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Fabric Gardening Bags: Pros VS Cons

Gardening grow bags have seen an increase in popularity over the past decade as more companies are producing bags that are made of better material at a lower cost. There are many advantages of using a grow bag, and there are a couple of disadvantages too.
We’ll look at them in detail here and you can decide if grow bags are right for you.

The pros

* Perfect for beginners

If you’re a beginner to gardening, grow bags are a fantastic way to get started. All you need is some organic potting soil, some heirloom seeds and you’re good to go. You’ll be able to grow your own vegetables in no time at all.

* Can be used anywhere

Grow bags such as the Vivosun 7-gallon grow bags are small enough to be used in most gardens. You won’t need to dig up the soil or aerate it. Everything is contained in the grow bag.
If 7-gallons is too big, you can go with the 5-gallon bag.
It can even be used indoors and is similar to container gardening. Just make sure you place the bag on a gardening saucer to protect your floor should there be water draining from the bag.
Ideally, you should get 2 trays. If you see water collecting in one, replace it with a dry tray.

* Portable

Most grow bags have strong handles so that you can carry the bag around easily. If you’re growing a plant in an apartment and the sun only comes in at one spot, you’ll be able to carry your bag to that spot easily and it’s less cumbersome than a flower pot.
There’s also a very limited risk of transplant shock, if you’re trying to move the plant from the bag into your garden soil. If the grow bag is biodegradable, you’ll be able to plant it straight into the ground.
If not, you can just dig a hole in your garden, gently cut the sides of the bag and slide the plant into the hole. This is far easier than trying to transplant it from a traditional pot.

* Not reliant on your garden’s soil

If you’re trying to grow plants in your garden, you’ll need to ensure that the soil in your garden has enough nutrients and is conducive for gardening. This can be a Herculean chore if you have a big garden.
With a grow bag, you can immediately fill it up with good soil and get started with your gardening. While the seeds are germinating, you can work on making your garden’s soil more suited for plant growth. In this way, you’ll not be wasting time.

* Good drainage

Since most grow bags are made of fabric, water will drain easily. This is often a problematic issue for most beginners who tend to overwater their plants. With a grow bag, the water will drain easily.

* Breathable

Grow bags have better soil aeration than traditional plastic or clay pots. The mesh material allows the soil to ‘breathe’. In the same vein, if there’s too much water, the soil dries faster too.
Because of the increased aeration, the chances of overheating when using a grow bag are considerably lower than with a plastic pot, which traps the heat.

* Better root structure

Another fantastic benefit of fabric pots is that they do not constrict the plant’s roots. With a plastic pot, when the roots reach the edge of the pot, they’ll turn and try to grow around the perimeter of the pot.
This will lead to constricted, circling root structure that impedes the plant’s growth.
With a grow bag, once the roots reach the edge of the bag, the mesh nature of the fabric grow bag causes the roots to come into contact with air. Once these roots meet air, they’ll stop growing. This is known as ‘air pruning’.
Since these roots have stopped growing, the plant will start growing small new roots. Over time, there will be more roots and a better root structure which allows the plant in the grow bag to absorb more nutrients, as compared to the plant in the plastic pot which only has a few large, circular roots.

* More compact

Grow bags can be folded and take up very little space. The Vivosun grow bags bundle contains 5 pieces which can be rolled up and stuffed in a sock drawer (just an example to show you how compact these bags are).
If you wish to get more value for money, you can get the 12-pack from Jeria. Also 7-gallon bags, but you get 12 pieces at a very affordable price. All these bags will be easy to store. After all, they’re made of cloth.
Now imagine trying to store 12 plastic pots. Even if you were to fit them in one another, if one was slightly wet, you’d need to be Hercules to separate the two pots. We all know that feeling.
So, it’s just easier to use fabric gardening bags.

The cons

While the advantages of using grow bags are many, there are a few disadvantages that you should be aware of…

* Need to water often

While the mesh grow bags are breathable and help with water drainage, the downside is that these bags don’t retain water. That means, you’ll need to water your plants daily.
If you live in a hot climate and your grow bags are out in the sun, you may have to water them a few times daily. If you’re busy, this may be a hassle.
The best way to overcome this problem will be to use a sprinkler in your garden that’s timed to go off at intervals. This will ensure your bags are watered.

* Not aesthetically pleasing

While grow bags are convenient and make gardening easy, one cannot deny that having a bunch of bags around the garden is not as pretty as having a garden with the plants growing from the soil.
This is just a small downside. Let the plants grow in the bags first and then move them into the soil when the roots are well formed and the plant is much bigger.

* Not as durable

Cloth bags have many advantages over plastic pots, but durability is not one of them. You’ll only be able to use one bag per plant… and once it wears out, you’ll either need to replace the bag or plant it in the ground.
Plastic pots, however, can last for years. So, your costs may be a little higher if you’re using grow bags… BUT the pros outweigh the cons here and these bags are a wonderful investment in your gardening hobby.
Give them a try today and you’ll never look back.