Grow bags are plastic bags filled with a nutritious growing medium such as peat. They’re an alternative to using pots or planting in the ground and have enough nutrients to supply your plant for a year. All you need to do is plant whatever you want to and water. Quick and convenient.
Growbags as I’m speaking about here are different from the thick plastic containers that nurseries use. Growbags are fully enclosed rectangular bags that need to be pierced to access the soil.
The standard growbag size is 35cm x 95 cm (13in x 37in) although other sizes are available. The standard size can hold around three vegetable plants quite comfortably.
Because growbags come ready with nutrients in the growing medium, they are often tailored to specific crops.
Growbag Preparation and Planting
- Shake the growbag to loosen the compost
- Make some small holes in the bottom of the bag for drainage
- Place the grow bag in the position where you’d like it to stay to avoid having to move it when it has been planted. If you’re planting on a wooden deck, I’d suggest elevating the bag with two 2×4 strips of wood to prevent the deck wood from rotting from constant exposure to the moisture draining from the bag
- If you’re planting taller plants, now is a good time to install some supports for them. Otherwise wait for the plant to reach around 20cm height and then stick a cane into the soil as a support
- Cut an X or square in the grow bag for each plant. The cut-out should be the same size as the pot
- Take your plant out of its pot and plant it in the growbag.
What to Plant
Growbags are not very deep and are therefore best suited to plants that have fairly shallow roots. Salads, herbs and veggies are good choices as are strawberries.
Because growbags have their own compost and nutrients, most of the caring you’ll have to do is to water your plants. Water your plants as normal. That’s not to say that you want need fertilizer at all. The nutrients in the growbag may not be ideal for what you’re planting and you may want to top up with a fertilizer that’s more suitable.
I read about a good suggestion to make watering a bit easier. Use little plastic pots as funnels into the growbag. To do this, cut another X for each funnel pot and place an empty pot in the hole. Then to water, just pour water into the pot and the water will flow to the roots of your plant.