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Grow Bags--one down four to go — The Grow Network Community
The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.

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Grow Bags--one down four to go

VickiPVickiP Posts: 432 ✭✭✭✭

Last week I got my grow bags. I ordered a five pack of the fifteen gallon size. It took Just over three standard sized bags of soil to fill. This one I planted with Chinese Shawo Fruit Radish. I got the seed from Baker Creek Seeds. They have just started to come up and I am a little worried the temps will be too high, these are a cool weather crop. The instructions said to plant sixty days before first frost date which is usually Oct 15th. I don't want them to bolt.

I have netting over it to keep the chickens out of it. After the radishes are done I will add it into rotation with the other bags for salad greens through the winter. They will be lined up against the south facing wall of the house and when it starts to get cold I can drape plastic over them and make a cold frameish thing over them. That's the plan anyway.

Comments

  • pamelamackenziepamelamackenzie Posts: 145 ✭✭✭

    You could put up shade cloth at an angle to discourage afternoon sun but allow morning sun for now if you are worrying about it being too hot right now.

  • VickiPVickiP Posts: 432 ✭✭✭✭

    That's a good Idea. Our long range forecast shows just one more week of 90 or above temps, but we all know how wrong those can be. It's hard to tell from the photo, but I do have some stakes inside tabs sewn to the corners of the bag with taller ones in back those would work for shade cloth if need be.

  • Melissa SwartzMelissa Swartz Posts: 169 ✭✭✭

    Just out of curiosity, what made you go with grow bags instead of just planting in the soil?

  • VickiPVickiP Posts: 432 ✭✭✭✭

    Long story--at this time it is just more convenient for me. Eventually I would like to put in some raised beds but for now this is where I am at.

  • herbantherapyherbantherapy Posts: 355 ✭✭✭✭

    @VickiP I have used grow bags successfully with heat lovers like tomatoes and peppers but when I tried growing radish and kale in them they did bolt quicker than the seeds in raised beds.

    You are probably right about using a shade cloth to protect them. I would shade the bag itself as they seem to hold a lot of solar heat. I would use a fabric shade not plastic as the plastic sheets just generate more heat. You don’t need a greenhouse effect, you need a cooling effect. At least right now while the temps are still higher. Maybe using row cover would work? Then you can keep the heat and shade the pot a bit.

    Let us know how it goes! I think more people are using the grow bags and any new information is useful.

  • herbantherapyherbantherapy Posts: 355 ✭✭✭✭

    @Melissa Swartz you may have been asking about this particular case of using grow bags but in case you are wondering why use them at all...

    I use them for tomato and peppers because my grow season is very short in the PNW and my garden is surrounded by old growth. The bags with handles allow me to follow the sun through the season by moving them around and the heat from the black bags really give those roots a boost! And when the season is over and there is almost nothing but roots left in the pot I dump it out on the compost pile and throw the bags in my washing machine! No more pre season sterilization needed😊

    i have friends that like them for container patio gardening too.

  • VickiPVickiP Posts: 432 ✭✭✭✭

    @herbantherapy Thanks for the info. Yes, I will only be using the plastic when we start getting freezing weather. So far I like the bags, the radishes have come up, but according to forecasts I should be OK on the heat. Where I have them they do get late afternoon shade, once we start getting colder weather I can move them into full all day sun.

  • pamelamackenziepamelamackenzie Posts: 145 ✭✭✭

    @herbantherapy, thanks for mentioning that you put your grow bags in the washing machine. For some reason, I never thought of doing that. I use the thick cloth bags, so that should work.

  • VickiPVickiP Posts: 432 ✭✭✭✭

    Well I got the second bag planted this morning, Hollow Crown Parsnips and Kyoto Red Carrot. The carrots are a fall specific breed. They germinate in around two weeks, the parsnips are a cool weather crop for early spring or fall but can take up to 21 days to germinate. I just kind of broadcast them together in the bag as they will also be harvested at different times so hopefully I can keep that bag in production for awhile. The last three will be rotation for greens.

  • gardneto76gardneto76 Posts: 208 ✭✭✭

    Anyone have any idea how long the grow bags will last? I have many pots for my container garden, but most of them only last a few years before the plastic starts to crack and break. I used the larger round totes with handles, and have discovered the corded handles break on them in my weather. I love the idea of the grow bags but wonder about longevity of them season after season in the sun. I live in Phoenix, so the sun does lots of damage here.

  • VickiPVickiP Posts: 432 ✭✭✭✭

    @gardneto76 this is my first year with them but the reviews indicated they lasted several years for most folks. They are about a quarter inch thick, felt like fabric and appear to be well sewn. I don't have any experience with the extreme summer weather you have there. The price is reasonable so it might be worth a try for you.

  • pamelamackenziepamelamackenzie Posts: 145 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2019

    My 3 year old ones still look good. My 6 year old big bag raised bed is starting to disintegrate at the top where the material falls down onto the bed due to me not adding back enough soil each season to hold it upright. Probably would last longer if I kept if full of soil/compost so the sides would stay upright. I have heard people say the handles break off of large pots with handles if they try to move them via the handles when full of soil/plants. 1st picture - holes of top of the one I started using in April 2013. This is a large raised bed bag. The 2nd picture is a cloth pot, about three years old, which still looks to be in good shape. These are out all year summer / winter, including Texas summers.


  • gardneto76gardneto76 Posts: 208 ✭✭✭


    @pamelamackenzie the newer bags is in great shape for 3 years old. Are your bags in mostly sun or mostly shade? My big concern is the constant sun on them. It has really destroyed almost everything I have put out there except my brick raised bed. I was told not to use black pots because it essentially bakes the roots to death, so I also have to ensure darker pots in direct sunlight are shaded or clumped together to help block the sun.

  • pamelamackenziepamelamackenzie Posts: 145 ✭✭✭

    The raised bed bags are in full sun. They are large so most of the dirt is away from bag material. The cloth pots are in shade. You can get other colors now such as brown or green.

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