How to Use Fabric Grow Bags in 7 Simple Steps

You intend to plant some cool small-rooted trees. However, you have a small space, or the soil in your yard isn’t suitable for gardening.

That’s where the fabric grow bags come in. They help you utilize the limited space and maintain soil quality. You just plant your trees in the bags.

How to Use Fabric Grow Bags

Fabric grow bags are portable. These are made with breathable and permeable cloth and come in different sizes. And yes, fabric grow bags are reusable, and with proper care, these bags last for 5 to 7 seasons.

In this article, I will assist you with using fabric grow bags and planting your trees. This process includes only 7 steps.

Moreover, I will also discuss the advantages of fabric grow bags and how they can help maximize your gardening experience.

Do Fabric Bags Actually Work?

Fabric bags perfectly fulfill their purposes. They are very lightweight, take up less space, and are portable.

Moreover, if the soil in your garden is infertile, you can fill up these bags with fertile soil and then plant trees in them.

Additionally, they provide an efficient drainage system, and the fabric’s breathability helps maintain a cool temperature in the soil.

Also, fabric grow bags are great at conserving nutrients, thus assisting plants in getting all the nutrients they need.

The plants self-prune their roots in fabric grow bags, which is essential for a solid and healthy root system and for consuming nutrients more efficiently.

What Can You Plant in Fabric Grow Bags?

You can grow herbs and vegetables in fabric grow bags. It’s better to choose bushy plants instead of vining ones. And dwarf varieties of regular-sized plants also thrive in fabric grow bags.

Plants that grow well in containers do well in grow bags too. The most popular ones are tomatoes, basil, lettuce, mint, radishes, green onions, strawberries, potatoes, peppers, carrots, etc.

It’s the 5-gallon bag is the most popular size that can contain almost all of these herbs and vegetable plants.

You can also grow an even bigger plant if you manage a large bag. That being said, what you can plant depends on the size of the bag itself.

As mentioned earlier, fabric grow bags come in various sizes. Popular sizes of grow bags range from 2 to 50 gallons!

Moreover, you can custom-make an even bigger bag or find one online if you are lucky.

What Problems Do We Face With Fabric Grow Bags?

Incapability to Hold Moisture: Fabric grow bags are inefficient for holding moisture as the water leaks through the pores. 

Waste of Water: Fabric grow bags are very water-consumptive and need more water supply than traditional pots for sustainability.

The Root May Rot: The stagnant water might rot the root of the plant. 

Are Holes Needed in a Fabric Grow Bag?

Fabric grow bags are made with breathable and permeable clothing material. So, there are already minuscule holes in them.

Water oozes out through them, and air comes in. Thus, the moisture remains balanced on its own. You wouldn’t need to put extra holes in them.

The water leakage can cause a lack of moisture in the soil. However, it can be solved by thickening the fabric by adding extra layers of cloth.

It can hold the water much longer and also strengthen the bag.

How Long Do Fabric Grow Bags Last?

You should keep in mind that fabric grow bags don’t last forever. As I mentioned earlier, they are good to go for 5 to 7 seasons (1+ year time) with proper care.

You may find bags built with poly carbon that will last forever but are bad for the environment as they aren’t biodegradable.

How to Use Fabric Grow Bags to Plant Trees (Step-By-Step)

Follow the steps below to plant your tree in a fabric grow bag.

Step 1: Get a Fabric Grow Bag

The first step is to choose a suitable fabric grow bag for your plant. You should know by now that the size of the bag depends on the plant you will nurture in it.

For example, a 50-gallon bag would be perfect for growing something as big as an apple or a peach tree.

So, what are you growing?

You can make the grow bag yourself, buy it from online stores, or get it from local stores to avoid the hassle. If you want to make some bags yourself, just remember to use extra layers to make the bag thick and strong.

Grow bags dry quickly and require watering more frequently. You can find self-watering bags online, such as Oya bags. They have a reservoir of water at the base that moisturizes the soil throughout the day.

Step 2: Now Add Some Soil

You will need to add a 1-2 inches layer of pebbles or perlite at the bottom of the bag first. This layer will help with water drainage and prevent molding.

And as for soil, you can buy gardening soil suitable for containers from stores or prepare the mix yourself. To make the mix, you put 1/3 moss, 1/3 compost, and 1/3 vermiculite.

Fill up the bag with the soil, and remember to empty a couple of inches of space at the top. Now shake the bag gently, so the soil spreads evenly.

Step 3: Time to Plant the Tree!

Scoop out some soil from the bag, and carefully plant the tree to the extent where the root is entirely dipped in the bag.

Cover the root with the scooped-out soil, gently pat down on the surface, and you’re good to go.

Remember to water the plant once you’re finished planting.

Step 4: Place the Bag in a Sunny Place

Once you’re done planting your tree, take the bag and place it where it would get enough sunlight and shade. A plant usually needs 6-8 hours of sun, especially the morning sunlight and afternoon shade, so ensure it gets that.

Whether you hang the bag or place it on a bed is your preference entirely.

Step 5: Put Something Under It

Water seeps out of grow bags and accumulates on the bottom. It can mold the soil and rot the root.

If you put the bag on the ground, make sure you put it on a permeable surface, such as rocks or pebbles, for better drainage.

Or, you could put the bag on a plastic drain tray.

Some people hang their grow bags vertically on the balcony or elsewhere. If you decide to do so, make sure you put a cloth under the bag, so the seeping water doesn’t soak the floor.

Step 6: Take Care of the Plant

You must water the plant regularly as the water soaks out fast. Don’t forget to let the soil dry out before rewatering it, or mold will appear.

Also, once a week, you should add a thin layer of fertilizer, bought or homemade. Moreover, you will have to take the necessary steps to prevent pests and weeds.

One hack – you could plant marigolds as it keeps pests away.

Step 7: Reuse the Bag and the Soil – and Repeat

You can let the plant decompose in the pot or remove it when it dies. The good news is you can reuse the soil and the bag for your next harvest and, hopefully, the one after that.

Just dry out both the bag and the soil in the sun first. And then plant your tree of choice as before, and voila!

Hope You’re Enlightened

Now that you know how to use fabric grow bags, you can plant your trees even if your garden has limited space. The good thing is you can even reuse these fabric bags later.

Happy gardening.

Hi, I'm Robert Jameson. I'm a textile engineer. As a textile engineer, I design & create fabric. When I'm not busy with my family members, I research, write, and edit content for Fabric Fits.

Leave a Comment