The Q&A Archives: Planting Directly in the Soil Sack

Question: I am unable to do garden chores but would still like to grow a few veggies close to the back door. I have heard of a method of planting directly in the soil sack by cutting Xs in the top and bottom of the sack. Do you have any information on the procedure to do this?

Answer: Planting in a soil sack has recently become a real trend in patio gardening. And why not? It's easy and it works. Of course, tomatoes are the vegetable most commonly planted. Take a large 40 lb. bag of good potting soil. Lay it flat in a sunny spot where you want it. Make sure the bag is exactly where you want it, because once planted it will be very difficult to move. Cut one large X in the center of the bag, and plant your tomato transplant. It's that simple!

For best results, plant a determinate variety such as Celebrity, Mountain Pride, Bush Early Girl or Floramerica. Determinate varieties are shorter in growth than the indeterminate varieties. Plant only one plant per bag. Water often enough so the plants do not wilt, which may be daily in the hot summer. Most people who have tried this method have found it quite acceptable. You could try doing other veggies as well, such as lettuce, radish, and even peppers. And many flowers would be happy there, too. Try some geraniums or impatiens (set the bag in a shady spot). For the smaller veggies and flowers, try 3-5 plants per bag. Any deep rooted plants would probably not do as well, but with so little invested, why not give it a try? Enjoy your new back door garden!

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