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Feb 26, 2011 11:22 AM

Anybody using Grow Bags for decktop/balcony gardening?

They seems to be all the rage this year--our local farm store just got in a selection of Wolley Pockets; they look sturdy but pricey. Seems like they'd be great if your soil is really poor or if you lack a gardening space.

I'd love to hear what brand you use and how they hold up for multiple seasons.

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  1. I'm interested in this question as well. We live in a small space with no outdoor space, and a local farmer mentioned people building vertical gardens inside their homes. Sorry I have nothing to suggest to you, but I'll be interested also to hear any suggestions people have on gardening in small spaces.

    1. I've used grow bags for potatoes - they were no better/different than cheap garbage bins or any other large container of the sort. Don't waste your money on expensive bags if you can get other containers for cheaper.

      PS. Mine have little side pockets from which to harvest the potatoes during the growing season, however the soil is so compacted it's like trying to dig through a wall of concrete - completely useless.

      1 Reply
      1. re: kristygardner

        What appealed to me is that the bags are collapseable and storeable, and the more sophisticated systems have a built-in lower level water reservior, good for a novice gardener. But I suppose you're right about being able to use old plastic totes, garabge cans, etc, though not very esthetic.

      2. The Grow Bags are great for balcony gardening where weight can be an issue and off season storage is a problem since they are collapsible. But plastic tubs and garbage cans are pretty light weight as well and will give you more years of use. Back when I was doing container gardening I use to grow directly in bags of potting soil. Greens, radishes, mini varieties of carrots and other root crops did well with the bags laid flat, bottoms punctured for drainage, and the top face cut open to plant in.

        We put together this shelf last year for mainly seedlings but successfully grew herbs and salad greens on it indoors through the winter. Next winter I'm going to try growing radishes and carrots, maybe little beets on it as well.

        3 Replies
        1. re: morwen

          One year I grew tomatoes in bags of potting soil. I put them in the driveway because it's the warmest part of my yard, with lots of reflected light. It worked well, but I haven't repeated the experiment -- mostly because I don't like throwing away the plastic bags.

          Those woolly pockets (Wolley must be a typo?) are absurdly expensive, but at least they are reusable.

          1. re: Glencora

            typo? hwo em? there was really enough room for tomato roots? How often did you have to water? I like the idea of solar heat gain.

            1. re: toodie jane

              They were large bags of potting soil. Even so, the eight foot vines growing out of the bags and up the side of the house looked sort of strange.

              I had to water a little bit every other day, or sometimes daily. The potting soil was so light that it drained quickly. I didn't want the nutrients to wash out, so I tried not to over water. As I said, it wasn't the most earth-friendly system, but it was very effective.