Which grow bag is best for my plants?
Whether you’re starting your own small vegetable garden or want to give your flowers a head start, using a convenient grow bag is a smart option for those who lack ample gardening space. As an alternative to traditional pots or raised beds, grow bags essentially let you grow any type of plant that doesn’t have an extensive or deep root system.
While there are numerous styles of grow bags, with a range of sizes and materials, there are a few that stand out as high-quality options. The Smart Pots 65-Gallon Fabric Planter is large enough to grow a variety of vegetables and smaller trees but easily folds up for convenient storage.
What to know before you buy grow bags
Grow bag benefits
There are several benefits of using a grow bag compared with plastic and ceramic pots, raised beds or in-ground gardens. Some include:
- Superior breathability
- Better drainage
- Often more portable and lightweight
- Best for storing when not in use
- Can be used virtually anywhere
- Help regulate the temperature of your plants and soil
- Promotes healthy root systems
Before purchasing a grow bag, take some time to plan out the type of plants you’ll be growing, the overall quantity and the average depth of their roots. This will allow you to select a grow bag with an appropriate capacity for your needs. Most grow bags can be purchased in sizes ranging from one to 30 gallons. While you don’t want to choose a bag that will restrict the growth of the root system, it should be noted that larger grow bags filled with soil can become rather heavy.
The quality of material used to make grow bags determines how long they last and how well they hold up during the growing season. The two most popular material types are fabric and plastic.
Fabric is the more malleable option and is less likely to crack. Fabric grow bags drain well and, because of their highly breathable makeup, they are able to air prune many types of plants. Air pruning is a natural occurrence that prevents root systems from becoming knotted and rootbound.
Plastic grow bags may be more affordable, offering great temporary homes for your plants, but they are more prone to ripping or tearing under the weight of the soil. High-quality plastic grow bags are also highly breathable and will sometimes be UV-protected.
What to look for in quality grow bags
While color can be a purely aesthetic choice, there are also benefits to choosing either lighter or darker colors. Darker colors are better at absorbing and retaining heat, while light-colored grow bags are best for reflecting heat away from your plants.
In general, grow bags have superior drainage and aeration when compared with other growing methods. Still, some grow bags will have better drainage capabilities than others. While better drainage means you might be tasked with watering your plants more often, it also prevents mold, fungus, root rot or other issues that can arise from overwatering.
If you plan on moving your grow bags between an outdoor location and an indoor location, or even just to varying locations around your property, choosing a sturdy grow bag with handles is definitely a smart choice.
How much you can expect to spend on grow bags
Inexpensive grow bags that range from $5-$10 are likely usable for only a single growing season. Those priced between $10-$20 are good midrange options, while grow bags over $20 are usually durable and reusable.
Grow bags FAQ
Can I use grow bags indoors?
A. If you have the space and adequate sunlight, then you can definitely use your grow bags indoors. Because of their breathable material, you’ll also need to place a container underneath to catch any excess water that drains out. If you plan on keeping them indoors only part of the time, consider choosing a grow bag with portable handles.
Do I need to empty my grow bag at the end of each season?
A. At the end of the growing season, you don’t necessarily have to empty out all of the soil. While emptying them does make them easier to fold and store, if space isn’t an issue, keeping them filled shouldn’t pose any problem. At the start of the next growing season, you may want to add new compost or mix in fresh soil.
What’s the best grow bag to buy?
Top grow bag
What you need to know: Soft and storable, these large grow bags can be used for a variety of plants, vegetables and trees.
What you’ll love: The breathable fabric allows water and excess heat to easily escape keeping your plants and root systems healthy.
What you should consider: This grow bag does not feature handles.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top grow bag for the money
What you need to know: A great value option that is both sturdy and portable.
What you’ll love: You’ll receive a set of five 20-gallon grow bags complete with nylon handles for easy transportation.
What you should consider: Some people felt the bags were smaller than anticipated.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: These plastic grow bags are great for anyone looking to grow a large quantity of small to medium-size plants.
What you’ll love: With the ability to last multiple seasons, these grow bags utilize a light color to help reflect direct sunlight away from the roots.
What you should consider: They can sometimes be difficult to move when full.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Matthew Young writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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