Grow Bags

sue_ct(z6 CT)March 29, 2012

I am considering purchasing some grow bags to supplement my garden space for tomatoes but I am not sure how they work. Can even the largest varieties of indeterminates be grown in them? Do you get the same productivity as you would in the ground? How do you support them adequately? What do you use for soil and isn't it expensive to fill them with soil? Do you do anything to weigh them down? Can they be moved around like pots? Can you recommend any? I was looking at the Gardeners Supply bags, they look about the best but they are 15.00 each plus 15.00 for each cage they show with them. That is 30.00 per plant, although usable for more than 1 year. I would be willing to try maybe 3 at those prices for the first try, but if there are better ones out there I would like to know before buying.

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Here's a review of tomato bags that lists all the pros and cons. Hope this helps!

Here is a link that might be useful: Do tomato bags grow healthy tomatoes?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 5:40PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I have 4 of the 10 gallon 'Grow Bag' and ordered 2 15 gallon ones for this year.

While determinates do great in them indeterminates will do ok with extra attention so I am upping them to the 15 gallon ones for the plants I grow on the deck. They work exceptionally well with my drip irrigation system and hold up well to the weather. 2 of them are going on their 4th season with no wear or tear. I find the Grow Bag brand to be much less expensive than the GS bags and are the same material only black. Especially if you shop around you can find good prices on them from the greenhouse suppliers and with research on them you'll find pics of whole gardens done in them exclusively.

They are filled with any good quality potting mix - not soil - and I use only ProMix BX in mine. I replace 1/3 to 1/2 of the mix with new mix each year. That isn't required but I prefer the boost I get from the fresh mix.

Support is either a cage tied off to the deck rail for determinates or a full CRW tomato cage around the container and all for indeterminates.

Before investing in the GS bags I strongly recommend some Google research into 'tomato grow bags' for lots of good info on all the various brands available.


    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 7:38PM
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sue_ct(z6 CT)

Thanks, Dave, I did and got confused with all the options. I don't have a deck, just a cement patio so tying them off to posts, while it sounds like a great solution, won't work for me. I will look up that brand. The GS ones I think are 18 gallon, and going by the idea that bigger is better with indeterminates, it was one reason I thought those might be best. I have never grown determinates but I have considered it because I would like to can some. I don't have any determinate seeds, I would have to research some good tasty varieties. Do you get a large yield from the determinates even in bags? So maybe indeterminates don't work well in bags?

I was mostly looking for personal experiences of the people here who may have used various bags and what worked and what didn't for them.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 9:02PM
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sue_ct(z6 CT)

Are smart pots different than grow bags, and is one better than the other?

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 4:53PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Just one of the brand names. Same fabric-type bags are sold under several different names.


    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 6:39PM
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roper2008 (7b)(7b)

You can get the plastic grow bags really cheap. I think they last
2 season's. I'm trying them for the first time this year. You can
get 7 gal black grow bags for .37 cents each.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 6:48PM
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sue_ct(z6 CT)

Hmmm, I wonder if the roots will do as well. It would be great if you post back with how those plastic ones fared for you. I am looking at 18-20 gallon fabric ones right now. I can get 30 gallon but I am not sure its necessary and the cost of soil mix has to be factored in. I want as large as I need to get really good productivity but no larger than I need due to the cost of filling them. I have not heard from many who actually use these for indeterminates. So I may only try 2.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 7:15PM
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My reply is about two years late, but I have also been doing research on the fabric grow bags and will try them this year in my condo garden, 2014 in zone 4 previously know as zone 5 based on winder 2013/2014 in mid-west- -20 to -30 F. Nothing zone 5 survived in S. Wi this spring.

I have selected a determinate (early girl) based on the staking challenges with indeterminants,. As far as availability, look up hydroponics suppliers in your area, they will have many options in the store for you to view and consider. I have big hopes based on my research that the grow bags will be successful. Kind regards and hopes for your success. Barb

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 1:27AM
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sue_ct(z6 CT)

Thank you, I did end up purchasing some from a hydroponics store. They were half the cost or less of the smart pots. When I needed a few more, I did buy three smart pots so I could compare them and I was equally satisfied with both. I have replanted all of them this year.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 9:20PM
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