Growing Vegetables In Potting Soil Bags
For the last 2 years, I’ve had a really hard time growing vegetables, I can grow herbs like crazy in the garden, but the veggies seem to fall prey to every insect, disease, and anything else that comes along.
I talked to someone who has been around here for eons and runs a nursery nearby. He said that the land we live on used to be a cow pasture, so I said, “great, it should be wonderful.”.
He said, “no, before they built on it, they scraped all the land,” and he said, “I don’t know what they brought in, but, they did bring in some kind of land filler and put it in on top of what was left after they scraped it.” So, he said he has no idea what my soil is made of…great.
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I now know it’s clay soil… ugh – so growing directly in my “land” is not an option, and amending my “land” is also cost-prohibitive. So, that means I need to do container gardening. Whether that means pots, bags, raised beds, or even growing vegetables in bags of soil, that’s what I need to do.
What I do know is that I’m frustrated with it this year. The first year we built a raised bed garden for a brand called Ecoscraps. They sent us their products to use, and they did okay; still not ok for the vegetables, but it worked very well for herbs.
It was not them. It was us, for sure. Now, I will say the tomatoes grew okay; the cherry tomatoes grew like weeds, and the other tomatoes didn’t grow so well.
Last year I tried planting directly into the ground behind the raised garden. I dug out an area, added potting soil, thinking that would make the perfect soil, and planted it in-ground, but it ended up the same as the year before.
The veggies did eh… and the herbs grew like wildfire, as did the cherry tomatoes. I had squash vine borers kill my squash, and I had whiteflies and grasshoppers up the wazoo; I had tomato hornworms that would eat whole tomatoes! I had all sorts of pests. I tried everything and was unsuccessful at controlling it.
So, this year I decided to try a few different things I saw online. My daughter found a few, my mom found a few, and friends wanted me to try some things they saw. So, this year I have bought a few garden planters for the front porch, and those are doing very well.
I found a couple of out-of-the-box ways of growing things and am trying some of those this year. I’m happy, so far, with the results, not thrilled, but I’ll take it. They’re actually growing, they’re green, and they’re happy but not producing much fruit.
I want to share what I’m doing so that it might help someone else. Now I will also say I don’t have a lot of room, so you’ll see that I’m trying things don’t take up a lot of space.
I’ve chosen some cheap ways to make things easier because I can see in a heartbeat how you can really rack up the dollars trying to make a great garden that will produce well. But, if you go that route, it could take a few years for you to make your money back.
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Here is one way of planting in soil bags that someone found online. It showed how to use a bag of potting soil to plant in. For soil bag planting, you lay the bag flat, cut the front off, and plant directly into the bag laying flat. Then you are ready for growing in soil bags.
Planting in potting soil bags sounds perfect… what could go wrong? You’re using nothing but ideal potting soil and water. But, there are a few considerations you need to think about before you start your gardening in soil bags.
Such as what depth your particular vegetables will need for their roots… a bag of potting soil isn’t deep at all.
What I saw growing lettuce in potting soil bags: I wasn’t able to do lettuce this year. The time for planting it had passed. Where I buy, my seedlings didn’t have lettuce until it was too late to plant. However, my friend Ann over at Ann’s Entitled Life tried it and is growing tons of lettuce out of the gardening soil bags. Hers are beautiful! —> Take a look!
What I did for growing vegetables in soil bags instead was plant peppers and cucumbers, and now I’ve been told (and I should have researched, to begin with) that the peppers and cucumbers need deeper planters for the roots to grow.
It’s been a slow start, but they’re doing okay. So, you’ll definitely want to research what vegetables you can grow in soil bags for plants before you start.
When you plant your seeds or seedlings in garden soil bags, once you cut the front of the bag off, you also want to punch small holes underneath the garden in soil bags. Not so much that the soil falls out, but where the water can drain, and then you want to put that bag on something that will allow for drainage and hold the weight.
I looked online with a friend of mine, and we found some very expensive ways to do that, tables with grates and other very expensive things. I don’t have the patience for waiting to get something like that, and I certainly don’t want to spend that kind of money on an experiment like this.
So, I looked in the shed and found an old huge, hard plastic dog crate. I thought I could lay the bag on top of the dog crate. It was the perfect size and could hold the weight, plus the perfect height to keep the bag up off the ground up so I won’t have to worry about grasshoppers – hopefully, that was a big concern of mine.
It’s not pretty, but it got the job done, with the added plus of me not having to bend to tend to it. Those are definitely some of the considerations you’ll need to take into account when you choose this sort of no-dig planting.
No-dig beds for growing plants in potting soil bags can work well as long as you do your homework before getting started.
Then I found an old metal shelving system that my mom had asked me to put in the shed that she wasn’t using anymore. So I got one of those shelves out and sat it on top of the dog house, and that raised the potting soil bag up just a couple of inches which was perfect for the drainage.
So, you see, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to do the things that you see online, just look around and think outside the box to make it happen.
This was the easiest way I found for growing vegetables in potting soil bags. I would have to call it quick and easy bag gardening!
Take a look:
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