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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

My Experience Using a Grow Bag

I don't know if you've ever used a grow bag before. So I thought I'd show you mine. 

This was a gift from a good friend a few years ago. I've had fun trying out different plants each year, seeing what will do well in this type of container.

Last year, I had 1 leftover tomato plant that didn't have a home in the rest of the garden. So I popped it into this bag surrounded by bunches of annual herbs. The tomato plant actually did well and gave us lots of ripe tomatoes. I thought it might be too large of a plant to add to container where root room might be more limited.

The year prior I grew kale, flowers, dill, and more green onions.

This year I've got all of my green onions (those started from seeds as well as those propagated from the root ends of purchased green onions), nasturtiums (to use leaves and blossoms in salads), and a volunteer parsley plant. I'll also add some cilantro seedlings in about a month.

I have my grow bag on the deck next to the kitchen door. I water and fertilize the plants in the bag as I do the rest of the containers on the deck. I initially filled the bag with ordinary potting soil, as potting soil drains easily. It also lightweight than garden soil. So I can move the planted bag by myself when needed. It's still heavy, though. So I only move it when I'm planning on relocating it for the season. Many folks recommend emptying the bag at the end of the season and give it a good cleaning. I have yet to do that, but may give it a go this coming fall. 

I've been pleased with the results so far. I haven't had any issues with bugs or soil fungus, perhaps a result of having my grow bag on the elevated deck and in a very sunny spot. 

The real value to using a grow bag is that you can turn any spot in your yard, patio, or deck into a garden, while still being able to clean it up and fold it away at the end of the season. 

Have you ever tried a grow bag? What did you plant in yours? How would you rate your success?


  1. I have a couple of grow bags and am trying to remember what I've tried in them. I know I've tried potatoes in them a couple of times without much success. I've only gotten a couple of little potatoes and one year they were filled with grubs (very gross). I haven't gotten them out this year, but maybe I will.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      That's a big ewwww about the grubs. Perhaps a plant that grows mostly above the soil would work out better.

      I've seen the bags used for potatoes. The ads look promising, but maybe this is a YMMV sort of thing especially with potatoes.

  2. I haven't tried grow bags but it sounds like a good solution when space is limited or undetermined, like needing more garden space occasionally. I like that you can fold it up whenever you don't need it. I guess the material is stronger than trash bags, and deep enough to not require drainage.


    1. Hi Laura,
      Most of the grow bags I've seen are made from a porous fabric. The one I have is a thick vinyl (I think) and has large riveted holes along the bottom edge for drainage. The porous fabric ones do a good job of wicking away excess moisture, but they do dry out easily.

      I think that being able to fold it up at the end of the season is a great aspect, too. I can imagine if someone had several grow bags, they could return their yard to its original state with ease by folding these away until the next year.

  3. Looks good, Lily. I myself have used grow bags for years, and they have worked pretty well. Mine are more of a black canvas cloth material -- which might be good in terms of circulation perhaps(?), but do seem to dry out pretty quickly, requiring frequent watering (sometimes very frequent!). Still, they have afforded us the time and space to gradually install more permanent metal raised beds (which we purchase here and there as we catch a good sale) slowly over the years. This year I have just a few of our cloth bags in production: with squash, tomatoes, mint and garlic. We are hoping in time to eventually 'retire' all the bags (one of these days once all permanent beds are finally in place) for just growing garlic exclusively.....

    1. That is something I've read about, needing to water more often than a typical container due to the porous nature of some fabrics. But as you found, they allowed you to have the size of garden you wanted while waiting for something more permanent.

      You mentioned only using them for garlic at some point in the future. Is there a specific benefit for using a grow bag for garlic?

    2. Thanks, Lili -- and no, no particular benefit to growing garlic in the grow bags beyond just freeing up the space in our newer/larger (and pricier) permanent beds for more varied veggie rotation (as opposed to having the permanent beds tied up in garlic with its slow growing self...), if that makes sense ;-)....


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