Paper or Plastic?

May 19, 2011 2 Comments

The Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier had an article in Sunday’s paper about gardening in a bag.  This is something fairly new to me but it has been around for awhile. One article I found from Missouri State University was from a study in 2008.  Another article I found but apparently forgot to save had images from 2002.  This sounds like something I will be trying at the Vinton Youth Garden, at the very least.

You begin by getting a 40 pound bag of dirt. Well, actually, you start by figuring out where you want your 40 pound bag of dirt, then you buy it. And you can buy one or many depending on what you are planning to do with your space.  Put the bag where you want it to stay, cut some holes on one side for drainage and place that side toward the ground. On the top of the bag cut a large hole in it.

Plant your items and water.  You can mulch the bag beds with compost, grass clippings, or whatever you like.  It will help keep the bags moist longer. 

If you want to hide the bags you can mulch the bags with enough straw or hay to cover them.  Or you can use a whole lot of mulch.

If you want to plant tomatoes using this style, only use one bag per tomato plant. Otherwise, you can put several pepper plants in one bag, or any number of other plants.  I have one person asking about watermelons.  I don’t see why it wouldn’t work, but watermelons do want a more sandy soil, so you may want to mix in a little sand if you want to try watermelons in a bag.

At the end of the growing season, you just pull the plastic out of the garden and work the soil in with any amendments (more compost, nutrients) that you want.  That way if you started the bag garden because of really lousy soil, you are starting to fix that problem.  And next year maybe you can just put it in the ground

I found information on gardening by the bag from Missouri State University and Vegetable Gardener websites.

This gives you another option for gardening.  Whether you are trying to amend a bad piece of ground or just want to see how something will look in a particular spot but aren’t quite ready to commit to digging, this is the style for you.  I plan on giving it a try at the Vinton Youth Garden with some flowers the kids want to grow.  I’ll keep you posted.

Dig it!

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  1. rita baer says:

    I like this idea. I am going to try it with some tomatoes.

  2. Linda Schaetzle says:

    Hi! I just wanted to let you know I tried this last weekend and it turned out so cute. Can’t wait to see what it looks like in a month. I have a very sunny, hot area and wanted just annuals that were sun and heat tolerant, and i wanted all summer color. So this idea worked perfect for me. THANKS!

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