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5 Reasons To Use Fabric Over Plastic Grow Bags

 

5 Reasons To Use Fabric Over Plastic Grow Bags

I love grow bags. They’re a great choice for gardeners with limited space, and you can bring them with you if you have to move. But should you use fabric over plastic grow bags? Which type of grow bag is the best option?

Plastic will work in a pinch, but the fabric is my favorite grow bag material.

I’m here to tell you that fabric is your best option when using grow bags. And here’s why:

They promote healthy root growth.

Unlike plastic ones, fabric grow bags are breathable. You can buy fabric grow bags here. The permeable fabric allows roots to breathe and encourages something called air pruning. Have you ever picked up a plastic plant container only to notice the roots are all mangled and twirled up? This is unlikely to occur with a fabric bag because exposure to air in effect prunes the roots.

And this pruning isn’t just good for preventing root-bound plants. It also makes roots healthier and better able to soak up water and nutrients.

They’re easy to transport.

Even when filled with dirt, fabric bags are easy to drag from one place to another. When empty, they’re easy to store, too. You can fold them up and store them in a tiny nook.

They prevent root rot.

Because the fabric is permeable, water easily drains out the bottom, which is not the case with plastic grow bags. Plants that sit in water for days on end can end up dying due to root rot. Over watering is a common mistake, especially with newbie gardeners. You spot an unhealthy-looking plant and assume it needs water, right? Except, often it’s too much water that’s the problem. With fabric grow bags, you’ll never overwater again.

They don’t overheat.

Plastic is a great material of choice for keeping heat-loving plants happy because it tends to soak up heat. But in the middle of the summer, when the weather gets too hot, plastic can help plants on their way to overheating. Fabric is less likely to cook your plants to death. It can even help keep the soil cool.

You can reuse them.

You probably think fabric pots aren’t reusable. Well, you’d be wrong! You can reuse most fabric pots for at least a few years. And they aren’t prone to cracking or UV damage like plastic.

What to plant in fabric bags

You can plant just about anything in fabric grow bags, but my absolutely favorite plant to grow in these containers is potato. Potatoes can take up a lot of room, and it can be tough to dig them out in a regular garden bed—raised or not. But when you grow them in a fabric bag, just dump out the soil at the end of the season and gently sift through the dirt to find those starchy treasures.

Ultimately, anything you can grow in your regular garden will grow in a fabric grow bag. Grow bags are great for patios and balconies. They’re also great when you’ve run out of room in your main garden beds and need a place to plant on short notice.

 




How to Reuse Grow Bags

 

How to Reuse Grow Bags

Grow bags are an excellent container option for the frugal gardener. They’re extremely versatile and work for a variety of plants. Did you know that you can reuse them from year to year, too? Here’s how to reuse grow bags and save money down the line.

What is a grow bag?

A grow bag is a flexible container for growing plants. It’s usually made out of a breathable fabric. The breathable material lets air and water through but keeps all your earth neatly contained.

Benefits of using grow bags

Grow bags have a ton of wonderful advantages and are especially useful for frugal gardeners. They are great for:

People on a budget. If you don’t have a lot of money to spend on fancy containers, grow bags are an excellent choice. They’re fairly durable, so you can reuse them for several years.

People without a lot of room. If you have a small space or are gardening on a patio or balcony, grow bags are an excellent option. They’re available in multiple sizes, and when they’re empty, they fold down flat. You can also drag them around in spaces where the light moves around quite a bit, which can help you keep your plants happy.

Temporary gardening spaces. Not sure if you’ll be gardening in the same location next year? Use grow bags! When you’re done, they can come with you. They’re easy to store and transport when empty.

Certain plants. Grow bags are great for growing certain kinds of plants. I’m particularly fond of growing potatoes inside large grow bags. It keeps the potato plants contained, and at the end of the season, I just dump out the earth making it easier to spot ready-to-eat tubers.

Beginner gardeners. If you’re new to gardening, building raised beds or creating an in-ground plot can seem like daunting tasks. Grow bags are easy and convenient growing vessels that require not an ounce of physical labor.

How to reuse grow bags

You’ll get more life out of your grow bags if you empty them and store them in a dry place over the winter. Dump out the earth in your compost bin (or in a raised garden bed, if available) and then rinse, dry, and store your bags for the season.

You can also leave them full of dirt and reuse them next year. You’ll need to mix in fresh compost next season.

However, if any of your plants were diseased or experienced severe pest infestations, you’re better off safe than sorry. Toss out all the dirt and start fresh.

Some grow bags are also safe to toss in the washing machine, which is great if you need to sterilize them once the growing season is done. Never put grow bags in the dryer, though. The heat can cause shrinkage or weaken the fabric.

By reusing your grow bags, you can save money and avoid waste.

If your grow bags rip, don’t throw them away! You can use the pieces as a weed barrier in pots or raised beds.