Guess what time it is? It's time for the DG County Fair! Now in it's sixth year, enter your blue-ribbon photos or mouth-watering recipes for a chance to win a gift subscription! Click here here to get all the details, dates and entry rules.
Has anyone used flower pouches? I ordered some of the pouches from Thompson and Morgan. And I have two bags of strawberries and two bags of petunias started and are laying flat under grow lights (instructions for planting indicate that the bags should lay flat for 4 weeks after planting).
I understand these bags are popular in Europe, and the pictures that I have seen are gorgeous. My back yard is enclosed with a wooden fense that I want to hang the bags on.
I would appreciate hearing what experience (good or bad) that you have had - - plus any photos if available ;)
Nathalyn I have used them often before. Actually I have some to use this year but I find them a lot of work. It all depends on the size of your plants. If your plants are too big, then you have to make the hole quite large to get it in & then the soil falls out when you water. But I solved that problem easily enough. I use clear hockey tape & tape the hole (hope this makes sense). I have some photos somewhere of impatiens & one of pansies. I will try & find them & scan them & post tonight. They do look very nice when in full bloom, but DO NOT let them dry out because they turn hard like a rock & it is hard to rehydrate them again. Will post later.
I appreciate the tape solution - - I had a hard time getting the larger petunias through the slot without tearing the plant to pieces. I also added some of the water absorbing crytals, so that hopefully, they will not dry out too quickly.
And yes, I bet they would be hard to rehydrate if they got too dry.
WOW - - - I can't wait for my flowers to grow in my pouches.
I have two more bags left and I'm still pondering what to put in them. But after seeing yours, I want to be sure and mix colors like you did. Your pouches look fantastic.
I had the same experience that you did with the crystals coming out of the soil, until I read the directions! Now, I premix crystals in my potting soil BEFORE putting it in the container( mix crystals and osmocote in the soil, being sure to mix it up well). Then I use this in the bottom 2/3 of my containers, and use potting soil without the crystal in the top.
Christmascactus, I used small petunias sold in six packs. The directions say to put the plants in from the outside - but that means you have to enlarge the slots. I filled the bags with soil up to the slots, and then put a paper cone(just used copy paper folded in half) around the plants so that I could put the plants inside the bag and them pull the plant through the slot. It seemed to work easier for me. You have to use small plants in order to get them through the slots.
Christmascactus, thanks for the kind words. All of my plants were in peat pellets (jiffy 7's) & if I had transplanted them to pots I just took them out of the pots & knocked the soil off & planted the peat pellet. The first pic with the pansies was taken on July 26 & I think I planted them in the pouch around the middle of May. The impatiens were planted in the pouches on May 2 & those photos were taken on Aug 10.
Nathalyn, I guess that's what happens when you don't read the instructions, right? Now that I know what to do I might use the crystals again. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. I tried using the cone & putting them in from the inside but it didn't work for me as my plants were just too big for that & I was afraid of breaking off pieces of the impatiens. The pansies would have been ok though. But once I found the hockey tape solution, things went much easier. They don't look too pretty to start with but as they start filling in you don't see the tape.
One thing I did was use twice as many plants as they recommended & planted them quite close & fertilized EVERY WEEK. I don't know how long it took you to do them but it took me an entire day to do one. You are probably much faster. Make sure & post your pic's this summer so I can see them. I'm sure they will be beautiful & you will be proud of them. Thanks for posting that site. Good info.
This message was edited Thursday, Apr 10th 11:37 AM
Thanks for the tips, Broots...The next ones that I make, I'll add extra plants. And yep, I use miracle grow weekly in all my containers.
It is so good to be able to talk about gardening with other folks. I don't know about how it is where you are from, but most of my friends only have a token hanging basket or two. In my neighborhood, there are a couple of guys that are really into having great grass - - but that's not the same thing as gardening.
I'll be sure and post pictures of my bags - - and I look forward to seeing everyone else's photos.
Nathalyn I know what you mean about the token hanging basket. I put a lot of work into my hanging baskets & bags. I also like to try a lot of new & different things where other people around here just plant the same old boring things. I guess my problem is that I overplant, but I like my things to look good as fast as possible. And you are right, it is nice to be able to talk to other people that are really into gardening. I have learned a lot on this forum & been introduced to a lot of new plants. Know what you mean about the grass too as we have one of those that lives behind us. It really makes me laugh sometimes to watch him out there inspecting it.
Rootdoctor, I bought some from Thompson and Morgan - - but since then, I saw them at Parkseed. 4 (10 hole) bags for 6.95.
Parkseed also has two bags with 25 strawberry plants for $9.95. I ordered these, and because the strawberries were bareroots - they were super easy to plant. I have only had these planted and under the growlight for about 5 days,but they are already growing and putting on leaves.
I can't wait to hang them on my fence. Maybe, we should suggest a fence decorating contest :)
I'm doing good to just keep out the weeds and keep it mowed and trimed. I am not about to start mowing patterns like the super grass people. But then, I bet they are totally bewildered at all my flower beds.
My hubby has finally given in to supporting my gardening habit. He bought me my own tiller for my birthday(he has the big one for the hard work and now I have a small one for my beds). Just last week, he went and bought me another yard wagon - - as we are now in "the roll the plants out, roll the plants in" season!
Thanks rootdoctor. Glad you enjoyed the pic's. There are two kinds of bags out that I know of. One is sealed in the centre, vertically, to make two chambers (I don't know if you will understand what I mean) & the other kind is one big bag. There are also some with a black rope handle & the other has a handle just like the plastic the bag is made of. When I bought the ones with the plastic handle, by the end of the summer when the bags were quite heavy the handle was ripping off & I had to continually tape it up to keep it from ripping away from the bag. So now I buy the one with the black rope handle & the bag is black too, but it doesn't show after the plants have filled out.
Yes I have seen them with vines & they look very nice. I would plant morning glory in the top of the bag & let it go along the fence & I have seen them with thunbergia. Your fence would look spectacular.
These are beautiful and I would love to try them. But are they difficult to keep watered? I don't mind watering frequently but it looks like it would be hard to get water to the bottom plants once they fill in. What is the secret?
LOL,I was just thinking about bags and Thunbergia!Broots I got what you meant by vertical dividers,if the problem seems to be weight and the handles,how about a small shelf to sit just under the bag,you would be able to hide it with the plants.Are all the bags black?and does this heat the roots?if the roots could be kept cool,it might be great for a clematis also.?
sorry for all the ?s,just nice to find someone with great experience with hanging bags,I gave up after nursing DWs hangers she would sneak home,and I would lose every one of them,she likes the plastic hanging baskets that I feel they fill with impossible plants,(but they look good when you buy them)I will someday conquer the Fushia.
I bought the green plastic ones, but have not seen the ones with the rope handles. If anyone knows where to buy the better ones, please share your source.
I think I will try to come up with some way to re-enforce my current bags before I hang them. As the flowers should completely cover the bag, I may be able to run a cord around the bag to help support it.
As far as watering, all that I have read indicates that you water from the top - let it soak in, and then water again until you have water coming out of the bottom.
I have the ones from park seed(only 20 mins. from me)-they have the 10 holes. broots do you plant more than one plant per hole or make more holes-how many plants are in your pouches? It looks like you have a lot of plants in it. I like the idea of the rope handles,too-never seen those.
Thank you broots & nathalyn for your input.I don't have a wooden fence-would it look ok to put on chain-link gate?
Zany, one thing that I did to make the watering easier is to cut a length of old hose, the same height as the bag & then cut out small notches all the way down the side & then plug the bottom end with a piece of dowel. You then put some soil in the bottom of the bag & stick the hose down the centre of the bag. It can be kind of tricky til you get the soil up far enough to hold it there. Then when I watered, I used a small kitchen watering can & put the water down the hole in the hose. It is kind of time consuming, but at least you know the water will get down to the bottom & it waters all the way down the bag. You have to fill it quite a few times. I watered mine every morning when I got up & when it is really hot I would have to do it two or three times. If you squeeze the bag you can tell when it is quite wet. There are usually a couple of tiny holes in the bottom on the bag & when water runs out you usually have watered plenty. I know it takes a long time to water then, but to me it was worth it. Glad you liked the pics.
Rootdoctor, a little shelf underneath the bag would be perfect. The only bags that I have seen black are the ones split in two & with the rope handles.I have never seen these offered in the US. I bought mine here in Canada.The others are green. I have never grown clematis but I think the roots would get too warm in one of those small bags & if they are out in full sun you really have to check them to make sure they haven't dried out. If they should ever dry out you would have a heck of a time rehydrating them. I have read that you can lay them in a tub of water to soak them but I have never tried it.
Nathalyn, I bought my black bags from T & T Seeds in Winnipeg, Manitoba & they don't ship outside of Canada. They are called 'black tie blooming bags'. I didn't see them in their catalogue this year but I will check online & see if they still have them. I could always order them & then ship them to you.
CC, I planted 20 plants per bag(told you I had a problem with overplanting). I just make more holes than they have & then plant a couple of more plants at the top so they are growing out the top of the bag too. I think they would look great on a chain link fence. Hey when I took the pic of the pansy bag it was hanging on a nail & was there for most of the summer.
Broots That was why I was thinking Thunbergia,Clematis came from thinking where I will place the ones from the co-op,this is a great thread,good advice Broots,I don't think I will have to work a hose into my design,as much as I like to water,but I can see you have a very nice system worked out.
thought I would barge in as this has become interesting to read about since I am trying bags for the first time also. I took a picture of one of them that I have out now. It is snap peas that I started from seed right in the bag. I didn't lay it down though to sprout, I just hung it up and it worked great. I didn't want to lay it on the ground as the seeds had to be planted when it was still cold out.
This picture was taken on the 3rd and they are already 2x that size
Many Thanks Broots, I think I'll buy some bags and put them back for next year...well, maybe I'll use one now.
Lindenberg Seeds also has them and they do ship to the US.
Once I did a search on "black tie blooming bags", there were several companies that had them. I very much appreciate the warning that the handles will tear. It will be much easier to re-enforce the bags BEFORE the plants grow and cover the bag.
The pictures have inspired me to give it a try. We'll all have to post pics after we get them going.
Now let's see what do I do first, build the pond, extend the veg patch to triple its size, move plants around now that I have more light in the yard, build a couple of copper trellis's, do more container plantings, but first I have to remove all the downed limbs from the yard and get all the big limbs out that fell in my creek (don't need that backing up) but first I have to wait for the snow to melt as the branches are all stuck together. And, my seedlings are running out of space so I need more grow lights and stands. Plant the $60 worth of mail order perennials. Oh yes and the flower pouches. Well, I just don't think spring and summer is going to be enough time to get it all done.
Flowox, your snap peas should really look great in another month. I had thought of starting the trailing nasturtiums & morning glory right in the bag but just never got around to doing it. Will anxiously be awaiting your pic's as they progress.
You're quite welcome Nathalyn. I found out the hard way about the handles on the green bags. I had a heck of a time & it was the above impatiens that it happened to. You wouldn't believe how much tape I had to wind around those handles & try & secure them to the bags.
I have ordered from Lindenberg before. Good company. I always keep two bags in my garden bin just in case I can't find them the following year. I should mention with the black-tie bags the rope handle is knotted at the end & I found it worked really well if I tied an extra knot in each end. That way the knot won't pull through the hole when the bag gets quite heavy.You might not have a problem but after the problems I had with the green bags I didn't want to take a chance.
Padre it was nice to hear that the photos motivated you to give the blooming bags a try. I think you will like them. Although I have never grown the wave petunias, I have seen them in the bags & they really look sharp when they are all filled out. Because the waves grow so large I think you could get away with just planting the number that it tells you put in them. Believe that is ten. The bags have little markings on them (dotted lines I believe)telling you where to cut. Make sure you post your pic's.
Trillium_girl, I certainly think you have your hands full. You are going to have to prioritize. Give the bags a try, you will love them. That's if you can find the time. Ah heck, you don't really need eight hours sleep a night do you?
This is a great thread. I only tried the pouch once and found watering it to be a drag. I never thought of using the water crystals. duh. I use them in all my containers. I water them before I add them to the container, then they don't expand to the top of the pot.
CC, I just took my camera out to take a pic of the bags & found out my camera isn't working. Bummer.So I scanned the label that was attached. If I do get my camera working, I will take a picture & post it.
What great ideas! I am thinking hard as to where I could put a few. I am wondering if my DH would kill me if I put some across my garage door...LOL.
How did you attach the bags to your bricks by your front door Broots? They look so nice there. I have a place but it would involve putting a hanger in the stucco and my DH would definitely kill me for that.
Hi Kell. Believe it or not, there is a very large nail in the concrete. I know, my DH didn't want it either, but I said the bags were going there regardless of what he said, so he put the nails in. If you decide you don't want them later I imagine you could just patch the little hole. I like something beside the door in the summer. If you find another way of doing it, let me know.
I really enjoyed this thread about the bags. I have been reluctant to try them. It is so dry and windy here I am afraid even with the water crystal I couldn't keep them moist enough. I really don't have water near my fence where they would look the best. i have a hard enough time trying to keep my large pots on the deck wet enough. Donna
I have used these bags for the last three yrs. I got mine from Walmart, do not remember the price, I'm thinking $2 a bag. Mine has the green plastic handle. I have not had one to break yet. Some of my bags are three yrs old, some newer.
The only problem I have had is trying to maintain moisture level. Some one gave me an idea that I'm using this yr. With a 10 hole bag, all of mine are, I cut open and stuck max. feminine sanitary pads(4 fit perfectly) to the inside back of the bags. The pads contain water retention crystals.
Mine have been planted for almost a month now and have never looked better. I also insert my plants from the inside
as stated in a post above, try to get as small a starter plant as I can. The only thing that can destroy plastic is
sunlight. Mine are keep shaded for the most part. Hope this helps.
I'll be interested to hear how well the pads do for keeping the moisture to the plants. I had heard this tip before but was afraid it might act as a wick and pull moisture from the plants instead of to them.
Zany, will let you know. I use a good quality potting mix with osmocote added. When I water, I usually tilt the bag at an angle to make sure it get watered top to bottom. Everyone who sees them has wanted to know where I got them.
I had a few of the green ones a few years ago, and they wworked okay, but I did have trouble keeping the bottom half watered, but I didn't know to lay them flat for a month, maybe that helps disperse the roots more evenly throughout the bag...I'm going to try again using some of your ideas, they are really pretty when they are all filled out. I think I'll try some peas in them too!
I was just thinking that my problem with the handles breaking on the green bags was probably because I used 20 plants instead of the 10 that they tell you to plant, which would make the bags so much heavier come mid summer.
Hi All, I have been following this for a bit and just ordered some Black Tie Blooming Bags from a company here in Maine not to far from me called Pine Tree Garden Seeds P.O.Box 300 New Gloucester,ME. 04260 for 2 bags with 2 brass hooks to hang them with they cost $5.98.I did not think that was to bad a price? Everyone has done such a great job with them, thanks to you all for the great tips, I hope that I will be able to get some results close to yours. I am hoping to put them on either side of my door as you did Broot's,Great job.
Last year I saw a website (or a TV show?) that showed how to make them for super cheap, I remember it was really simple to do, but now I can't remember what they were using for the bags, anyone have ideas?
I remember seeing an old innertube used for making one and thought it was pretty clever but so many tires are tubeless now I don't know where I would find an innertube to try it with. But if I ever find one I bet it would last for almost forever!
if you know anyone that has put in a pond liner the part they trimmed off could be seamed up to make good sturdy bags..or an old waterbed mattress...or leaky air mattress...although the flannel backed tablecloths might makr pretty ones that look better while you are waiting for the plants to fill in.
My Black Tie Blooming Bags arrived yesterday, and they look to be more substantial than the green bags. I also like the fact that the slits are not precut, so that you can cut the number that you want, more evenly spaced. I bought two 6 packs of impatiens, so I'll cut 12 slits and not have extra plants left over.
The bags that I started with petunias look great and I'll move them outside this weedend.
I have enjoyed all the discussion about homemade bags. I started eyeing an old shower curtain - - but quickly came to my senses, as I have enough bags to last me for a couple of years.
This message was edited Wednesday, Apr 23rd 12:57 PM
I was at the local dollar store the other day, and spotted one of those hanging shoe holders, it has about a dozen pockets, so I bought it, I figured what the heck, it's only a dollar! I took it home and filled all the pockets with soil, I think it might work! I'll post a picture when I get some plants into it.
What is the quote? Poverty is the mother of invention..something like that? LOL I'm hoping it will work, with the added weight of the plants it might need a little more support, but I think it will be so cute!
I bought one today and I'm thrilled. It was only $9. and filled with streptocarpella, that's it, just streptocarpella. I love that plant. I guess I just never have found one filled plants that moved me before. So I can re-use the pouch next year? Hope, hope??
LOL, right now it's still lying in the trunk of my car in the garage hiding from my dh. I'll post a picture when and if it can come close to looking as spectacular as Broots pictures. Those pics are outstanding. OK, I looked at her pics again, I can't beat that.
Liz, I'm sure yours will look great. Just give it time & LOTS of fertilizer. Yes you can re-use the bags. I never bothered, just started fresh the following year(probably all the tape had something to do with that). I would just cut the flowers off at the end of the season & pull the roots out from the inside. I know I tried different plants til I found what I liked. Tried nemesia one year & wasn't crazy about it. But it's fun trying. Good luck & with your gorgeous weather there shouldn't be a problem.
I just developed a roll of pics and look what was on it! The before pic. way before..I hadn't even planted anything in it yet, LOL! I'll have to take another one in a month or so, this is my $1 shoe bag before I planted it.