How To Use Fabric Pots For Container Gardening [Level 101]

You want fresh flowers and homegrown vegetables, but you don’t have the required space. What do you do? Build a container garden, of course!

A container garden allows you to build your garden in whatever space you have available. Be it the balcony, terrace, deck, or a small yard, you can enjoy the benefits of organic gardening now. You can grow vegetables like tomatoes, beans, spinach, and squash. Additionally, there are many more flowers, herbs, and fruits too that can be grown in a container garden. 

Container gardening is simply the process of growing plants in pots, tubs, planters, old boots, barrels or anything where you can put some potting soil and a plant of your choice. This isn’t a typical ground garden, but rather growing vegetables, herbs, and flowers in the available space.

You can use different types of containers for your container garden. There is plastic, ceramic, and many other varieties. However, I would recommend fabric pots for your container garden. They are better for the environment and healthy for your plants too.

What Are Fabric Pots?

Assorted plants in grow bags in a patio.

Now, what are fabric grow pots? They are bags to grow plants inside them and they look similar to a reusable grocery bag but are made of a thick breathable fabric. They are a great option over traditional containers because they are well-ventilated and have superior drainage power. Growing bags can be filled with compost or any well-fertilized potting mix. They also come in various shapes and heights, which makes it easier to grow any sized plant. Compared to other containers, fabric plant pots have improved root systems and better temperature and watering control.

Not all plants can be grown in grow pots. Plants with deep roots are not suitable at all. Tomatoes, salad greens, potatoes, peppers, herbs and other similar types of vegetables, which do not have deep roots, grow best in fabric pots. So, choose your plants carefully before you plant. Grow pots are your best bet if you want to create a container garden. You can keep them on your balcony or porch and if you want to increase the number of plants, just add more growing bags.

Grow pots are an easier, more viable, and better economic option to grow your container garden. They also take up less space. When you are not using them, you can simply fold and store them away for future use.

Why Should you Use Fabric Pots for Container Gardening?

Fabric gardening pots come with many advantages over other containers or plastic pots. Given below are some reasons for you to switch over to bag pots.

  • Fabric pots are growing in popularity, mainly because of the fact that they can be used anywhere. No worries if you do not have a large garden. A small balcony is enough for you to grow vegetables and plants.
  • You can easily move them around. Bag pots are lightweight and have handles, which make it easier for you to move them around. 
  • Gardening bags allow for a healthy root system to be formed. Root bounding does not occur here like in normal containers. Grow pots also encourage the self-pruning of plants. When pruned, more fibrous roots are formed. 
  • Fabric grow pots regulate the temperature of the plants. Since they do not heat easily and are made of breathable material, there is no chance of overheating.
  • It is impossible to overwater a plant in a plant bag. Small holes and pores in the fabric allow for the release of excess water. Mold and fungus does not grow in grow bags.
  • Potting bags are suitable for both small and large gardens. They are also great for both indoors and outdoors. Plant a vegetable or flower in a small planter bag and you can move it to a larger grow bag as it matures. 
  • You do not have to worry about the quality of the soil in your grow pots. Since you will be adding the soil on your own, the quality will always be top notch.
  • Compared to traditional containers, fabric grow pots do not need to be stacked when not in use. You can just fold and store them for future use.
  • Fabric gardening pots are also very durable. They generally last for 7 to 8 seasons.

How to Use Fabric Pots for Container Gardening

If you are thinking of planting your garden on your balcony or terrace, then growing pots are your best bet. Without any land, you will have a beautiful garden blooming in no time. Fabric plant pots are also great if you want to keep them indoors. You will have your green veggies all year round!

Fabric grow bags with plants

Fabric planting bags minimize waste and are easily reused. Learning how to use fabric bags is the first step for a successful container garden. Below you will find some points which will help you grow and nurture your potting bag container garden.

Getting Started with your Fabric Pot Container Garden

  1. The first thing to do is buy your fabric growing bags. Make sure to choose the bag according to the root size of the plants. Do not buy extra-large bags unless you are planning to grow a tree!
  2. To aid in the drainage of the plant, add a course material to the bottom of your fabric pot. You can use pebbles or perlite. You should use at least 1 inch of pebbles or perlite to line the bottom. 
  3. Now, the next thing is to add soil. Use a potting mix, or you can blend your own soil too.  One-third moss, one-third compost mixture, and one-third vermiculite is the best soil for your plant bag. Fill the bag pots with the soil mix almost to the top, leaving a little bit of space.
  4. Once you have put the soil in the bag, loosen the soil and spread it evenly by shaking it a little.
  5. Now, for drainage. If your growing bag does not have any drainage holes, pierce some holes with a scissor. The holes should be about half an inch apart. These drainage holes will help in releasing excess humidity. 
  6. Add plants now. Choose plants with shallow roots for the best results. Shallow rooted plants will grow well, as they do not need much space for growing. Plants like tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, zucchini, chili peppers, eggplants, cucumbers, strawberries, French beans, herbs, and flowers grow well in growing bags. If you want to plant a tree, buy an extra-large planting bag to allow it the space to grow.
  7. Now, put your growing pots in a place where they will achieve the required amount of sunlight and warmth needed for their growth.

Other Things to Keep in Mind

  1. Remember to check and water your gardening bag often. They generally require more water than ground plants. When you see the soil drying out or the leaves start to wilt, water your plants. It is very important for the growth of your plants to keep the soil wet and moist in the fabric pot.
  2. You can install a self-watering system to keep your plants hydrated regularly. A good option is the drip system, wherein a container will slowly release water into the soil, keeping it moist. 
  3. Fertilize your plants once a week for proper growth. For fertilization, leave about 1 inch of space at the top of your fabric pot. Then, you will be able to spread a fertilizer on top of the soil. 
  4. If you have tall plants, be sure to prop them up. You may also have to add support to them. Insert a thick stick and link the plant to it. Then attach the stick to the frame.
  5. Don’t forget you can reuse the soil when your plants are done for the season. You can even reuse the bag. Check to see if the soil is healthy. If it is, keep it to use for the upcoming season. 

Types of Fabric Pots

When planning to use fabric pots to plant your vegetables or flowers, remember that grow pots come in various shapes and sizes. Different types of plants grow well in different fabric pots. While tomato plants and other similar types of plants will grow in any type of potting bags, there are some plants that can only be grown in specific growing bags. In addition, the space needed for different plants differs too.

Fabric bag pots come in different materials. The most popular ones are generally made of felt or non-woven fabrics. Grow pots have small holes, or pores, to allow the circulation of air. Water and nutrients from the soil are efficiently absorbed by it. 

On the market, potting bags are available in various sizes. The size of a felt pot can be as small as 1 gallon and it may go up to 150 gallons. The size generally depends on the type of plants you mean to grow.  For a flowerbed, a larger gardening bag of 100-150 gallons is the apt choice. There is another choice too; you can plant various plants of a similar variety together to create a more pleasing look.

What Size Fabric Pots to Use for Your Container Garden

  • A 3-gallon size fabric bag is perfect for plants like pepper, lettuce, or peas.
  • You can use a 5-gallon fabric bag pot too, which works well for almost anything. You can plant peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, flowers, different herbs, and small fruiting trees in your 5-gallon bags.
  • If you want to use 10-gallon bags, they are large enough to plant your complete garden in. You can grow potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, and salad greens with basil and other herbs all around them.

So you see how fabric pots are the best option if you want to plant a container garden. You do not need much space either, just your balcony or porch will suffice. In addition, you will be growing your own vegetables and herbs and eating healthy. Think of the flowers blooming in your garden. They will add color and spark to your home too. So, go all out and start planting your container garden in fabric grow pots!

Sources

No room for vegetables? Pot up your plant

Why We Should Use Grow Bags Beginning Our Container Gardening

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