Grow bag gardening? Anyone tried this?

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by StratoMutt, Apr 30, 2021.

  1. StratoMutt

    StratoMutt Most Honored Senior Member

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    I'm going to grow hot peppers again. Trouble is my soil sucks and I've tried to make it worthy with no luck.

    Container gardening is the answer. First Habanero I ever grew was in a pot and was prolific, producing magnificent hot pods.

    I've ordered six plants. Trouble is plastic pots are pricey. Six 16" pots are over $100. Then I saw grow bags... Cheap. 10 five gallon packs are around $20. Should be plenty big for hot peppers.

    So, are there any bag gardeners / farmers here? Specific bag recommendations?
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2021
  2. strat_strummer

    strat_strummer Most Honored Senior Member

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    Only thing I can grow is fret sprout.
     
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  3. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Dr. Stratster

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    Don't buy any bags until you google "hay bale gardening". Look a the images and read a few of the hype sites then look for pdf files in the google result from agricultural colleges for the nitty gritty. Bit of light organic chemistry there, but that's true of any farming endeavor.

    The bales are reuseable..up to two years and then are compostable. you can spread it on that crappy soil and turn it in to start on amending it.
     
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  4. AncientAx

    AncientAx Still hacking ....

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    We have some grow boxes and a raised bed garden . Very productive !
     
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  5. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Dr. Stratster

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    I know from your previous posts that you primarily grow peppers, but your mention of bag gardening brought something to mind you, or others, might find a use for...

    (PS - If you MUST use anything that doesn't biodegrade, ie. pot...bags... consider repurposing feed bags keeps them out of the landfill)

    I use feedbags to grow irish (as opposed to sweet) potatoes. I love potatoes but getting too old for all that diggin'

    So I use an old redneck thing where they stack a couple tires and then fill the center with soil and plant a potato plant or two. As the plant gets taller you keep adding tires and soil
    Come harvest, no diggin'. All you have to do is kick the stack over and pick or rake the spuds out of the soil.

    I don't use tires...I use feedbags with the tops rolled down..then keep rolling them up and adding dirt. Then I just slice the bag from top to bottom as I harvest. Makes soil recovery neater and easier too.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2021
  6. StratoMutt

    StratoMutt Most Honored Senior Member

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    Thanks! :)

    I sir, never "google". :p

    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=hay+bale+gardening&bext=wor&ia=web
     
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  7. Rudedawg

    Rudedawg Senior Stratmaster

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    Back in the day we had pot gardens; peppers, tomatoes and herbs.
     
  8. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Dr. Stratster

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    neither do I...it's a generic term...like kleenex..or snotrag.:D

    But in all seriousness DO give bale gardening a hard look.

    It's easy, easier on the back, (fewer weeds, less bending), you can use top for peppers and the sides for flowers, or strawberries, (which do particularly well on the sunny side of the bale, and you can even make a nice landscape out of them....
    [​IMG]
     
  9. circles

    circles Resident Pinball Enthusiast

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    Never seen that, pretty cool.
     
  10. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Dr. Stratster

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    It's STRAW bales....type faster than I read sometimes...but principle's the same. Hay has seeds so, while it will work, it's problematic.
     
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  11. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Dr. Stratster

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    Done right it can be a majorly cool garden for less effort and work than a traditional one. Should be able to get bales for $5 apiece. Good for squash and other vines too. Keeps fruit off the ground. If you're creative with it you can grow alot in a very small space.
     
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  12. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Dr. Stratster

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    You may see some instructionals that state you have to let the bales decompose for "weeks or months". That's nonsense. You can dig out the holes and apply the right conditioning agents/fertilizer to encourage a quick start to the composting of the inside of the bale.

    That, and the key ingredient, water.

    Counter intuitively water is what creates heat in the composting bale/pile.

    So you do want to take some time to water it heavily and condition it. I then use a scoop or two of heavily composted soil in the hole and toss in a few eggshells (calcium) coffee grounds, and maybe a cut up banana peel..(potassium), in the hole with the plant to start.

    Depending on the plant you might was to put some epsom salts, (magnesium), but it's mostly better added later in a solution with water to combat blossom end rot on tomatoes, squash, curcubits...etc.

    It is just straw after all..so don't be afraid to add nutrients. You can even drill a center hold in the top and hollow it out all the way through, then use that to toss your compostable kitchen scraps right in, letting the bale double as a composting machine....





    Won't get many, if any, weeds if the compost is good.
     
  13. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Dr. Stratster

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    Pics or it didn't happen? :D
     
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  14. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Dr. Stratster

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    @StratoMutt

    If you want to grow year round and have an enclosed area or a small greenhouse you could set up one of these. Uses no dirt at all. Just tilapia, gold fish and grow media. Here's my winter lettuce and some fall squash.

    This setup would easily support 6 decent pepper plants..probably 9 with no trouble. Because there is no soil and nutrients are delivered to the roots through a flood and drain water system, you can plant much more in a small space.
    20210127_142322.jpg 20200525_102528.jpg

    and a pooch..cause I know ya like em!


    20201001_093729.jpg
     
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  15. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Dr. Stratster

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    Oh..and you can do that whole system indoors on a smaller scale with a large fishtank. Easily grow enough greens for a family of 4.
     
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  16. StratoMutt

    StratoMutt Most Honored Senior Member

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    I've found quite a bit of info on bale gardening. Looks like some extra work getting the bale ready for plating verses the bag method. Ready to plant in about 10 days or so? I'm intrigued.

    Trying to track down baled straw near me. Several farms are close by. When the wind is just right, I can smell them. :)
     
  17. StratoMutt

    StratoMutt Most Honored Senior Member

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  18. AncientAx

    AncientAx Still hacking ....

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    From last year , we don’t start this year till after Mother’s Day 4CF39DA1-B76A-467F-A2C4-2ABC069B69CE.jpeg B560F56B-CE01-4F23-87B9-DEF84938E283.jpeg 669B2879-5842-47CE-AF43-E4C53F895997.jpeg
     
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  19. StratAlchemist

    StratAlchemist Strat-O-Master

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    Food grade plastics is what you want to look for. I’ve got 7 of these to plant some vegetables on the back deck. About $5 each. The food grade plastics won’t leach potential compounds into the food. Cheap plastic buckets can be a mix of recycled plastics which may or may not contain heavy metals or halogens. Fill with potting mix NOT potting soil.
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Leaktit...fe-Bucket-White-005GFSWH020/300197644#overlay
     
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  20. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Dr. Stratster

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    Nice! I have a traditional ground patch and a couple raised beds but I've scaled down a bit. Of course I was mowing the lawn and it got dark so I'll have to get pics tomorrow. I just got started outside a few weeks ago, but I've been doing starts in the greenhouse since Feb.

    Found that the grow bed is fantastic for starts and cuttings as well. You can fit a ton of small starts in that 9 sq ft. cause all the roots go straight down instead of spreading out.