Jul 20, 2017

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Using Garden Bags to Grow Vegetables

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Garden bags can be used as an alternative to plant pots to grow many different types of vegetables. They are an excellent and cheap way to utilise space on patios, decking, balconies, and also in green houses and conservatories. It is becoming an increasingly popular method, particularly amongst gardeners who are keen to grow a small amount of produce organically but who have limited out door space. The main advantages of using garden bags to grow in are,

  • Using a garden bag with fresh compost creates a far more sterile environment than growing in the ground and reduces the risk of pests and disease.
  • They are cheap, easy to source and are reusable.
  • It is quick and easy to dispose of the plants and compost when finished and store the bag away over winter.

What is the best type of garden bag to use?

Use woven polypropylene bags because they are very strong but also porous so provide very effective drainage for your plants. Make sure that the bag has a UV protective coating otherwise it will quickly disintegrate in the sun.

Which vegetables can be grown in garden bags?

There are many miniature varieties of vegetables that have been bred specifically for growing in containers but the normal larger plants do equally well and usually result in much higher yields. Pretty much any vegetable can be grown but it is important to take into account the depth of the roots for the variety being grown and ensure that the bag is sufficiently tall enough.

Shallow rooting vegetables – can be grown in bags with a height of 20cm

Examples include, lettuce, spinach, kale, red radishes, green onion, strawberry, broccoli, herbs, garlic, cherries, chilli and sweet peppers.

Medium rooting vegetables – can be grown in bags with a height of 40 cm

Examples include – carrots, tomatoes, parsnips, cucumbers, peas, beans, summer squash and turnips.

Deep rooting vegetables – can be grown in bags with a height of 60 cm

Examples include, asparagus, winter squash, pumpkins, parsnips, beetroot, pumpkins, broccoli

Useful Tips

  • Push a cane into the soil next to next to each planter for taller and top heavy plants when they are 25 cm tall and tie if necessary.
  • Feed with a fertilizer high in nitrogen during the vegetitive growth stage and then switch to a fertilizer high in potash when the plants are fruiting.
  • Be sure to keep the soil damp whilst growing. Shallow rooting varieties will require more regular watering.