Containers forum: Grow Bags make easy HEB's

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Name: Don Shirer
Westbrook, CT (Zone 6a)
Seed Starter Tomato Heads Vegetable Grower Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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
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
Dallas, 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
Apr 25, 2015 11:14 AM CST


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.

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