to use in the grow bags?

I'll be eternally greatful for all answers!!!

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Recommendation is to use Potting MIX. Not potting soil. Mix is for containers -- soil is for in-ground or raised beds...

I use MG Potting Mix (without the moisture retention crystals...).

How many are you planning on using, and what type of tomatoes are you growing?


New Harmony, UT(Zone 5b)

Hi Gymgirl,
I'm planning on using six grow bags. Three for cherry tomato 'sun gold' and three for sweet pepper 'gypsy'. This is my first try and so I'm taking my entry into veggie gardening slowly.
Thanks for your help,

Carmel, IN(Zone 5b)

Linda, I second Gymgirl's recommendation. You do NOT want to use anything that has soil in it....container mix must be very light and allow for good root growth, without getting compacted. I've used Miracle Grow, Metro-Mix, and Pro-Mix. Miracle Grow is usually readily available (again, without the moisture crystals) and is fairly inexpensive compared to some of the other brands.

New Harmony, UT(Zone 5b)

Moms2goldens - MG potting mix (without crystals) it is. You gals make my life easier.

Tonto Basin, AZ

Quote from mom2goldens :
You do NOT want to use anything that has soil in it....container mix must be very light and allow for good root growth, without getting compacted. .

Is compaction the main drawback to using soil?

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

In a container, YES, YES, and, YES.

It chokes off the oxygenation, too.

Clover, SC

Also really important that you have a systematic watering plan! It's easy for all container tomatoes, including those in grow bags, to dry out.

Lexington, KY(Zone 6b)

For potato grow bags would you still recommend without moisture retention crystals?

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Yes, same recommendation. Potato soil just needs to be kept moderately, and evenly moist.

Here's another container idea for your potatoes. Those are discarded washing machine tubs. I intend on painting them a nice bronze or copper at some point...

What kind of potatoes are you growing?

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Lexington, KY(Zone 6b)

No potatoes yet. . just the bags. Last year I had trouble finding seed potatoes locally. Tried regular potatoes-BAD idea. What varieties are good and where do you find them? I'm not crazy about Yukon Golds, but open to any other ideas!
Those are cute containers! I unfortunately don't have anything like that.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7a)

If you have a food co-op or natural foods type of store in your area, maybe a local farmer's market, they may have potatoes for sale as food that are eminently suitable for growing as well.

The important thing is, big chain grocery stores routinely spray their potatoes with a chemical that inhibits sprouting. This is so they won't sprout while the store still owns them. Other types of outlets may not have to do business the same way, and don't have to spray the chemical, so they don't.

The only potatoes I've ever grown were Yellow Finns from the food co-op. The same co-op sometimes has other kinds that might interest you, the blue potatoes, the red-fleshed varieties, the fingerlings. If you're going to go to that much trouble to grow your own, you might as well grow something splendid that you know you're really going to like. White-fleshed russets, after all, are still one of the cheapest kinds of food you can buy; you can buy them for a lot less money than you can grow them.

More from my POV on potatoes at:


Lexington, KY(Zone 6b)

Thanks so much. . .I will try our Good Foods Co-op-didn't think of that. . .excellent idea.

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