What is a Grow Bag?
A grow bag is a large plastic bag filled with a growing medium and used for growing plants, usually tomatoes or other salad crops. The growing medium is usually based on a soilless organic material such as peat, coir, composted green waste, composted bark or composted wood chips, or a mixture of these. For Indian conditions good soil along with some sand or coarse soil can be used as a medium. Grow bags are an interesting and popular alternative to in-ground gardening. They can be started indoors and moved out, repositioned with the changing light, and placed absolutely anywhere. If the soil in your area is poor or just nonexistent, grow bags are a great choice. Various nutrients are added, sufficient for one season's growing, so frequently only planting and watering are required of the end-user. Planting is undertaken by first laying the bag flat on the floor or bench of the growing area, then cutting holes in the lower surface, from which the excess water is drained.
GROW BAGS VS. PLASTIC POTS - PLANTING CONTAINERS
You may wonder, what are the benefits of grow bags versus pots? Sure, you can find pots online or create pots from just about anything you have lying around so why spend the money on grow bags?
1. HEALTHIER PLANT ROOTS
In pots, the roots of the plants tend to grow in circles entangling themselves. This increases the likelihood of having oxygenation or water stagnation issues, especially in larger pots that lack proper drainage. When the roots reach the edge of a plastic pot they continue growing in search more water and nutrients only to begin encircling the pot. This begins the process of structural damage to your plants. The roots become constricted leading to less water and nutrient intake.Grow bags help to alleviate this issue because as the roots come in contact with the edges of the fabric pot they sense the drier soil that is exposed to the air. At this point they know they have reached their growth limit. The roots become "air pruned" which is vital to growing healthy plants. Plastic potted plants encourage a few large roots to dominate and encircle the pot which constricts nutrient uptake.
2. TEMPERATURE CONTROL
During the heat of summer and in direct sunlight plastic pots can get quite hot. Since they are not breathable they trap all the heat which can cook your plants. Grow bags regulate temperature due to their breathable quality. Excess heat is able to escape from all sides of the grow bag.
3. WATERING CONSIDERATIONS
It is hard to over-water using a grow bag, as any excess moisture is allowed to drain out of the bag. Since coir is used in grow bags, watering twice a week is sufficient. In contrast a traditional pot it is easy to over water. If you over-water a plant in a traditional pot they could drown and develop mold or fungus.
Where do you store the pots when not in use? Do they become empty eyesores on the back porch or stacked up in the shed in hopes they don't get crushed or broken in the off season? Traditional pots will need to be stacked for storage in the off season. However grow bags can be folded up and stored with minimal space each season.
Grow bags are light weight making them easy to move to different locations. They are popular among growers since they can be brought from inside to out with ease and they take up minimal space when storing.