Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Mini Grow Bags-air pruining.

We have been doing some research this year on 'grow bags' this seems to be popular on YouTube.  The theory behind it is the roots are able to breathe.  Instead of hitting the side of the pot and starting to circle as they do in traditional pots when the roots hit the side of the bag, they get airflow, and it causes the roots to branch out.  So it keeps them from getting rootbound, provides a much better root system, and the plant is better able to use all of the soil in the pot, thereby potentially being able to grow a larger plant in a smaller pot. 

I've seen several videos and was intrigued, just search 'air pruning' or 'grow bags'.  Now you can buy the expensive air pots and official grow bags if you want, or you can just pick up some reusable grocery bags from the store.  Dollarama sells a decent size 3 for $1.

My dilemma was I had some seedlings that I wanted to pot up into some 4" pots, and only have the plastic ones.  I was like why not put them right into a grow bag.  It should take up less space than my round containers.  And they also claim they can do better in a smaller pot since they utilize the soil better, due to the airflow.   So we decided to just make our own mini grow bags with some landscape fabric we had in the attic.

Now for the sizing I immediately thought of these cute little fabric bins I'd made a few years back,  I still had the pattern, and used that to get the proper size, and to box my corners at the bottom to get actual square pots.  Here's a link to those, it's a fun pattern from AppleGreen Cottage.


 I left the sides able to fold up or down as needed.  I have them quite low now, but as the tomatoes grow, I can unroll the sides and add more soil which will give them more support, and a stronger root system.  I'm really curious to see how this works if nothing else it was a cheap and easy experiment.

So we laid the landscape fabric out, and my daughter traced the pattern.  I cut them out while they were all folded to save time.  I sewed them in a long tube and cut at the proper intervals to make the bottoms, then boxed the corners and turned them inside out.  I used just the regular poly thread I had on hand.  If I was making the larger ones I might be more inclined to buy some UV thread.  I think the poly should hold up just fine in the smaller pots, since they're going to be used for only a couple of months at most, and not a lot of pressure from the soil.

April 8th, 2020

You can see I added a couple of my larger Black Cherry Tomatoes from Baker Seed Company. 

April 4th

Check out an update on my seedlings here.  
These worked so well, I used larger grow bags for my tomatoes,  and they did amazing.  Check it out here   My tomato grow bags!