Flower Pouches?

Knoxville, TN(Zone 7a)

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 ;)

Cochrane, ON(Zone 2b)

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.

Knoxville, TN(Zone 7a)

Thanks Broots,
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.

Cochrane, ON(Zone 2b)

Nathalyn...water absorbing crystals are an excellent idea. I have only used those once & that was in window boxes & I guess I added too many because they all rose to the top & really looked gross.

Here are three pic's I promised you. I apologize for the quality as they were scanned & my scanner is old. Didn't have the digital camera then.

This is my pansies right after I planted them. By the end of the summer they really look great.

Thumbnail by broots
Cochrane, ON(Zone 2b)


Thumbnail by broots
Cochrane, ON(Zone 2b)

Impatiens by front door. Forgot to tell you that I also kept mine under lights for a couple of weeks & it really helped a lot.

Thumbnail by broots

broot,your flower pouch flowers are beautiful!!
How long did it take for them to look like this & what size plants did you start with.I have got to try this.
Thank you for sharing your pictures.

Knoxville, TN(Zone 7a)

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.

Here's a good site to see some with directions: http://www.flowerbag.com.au/

nathalyn,thank you so much for the information & the site.

Cochrane, ON(Zone 2b)

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

Knoxville, TN(Zone 7a)

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.

Cochrane, ON(Zone 2b)

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.

Harrisville, MI(Zone 5b)

Broots,Amazing plants,Now I have to try them,I too have a fenced in backyard,are these bags expensive?and has anyone ever tried to combine a vine to run along the top of fence?

edited to say don't tell Adam I snuck in here,LOL

This message was edited Thursday, Apr 10th 1:11 PM

Knoxville, TN(Zone 7a)

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 :)

Knoxville, TN(Zone 7a)

Regarding grass:
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.

Regarding gardening:
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!

Regarding DG:
My new best friends!

Cochrane, ON(Zone 2b)

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.

Scotia, CA(Zone 9b)

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?

Harrisville, MI(Zone 5b)

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.

Knoxville, TN(Zone 7a)

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.

Harrisville, MI(Zone 5b)

I grow a few very large tropicals,I water with a large spinkler quite often,when I do I cover the whole yard so I don't think drying out will be a problem here.

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?

Knoxville, TN(Zone 7a)

CC - - I think that they would look fine hanging from a chain link gate or fence. I also liked how Broots had them hanging on either side of the door.

Lucky you living so close to Parkseed. Do they have a store that is open to the public?

Cochrane, ON(Zone 2b)

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.

Harrisville, MI(Zone 5b)

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.

Cochrane, ON(Zone 2b)

T & T Seeds, black-tie blooming bags - they do have them. They sell for $7.95 Cdn (2 bags + osmocote).

Pinetree Garden Seeds sell them too. $5.98US same as above

Mr.Tomato sells same as above for $7.95US

This message was edited Thursday, Apr 10th 10:13 PM

This message was edited Thursday, Apr 10th 10:25 PM

Newark, OH(Zone 5a)

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

Thumbnail by flowox

nathalyn,yes Park Seed does have a store open to the public.
Their prices are pretty high.

This message was edited Saturday, Apr 12th 11:12 AM

Knoxville, TN(Zone 7a)

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.

St. Louis, MO(Zone 6b)

This string is great! Thanks for the advice. As a result of your seductively beautiful pictures and helpful instructions I weakened and ordered six of the bags from Pine Tree Garden Seeds, ME . :-)

[edit] I would like to plant some of my wave petunias in the bags. Since they can become very large, how many plants should I use per bag?

This message was edited Friday, Apr 11th 9:20 AM

Penfield, NY(Zone 6a)

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.

Seriously, I am getting such great ideas from DG.

Cochrane, ON(Zone 2b)

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.

Cochrane, ON(Zone 2b)

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.

Cochrane, ON(Zone 2b)

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.

Cochrane, ON(Zone 2b)

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?

broots,do you have a picture of the rope pouche without the plants?

Lafayette, NJ(Zone 6a)

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.

Cochrane, ON(Zone 2b)

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.

Length - 22-1/4"
Width - 10-1/4"

Thumbnail by broots
Knoxville, TN(Zone 7a)

Elsie, that's smart to water the crystal first. Will try that with my containers. I ordered six bags from Pine Tree also - - it's a good thing that I have a long fence.

Oh Saturday is near and the call of the nurseries is in my ear.....

Northern California, CA(Zone 9b)

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.

Cochrane, ON(Zone 2b)

CC, got my camera working, so here is a pic of the actual bag. Sorry for the glare.

Thumbnail by broots

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