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Grow Bags - Have you used them?

 
pollinator
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I'm curious about the use of grow bags for planting different things. Have you found some veggies/annuals that like them better than others? Have you had good experiences with them? Tips and tricks?
 
pollinator
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Hi Jen,

We are using both Plastic Pots and Grow Bags with different results.
I asked my wife to send me some photos and her statement too.

The outcome is that trees which might be prone to root rot are doing definitely better in Grow Bags but others who are tough grow as well in Plastic Pots.
Also tropical hardwood trees which do not like too much water are better in Grow Bags.

But in an overall view the advantage is especially in bigger sizes, that the watering is much better controllable in Grow Bags and the build up of anaerobe Zones is in Plastic Pots is more likely.

Here an example of two Sclerocarya birrea (Marula Trees) who have a very delicate root.
Both were re-potted as seedlings at the same day a few month ago, hence no difference between them.

A disadvantage of Grow Bags (3-7 Gallons) is, that the Plastic Pots are harder when you are moving them and they do not disturb the potting Soil too much which could upset soft rooted Trees.


IMG-20210523-WA0002-1-.jpg
Marula Trees 7 month old - 4 month potted
Marula Trees 7 month old - 4 month potted
 
Jen Tuuli
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See Hes wrote:
The outcome is that trees which might be prone to root rot are doing definitely better in Grow Bags but others who are tough grow as well in Plastic Pots.
Also tropical hardwood trees which do not like too much water are better in Grow Bags.

But in an overall view the advantage is especially in bigger sizes, that the watering is much better controllable in Grow Bags and the build up of anaerobe Zones is in Plastic Pots is more likely.

A disadvantage of Grow Bags (3-7 Gallons) is, that the Plastic Pots are harder when you are moving them and they do not disturb the potting Soil too much which could upset soft rooted Trees.



It sounds like the Grow Bags allow for better air circulation in the soil which keeps the plants from getting water-logged, and as long as I don't move the bags around, it shouldn't upset the roots.

When you say the "watering is much better controllable", do you mean purely that it doesn't get over-watered because it can dry out or something else?
 
See Hes
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yes, all excessive water will drain off fast, but beside this the bags keep their moisture at the walls pretty good in the Thai climate...
 
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Grow bags are my favorite choice at very large sizes. Anything above 5 gallons I would go with a grow bag in just about every situation where I couldn't be in the ground or in a more permanent bed.

5 gallons and lower its a question of what the plants are and what you're environment is like. Smaller grow bags dry out very fast in warm dry climates. They can be a benefit for growing things like cacti in cooler, damper climates, and I have heard convincing arguments from people who are growing commercially and want to feed aggressively, basically mimicking a soilless type system. I don't go in for that agronomic theory to begin with but the argument isn't without merit.

I mainly use them to house perennials that I want to he able to take with me but know that it will be a while before they can go into the ground and the grow bags minimize root binding.
 
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To me the biggest advantage of grow bags to pots is the cost. Grow bags are very reasonably priced. I use them in my greenhouse and scattered around my raised bed garden area for added grow space. Other than that the things that grow well are the things that grow fine in containers. And with that said, one of the biggest issues in container growing is nutrients. I find that container gardening requires much more micromanagement of nutrients so heavy feeders aren't the best. For me, beets, fennel, lettuce grow well. Tomatoes and carrots, not so much. Squash, cucumber do okay, but one plant per 30 gallon bag is best.
 
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I have used grow bags and am not impressed.  
 
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i use 45gal grow bags for groundnuts. the roots tend to run and they make tubers in long chains. in the bags the chains just end up coiled along the bottom of the bag, it makes harvesting much easier. i have some in the ground elsewhere, too, but i always keep some for easier harvesting in the bags.
 
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I could see them working for something like Greg is doing with the groundnuts. I'd rather use a regular blown plastic planter than plastic fabric that sheds microplastics everywhere, though.

When I used them years ago I found they dried out way too fast in a hot, dry summer.
 
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We just buy the cheap 12L black plastic buckets. drill a few holes in them just above the bottom and you have the cheapest plant pot ever, they  stack when not in use and have a handle for easy moving. the oldest I have a 6 years and showing no signs of sun damage. and at the equivalent of 50c each.. can't beat that price.
 
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Jan White wrote:I could see them working for something like Greg is doing with the groundnuts. I'd rather use a regular blown plastic planter than plastic fabric that sheds microplastics everywhere, though.

When I used them years ago I found they dried out way too fast in a hot, dry summer.



Aye, I'd not recommend them for northern California. Of course I've got clay and rocks for soil. I had to empty a couple of the massive brick ones just a few months ago. And nothing but dead soil in them. Roots of the weeds in them only were on the surface. Too dry here unless there was a constant flow of water on it and that just doesn't jive with me.
 
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I make my own.    

I have found them very useful for starting plants to encourage root pruning.


https://www.pinterest.com/mart85yahoocom/grow-bags/


My collection of info about grow bags.


growbag.jpg
[Thumbnail for growbag.jpg]
 
Jen Tuuli
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Mart Hale wrote:I make my own.    

I have found them very useful for starting plants to encourage root pruning.



That's super clever! After reading the comment about microplastics, I got to wondering what might be a better fabric for this. Would thick canvas work? Felted wool? Might not last 5 years but could be composted after they reach end-of-life and then make new ones.
 
Mart Hale
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Jen Tuuli wrote:

Mart Hale wrote:I make my own.    

I have found them very useful for starting plants to encourage root pruning.



That's super clever! After reading the comment about microplastics, I got to wondering what might be a better fabric for this. Would thick canvas work? Felted wool? Might not last 5 years but could be composted after they reach end-of-life and then make new ones.




I used pond liner for long lasting, but it was a bear to sew them, and when roots get stuck in them just a pain.     Better to go with cheap stuff like 20 year weed block,     That way when you are done you can just pitch and make new.

Much depends on what your target is.
 
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