It’s in the Bag

Bag Gardens are perfect for those who are rushed for time and want an instant garden, or if you’re in the process of preparing a spot to garden and need something in the interim.

Bag gardens are great for those with poor soil or no soil at all to work in, and there are many creative ways you can create bag gardens. If you have raised beds, just set them in, rip and plant your seeds or seedlings. We’ve seen these placed on a board across saw horses, and in wagons or wheelbarrows.

If old-timers like Mother Earth News features bag gardening, you know it might just be something to try.

The following article on bag gardening is from Mother Earth News, and they show us how to use this easy gardening method to set up a complete garden full of produce for the whole gardening season.

Bag Gardening

Mother Earth News

If you’re new to food gardening, your biggest challenge may be planting crops at the right times. A food garden should be planted in phases, so that every crop gets the type of weather it prefers. The following season-by-season instructions for our easy food garden (download the plan) show how seasonal planting sequences work. You’ll also get a few labor-saving tips — such as letting pole beans twine up tall sunflowers.


Early Spring

1. Prepare your site. You can dig beds in the traditional way, or you can plant most of this garden in bags. If you’re using bags, you will need about 25 40-pound bags to cover the five main beds. See Bed 3 for guidance on how to arrange the bags when starting your garden. Definitely, dig the squash bed and the circular bed, mixing in a 2-inch layer of good compost as you work.

2. Use a utility knife to cut out a large, rectangular window on the upper surface of each bag. Leave the sides and 2 inches of each top edge intact, resembling a picture frame. The 2-inch rim of plastic will keep the soil from spilling and help retain moisture. Lightly dust the surface of the soil inside the bags with organic fertilizer and mix it in with a trowel. (Skip this if the bag’s label says fertilizer has been added.) Stab each bag through at least a dozen times with a screwdriver or a big knife to create plenty of drainage holes in the bottom. Plant roots will use these holes to grow down into the soil below the bags.

For organic fertilizer, we use Milorganite, which also doubles as a deer deterrent.1)


1. Plant onions, beets and early lettuce. About four weeks before your last frost, plant onion seedlings in Bed 1. (To find the average last spring frost for your location, see Know When to Plant What: Find Your Average Last Spring Frost Date.2) Water well to settle the soil around the roots. Sow beet seeds half-an-inch deep and 2 inches apart. Sow some early lettuce in Bed 3.

2. Plant potatoes and peas. Set potatoes 2 inches deep and 12 inches apart in Bed 2, flanked by double rows of bush snap or snow peas. These short, bushy varieties don’t need a trellis if grown closely together, although poking a few sticks into the row between the plants helps keep them off the ground.

3. Plant greens and herbs. Plant lettuce, dill, cilantro and chard seeds in Bed 6. Plant chard the same way you planted beets. Set out potted perennial herbs (oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme) in Beds 3 and 6. Make a second sowing of lettuce and cilantro one week before your last frost.

To see the complete article, visit Mother Earth News3), Photo Source via Flickr Dale Calder
If you’re liking this idea, you’ll want to go to the next page to see a video on planting bag gardens.

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