As much as you want to grow plants on the ground, your location or landlord might not allow it. Your plants might need moving around throughout the day to get the best of the sun, or your rental property simply won’t allow the digging of garden beds.
Why use grow bags in this scenario? Unlike the heavier and often-inconvenient standard plant pots, grow bags are lightweight, more affordable, and easier to carry. Today, we’ll take a look at how their color and other features influence the selection process.
What To Consider When Choosing Grow Bags
Here are what to keep in mind when selecting grow bags that meet your needs:
Grow bags are generally classified based on their material composition, either flexible plastic or fabric. While the fabric type is of higher quality, each has pros and cons independent of the other.
This semi-permeable option provides excellent drainage and allows air to reach all the way down your plant’s roots. It is, however, not as effective at retaining water as its counterpart and requires more frequent watering for optimal results. Heat retention isn’t one of a fabric grow bag’s strong suits, either. However, if we’re talking durability, it’s the fabric option that reigns supreme. It can easily last for five seasons and doesn’t tend to be an eyesore like some plastic-pot options.
Flexible Plastic Type
The flexible plastic types excel in heat and water retention. They’re the best option for growing plants and flowers that are constantly thirsty and require warm soil to thrive. That said, they’re not nearly as durable as their plastic counterparts and would require replacement more frequently. A lot of these pots also contain BPA, something many gardeners hesitate to use on produce.
Grow bags come in a one- to 100-gallon size range, so finding one that meets your size specifications shouldn’t be too difficult. Some plants have roots that run fairly deep and would need at least a 20-gallon bag to thrive. Others, like potatoes, might not require a bag any more than five gallons in volume. Lastly, if you are planting flowers, you likely won’t need anything too big. You can even choose to grow a bunch of flowers in a single container.
Handles allow you to move grow bags with ease. They are particularly useful features if plants or flowers need to be moved to better locations or if they need to be moved around during the day to acquire the best sunlight. One thing to make sure of when it comes to handles is their strength. They have to be able to withstand the weight of the plants and the soil, even when it’s watered, without breaking.
Black is usually the go-to color when it comes to grow bags. However, it’s a shade you have to think twice about if your garden is more of the delicate type. Black grow bags have exceptionally high heat retention and could easily scorch the roots of the more fragile plants and flowers in your garden. Unlike lighter-colored bags, black grow bags absorb and retain a lot of the sun’s warmth. Thus, it’s not a recommendation to go for without considering the fragility of your crop. There are green, white, and even tan options for gardens that don’t do well with a lot of sustained heat.
Grow bags generally won’t set you back too much. They run from $10 to $50, depending on the pack number and bag size. If you’re choosing based on price, a good idea would be to compare them on a per-bag basis to know which is the more affordable option.
Other Factors to Keep in Mind
Aside from the main considerations, a few other factors will have to be taken into account to make the ideal choice.
What You Can Grow in the Bag
Basically, if you can pot it, you can also bag it. That means the possibilities of what you can grow in a bag are virtually endless. Anything from decorative plants and flowers to all kinds of crops can grow and thrive in these bags under the right conditions. Even tomatoes and potatoes, whose roots can run considerably deep underground, can make a home in these planters.
Is Reusing the Potting Soil Possible in a Grow Bag?
While there generally should be no problem reusing the potting soil in your grow bag, you don’t want to use it for the same kind of plant for the second straight year. That’s because this can increase the risk of diseases for plants like tomatoes, potatoes, and others prone to blight.
Why Does Grow Bag Color Matter?
The grow bag color you choose has to do with heat retention. Black bags absorb and retain the most heat, while white bags bring in and sustain the least. Black-colored bags generally work for most plants. However, they are not ideal for plants with heat-sensitive parts, particularly the roots. For these, you want to go for a green or white option.