Grow Bags vs. Plastic Pots - Benefits of Grow Bags

Grow Bags vs. Plastic Pots - Benefits of Grow Bags

Many people think of agriculture as just one more industry. However, there is probably not a single other industry on earth as important as how we obtain our food. There is a reason that the value of the industry for agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting in the United States alone is worth more than $466 billion  every single year! 

Of course, experienced farmers learn to use all kinds of different tools to help them grow their plants. A farmer that starts with a 5 gallon plant pot might eventually start to experiment with garden bags. There are a lot of advantages to using planter bag options that not everybody is aware of.

So what exactly is so great about grow bags and how do they compare to plastic pots? Read on to learn all about the most important advantages that come with using grow bags!

Grow Bags Lead to Better Roots

There are a few things as essential to the success of a plant as the health of its root structure. Farmers have learned a lot of tricks over the millennia to improve root structure. However, many of those tricks can only do so much when the basic dynamic of roots growing in the earth is maintained.

Grow bags are a paradigm shift. They are a fundamentally different way for plants to grow.

Of course, it is one thing to appreciate planter bags in theory. It is very different to understand the real-world benefits to root structures that they provide.

First of all, grow bags lead to more fibrous growth in systems of roots. These kinds of fibrous growths lead to better absorption of nutrients and create a more robust plant.

Grow Bags Allow for Greater Temperature Control

In the winter, the surface of the earth gets colder and colder. Even when the atmosphere warms up again, it can take a long time for the earth to warm up as well. It is like trying to warm up in the sun while lying on a block of ice.

Fortunately, grow bags allow you to separate plants from the cold earth. Planter bags are made of fabrics that allow for easy circulation of air. The end result is that the soil in grow bags warms up much more quickly than the soil in the ground.

That turns around and has beneficial effects on the health of your plants.

In contrast, pots tend to get very hot during the warmest months of the year. That can impair the growth of your plants. It can even cook your plants and damage them.

This goes double if they are exposed to direct sunlight. Unfortunately, you will probably want to expose them to direct sunlight so that your plants can get the sunshine that they need.

To avoid this problem, it is simpler to use something with easy air circulation that does not heat up too much in the sun. Fabric plant pots provide both of these things!

Grow Bags Make Correct Watering Simple

Even today, watering plants is not an exact science. There are a lot of factors to consider and it is easy to underwater or overwater plants. However, grow bags allow you to easily sidestep many of the common difficulties connected to watering.

With grow bags, you can basically water them as much as you want. That means that you do not have to worry about underwatering anymore. But what about overwatering?

If you do add too much water to planter bags, the water will simply seep out. In other words, the grow bag will automatically regulate how much water each plant is exposed to.

Plus, the grow bag manages this without you having to worry about installing your own drainage holes. The nature of the fabric of grow bags is such that it will allow water to disperse without needing any special holes cut into it. The elimination of excess water will also help prevent your bags and plants from developing mold or decay.

The end result is that you can achieve perfect watering without having to think as much about adding the exact right amount of water.

Although fabric plant pots allow you to avoid the problem of overwatering, they come with their own challenges. You will need to figure out a system to keep your grow bags constantly moist. That is because grow bags hold onto less water and thus need more constant watering.

One easy way to solve this problem is to set up a drip irrigation system. That way, you can provide a constant flow of water into your grow bags. That would be a huge problem for other growing methods because it can lead to excess watering, but grow bags do not have this problem.

Of course, you can also simply water your grow bags frequently. During the hotter months of the year, that might include watering them multiple times per day.

Storing Garden Bags Is Easy

Grow bags are also very flexible. You do not have to keep them around taking up space when you are not using them. That can come in handy during the off-season.

When you're not using your grow bags, you can empty them and fold them up. Even huge numbers of grow bags will shrink to an almost unnoticeable volume when you store them away.

When the time comes for you to use your grow bags again, they will be waiting for you in excellent condition. You will be able to use them for many years to come.

Plants in Grow Bags Can Be Moved Around

It is easy to take plants out of grow bags. That means that growing a plant in a grow bag is not a commitment. You are not closing the door on other methods of growing.

That means that grow bags, in the unlikely case that they fail you, will fail in a very graceful way. They will fail in a way that will not cost you. It will be easy for you to move your plants out of their grow bag and plant them elsewhere.

Alternatively, this feature can come in handy even if your grow bags are not failing you. You can deliberately design a system of planting where are you start with plants in grow bags with the intention to move them into the ground later on.

The Right Uses for Grow Bags

As powerful a tool as grow bags are, they cannot do everything. They perform better for certain kinds of plants than others.

In general, you are looking for plants that do not have roots that need to grow too deeply. That means plants with shallow root structures, like carrots and lettuce, are a great choice for grow bags.

Alternatively, you can use grow bags to plant things like trees as well. Of course, you'll have to keep in mind that you will inevitably have to remove them from the grow bag at some point.

In fact, grow bags work very well for this purpose. When you transplant trees, their root structure is often negatively affected by having been confined during their infancy.

However, grow bags do not restrict root growth in the same way that pots sometimes do. In other words, it is perfectly viable for you to start growing trees in grow bags with the intention to move them elsewhere later on.

Problems With Pots

Grow bags are not only better than pots when it comes to developing root structures of trees. Pots also negatively affect plants that grow in them in other ways.

For one thing, roots tend to grow in tight circles inside of pots. This unnatural structure has a lot of trouble adjusting to the earth when plants are removed. On top of that, it is an inefficient root structure.

This kind of circular root structure eats up a lot of resources from the plant without providing it with efficient nutrient uptake.

In fact, as roots continue to grow in circles they have a tendency to crowd out water and nutrients. If you have ever seen your plants start to wither while growing in pots, this is a strong hypothesis as to the cause.

Of course, you might imagine that something similar would happen with grow bags. When roots reach the end of their space in a grow bag, should they not also continue to grow and take up more and more space and resources?

This is part of the genius of the grow bag. In a grow bag, the soil at the edges of the bag is drier than the soil in the center of the bag. That dryness is a signal to the plant inside that there is no point in growing beyond that point.

Pots do exactly the opposite. It is often at the bottom of the pot that the soil is most damp. That only exacerbates the root problems we discussed before.

Different Sizes of Garden Bags

There is a variety of grow bag sizes to consider. Depending on the size of plant you intend to grow, you will want to buy different sizes of grow bags.

Some of the smallest garden bags tend to hold about 2 gallons worth of soil. These small grow bags are appropriate for house flowers or other plants that you might keep in the home.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are grow bags that hold hundreds of gallons of volume. They are a good choice if you are growing a whole bed of plants. In between, there are grow bag sizes for many other plant options.

Grow bags can be a great choice to grow plants like lettuce, potatoes, eggplants, flowers, and leafy greens.

Other Plant Growing Tools

As great as grow bags are, if you want the best performance out of them, you will probably want to combine them with some other tools. As we discussed already, grow bags automatically control how much water they hold. In order to do this, they need to be able to release any excess water.

As a result, your grow bag may shed a significant quantity of water. You will probably want to put something beneath it to protect the surface it is sitting on from that leaking water.

In general, you can use something like a tray to either hold the water or divert it elsewhere. Whatever you use, you should keep in mind the possibility of mold. The area beneath your grow bag may be constantly moist.

To avoid the development of mold, you should make sure to avoid putting anything underneath the grow bag that facilitates the growth of mold. Generally, that would mean you should use things made out of stone, metal, or plastic.

Cleaning Your Bags

Once you finish growing a plant in its grow bag, you will need to wash your bag before using it again. Fortunately, it is simple to clean your grow bags. All you need is water and some kind of cleaning material like a little detergent.

Once your bags are clean, you may want to also soak them in a solution with vinegar in it. This can help restore your bags to complete freshness.

However, you want to make sure to carefully rinse your bags after cleaning. The chemicals in your cleaning products will not be good for future plants.

Some people are tempted to skip the cleaning process, but this can cause more problems than it is worth. Without proper cleaning, your bags can become a way for pathogens to travel between plants.

Use the Best Plant Growing Tools

Nature is often described as capricious. It can be difficult to accurately predict exactly what things you do will help a plant to grow well or not. When you are trying to manage all of the chaos of growing plants, it helps to make sure you have the best plant-growing tools to help you.

Growing plants in garden bags can help you take the best care of your plants possible. To learn more about storing grow bags and other uses for grow bags, feel free to reach out and get in touch with us here at any time!