Containers forum→Grow Bags make easy HEB's

Views: 825, Replies: 11 » Jump to the end
Name: Don Shirer
Westbrook, CT (Zone 6a)
Tomato Heads Vegetable Grower Peppers Seed Starter Region: Northeast US Avid Green Pages Reviewer
Image
DonShirer
Apr 24, 2015 12:55 PM CST
I have been using homemade earth boxes to grow some of the new dwarf variety tomatoes with good results. Wanting to make some more, but reluctant to spend several hours constructing the reservoir and wicking systems, I had an idea.

I put two grow bags inside a plastic tote from a big box store and filled them with a bag (1 cu ft) of planting mix plus a few shovelfuls of compost to create the growing volume, and added water to the space between the bags and tote walls made the reservoir. The holes in the bags provided the wicking system. Total cost ~$7 plus the mix; assembly time ~12 minutes!

The picture also shows the PVC frame I will use to support the branches. Unfortunately the overcast day did not show the mix in the bags well. Each bag has a cross-section of 9"x8.25" when empty, but filling pushes them out to a cylindrical shape about 11" in diameter. I calculated that filling the bags to a height of 12" produces a volume of between 4 and 5 liquid gallons each (about the equivalent of a 5 to 7 gallon trade pot) and they could be filled another inch or two if needed. I haven't decided whether to provide a cover or not, but I'll report back in a couple of months on how this is working.
Thumb of 2015-04-24/DonShirer/f6b392

Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Peonies Lilies Enjoys or suffers cold winters Winter Sowing
Bulbs Region: Canadian Garden Ideas: Master Level Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
CarolineScott
Apr 24, 2015 2:22 PM CST
I do something similar, but using pots and large deep trays.
I call it the semi hydroponic way of growing tomatoes.
Name: Lynn
Oregon City, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
valleylynn
Apr 25, 2015 11:14 AM CST

Moderator

Great idea and explanation Don. I look forward to seeing the tomatoes once they are fruiting. I can almost taste them just thinking about it.
Name: Critter (Jill)
Frederick, MD (Zone 6b)
We're all learners, doers, teachers
Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Critters Allowed Butterflies Hummingbirder Cat Lover
Bee Lover Region: Mid-Atlantic Cottage Gardener Garden Photography Tropicals Hibiscus
Image
critterologist
Apr 24, 2021 7:28 AM CST
How did this work out? Does the grow bag material wick water gradually into the growing medium, or does the plant end up in a swamp?

love your pvc grow tower!
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris & Sharon.
Name: Larry
Burleson, Texas (Zone 8a)
fredeboy1
Apr 25, 2021 11:08 AM CST
I am using a lot of grow bags this year but I would not have thought of doing this. How much water do you put in the tub? Will be interesting to see how the roots do not stay to wet
Name: Critter (Jill)
Frederick, MD (Zone 6b)
We're all learners, doers, teachers
Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Critters Allowed Butterflies Hummingbirder Cat Lover
Bee Lover Region: Mid-Atlantic Cottage Gardener Garden Photography Tropicals Hibiscus
Image
critterologist
Apr 25, 2021 1:34 PM CST
grow bags (or any pots, but the bags conform to the shape of the tub nicely) with wicks on any type of platform, so that only the bottom of the bag and/or the wicks are in contact with the water... now, that I could see, and it seems easier to put together than most HEB designs.
I'm learning to dance in the rain. Thank you, Sally & Chris & Sharon.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Tropicals
Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Foliage Fan
Image
purpleinopp
Apr 25, 2021 4:22 PM CST
Don, do you mean there is water in there all the time?
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The 2nd best time is now.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.

4sheilaboola
May 12, 2021 6:09 PM CST
I am in my third year of planting heirloom tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplants, and squash in 10-gallon grow bags which are set in medium-size kiddie pools (3 to a pool). I live in inland southern California, so this is a perfect system. I don't have to spend all my time watering. I put about an inch or two of water in the tubs and then let the bags wick it up. About every third day, I let the pools dry out. This is the first year I have done this, and I think the plants look better and it's good for getting rid of mosquitos. I always get lots of vegetables. All plants go in tomato cages and I clip them together at the top with clothespins for stability.
Name: Frenchy
Falls Church, VA (Zone 7b)
Container Gardener Tender Perennials Dog Lover Houseplants Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Tomato Heads
Hostas Tropicals Annuals Foliage Fan Aroids Cactus and Succulents
Image
Frenchy21
May 12, 2021 10:01 PM CST
Great idea @4sheilaboola. Could you show us some pictures if possible. Smiling

4sheilaboola
May 13, 2021 10:07 AM CST
I'll try to send pictures (I'm not very good at this). All plants are on a deck covered with shade cloth entirely (to prevent sun and birds getting in) and wire about three feet up on the bottom (to prevent squirrels, pack rats, and mice getting in). Not last year, but this year the bees didn't like going through the shade cloth. I have self-pollinating cucumbers and I am pollinating the squash by hand. Next year, I'll get self-pollinating zucchini.
Thumb of 2021-05-13/4sheilaboola/5ba7ea
Thumb of 2021-05-13/4sheilaboola/a4d9ac
Thumb of 2021-05-13/4sheilaboola/e4ab2a
Thumb of 2021-05-13/4sheilaboola/d8a37c
Thumb of 2021-05-13/4sheilaboola/b816b8
Thumb of 2021-05-13/4sheilaboola/c69576
Thumb of 2021-05-13/4sheilaboola/742f90
Thumb of 2021-05-13/4sheilaboola/622cf4
Thumb of 2021-05-13/4sheilaboola/6fd43e

Name: Frenchy
Falls Church, VA (Zone 7b)
Container Gardener Tender Perennials Dog Lover Houseplants Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Tomato Heads
Hostas Tropicals Annuals Foliage Fan Aroids Cactus and Succulents
Image
Frenchy21
May 13, 2021 11:16 AM CST
Thank you for the pictures @4sheilaboola. What a marvelous set-up!

4sheilaboola
May 13, 2021 12:17 PM CST
Thank you!

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Containers forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Member Login:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by lauriemorningglory and is called "Pulsatilla and Phlox"

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.