Growing In Soil Bags-Container Gardening Made Easy

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Do you want to grow your own food but don't have a garden space? Container gardening is an option, but let me show you a way of gardening without having to buy a separate pot for every vegetable you want to plant. The best way I have found is by growing in soil bags!

Microgreens growing in a bag of compost.

You can see me use this method with a plastic tub to grow salad greens all winter long! But you can also plant small tomato varieties or any vegetable with a shallow root system.

I've also written posts on using a small kiddie pool for an inexpensive raised garden. That's a fun garden idea for kids!

Why Use Soil Bags?

I have learned there are many people who want to grow their own food, but have a difficult time obtaining that dream because of limitations in space, finances, or location.

I love to find solutions to help others find ways to fulfill their dreams, and growing vegetables in bags is one of those solutions to someone's dreams!

We don't all have the ability to grow a lot of food. However, all of us working together, making small steps in the right direction, will change the world.

Grow what you can, whether in a garden plot, raised bed, soil bags, or containers, and watch your efforts multiply!

Be sure to check out this post on building our inexpensive raised garden beds back in Arkansas.

What Plants Can You Grow in Soil Bags?

People have planted vegetables in large containers for a long time. Any plant that does well in a container will also thrive in a garden soil bag. I have mostly planted salad greens, but there are many other vegetables that do well.

You can easily plant anything that doesn't have a long tap root that requires deep rooting. Potato and large variety tomato plants will need to be planted in other deeper garden beds.

Here are a few options to try:

  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Beets
  • Turnips
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Cherry Tomatoes

Image of a bag of potting soil and a seed packet.

Supplies Needed

  • Bags of Potting Soil – Some plants do better in different soils. Make sure to purchase what is suitable for the vegetables you are planting. I like to use soil that preferably has added organic matter for fertilizer.
  • Seeds – Whatever your heart desires, but my preference are heirloom seeds! (See my must-grow heirloom varieties here, and my post on where to buy heirloom seeds here.)
  • Screwdriver or Sharp Tool – You will need to use this tool to poke holes in the bottom of the bag, creating drainage holes.
  • Utility Knife – This is needed to cut the top portion of the bag, however, sharp scissors will get the job done too.

Instructions

  1. Prep your location. If you don't have a greenhouse, place the bags on a sturdy surface in a location with full sun. If you're working in cold weather, setting the soil bags directly on the ground will keep the soil warmer than if placed on an elevated surface where the air will circulate around the entire bag.
  2. Begin by poking holes in the bottom of the bag. No need to get out your tape measure, but just poke approximately 12 holes across the bottom surface.
  3. Flip the bag over and cut off the top. Leave about a 2 inch border around the top edge to hold the dirt in.
  4. Loosen and moisten the soil before planting.
  5. Sprinkle the seeds over the surface of the soil or plant the seedlings directly into the garden soil bags.

A woman crouched behind a bag of potting soil covered in a plastic tote.

Additional Reasons to Grow Vegetables in Garden Soil Bags

Control the Climate

Bag gardening provides an easy way to control the climate and protect your plants. If you are growing herbs or planting lettuce seeds, you will notice the seeds can easily be washed away or damaged when planted in garden beds.

Plants in bags can also be covered by a tub to control moisture and retain heat.

Extended Growing Season

If you live in a colder climate, don't think you have to wait until spring to plant your vegetable garden! Consider planting in soil bags. It's even possible to plant in the house. Purchase a grow light and eat those fresh salad greens all year!

However, you can grow a lot of things outside with just a little bit of cover. Vegetables such as carrots, beets, and turnips don't mind a mild freeze. A storage container or tub should be viewed like frost fabric. It will increase the temperature by about 10-15 degrees.

A woman sitting next to a kiddie pool turned garden bed.

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