Where space is restricted growing bags are a versatile and economical means of producing various crops on balconies, patios, and porches.
These bags are approximately 900mm (36") long by 350mm (14") wide and 100-150mm (4"-6") thick, and contain a potting compost mixture.
*Sizes can be substantially different between different suppliers.
It is possible to grow fruit, vegetables and herbs in these, e.g. salads, herbs, strawberries and tomatoes.
When preparing the bag for use, firstly shake the bag as if fluffing up a pillow to loosen the contents.
Pierce drainage holes in the base of the bag in half a dozen places.
Place the bag in its growing position, preferably a sunny sheltered spot.
Depending upon what is being grown one can either cut a number of slits in the top of the bag (sometimes there is markings on the bag to indicate where to make these holes). and plant plants.
Alternatively, cut out a section of plastic from the top of the bag and sow a few seeds in rows.
Ideally, grow cut and come again salad varieties to prolong the cropping period, or fast growing crops such as radish.
The secret is a little and often, i.e. as soon as one crop is finished sow another.
Providing space is available you can make a small herb garden containing such things as mint, parsley, coriander to name but a few.
If growing tall plants such as tomatoes you could try the following method:
Before opening the bag grip the bag at its centre and let equal amounts of compost trickle to either end of the bag, then cut the bag in half.
Rolling down the bag edges after cutting will help to stiffen the top of the bag.
Cut a few drainage holes in the bottom (ends)of the bag, now you have effectively two big pots ready for planting.
Half bag on End
Keep the compost moist at all times,but not waterlogged.
There is not an indefinite amount of nutrients in the bag so regular feeding will be required.
The feeding regime* should follow that indicted in the growing instructions for the type of plants being grown.
*This information can be found under the appropriate headings elsewhere on this website.
After the crops have been harvested, split the bag open and recycle the compost into a compost bin or spread over the garden.