Allotment Gardening Advice Help Chat

Growing => Grow Your Own => Topic started by: andtiggertoo on April 20, 2009, 13:21

Title: reusing grow bags
Post by: andtiggertoo on April 20, 2009, 13:21
this is a bit long winded - sorry.

I try to utilise whatever is available to me in the garden, I filled my raised beds with my own composted material, and was almost self sufficient in seed compost from the leafmold I make. I accept that this isn't possible all the time but I don't feel comfortable with buying lots of compost etc in, as I am concerned about the depletion of peat bogs and for the significant consequences of transportation of bulky goods ( quite apart from the cost which I am finding shocking  :ohmy:)

This year I am growing outdoor tomatoes for the first time and the best available aspect for them is my sunny and sheltered yard. So I am thinking I will have to bite the bullet and buy in some grow bags.

I have a number of questions about this that i hope you wise sages will help me with.

Do they have to be those marketed as tomato grow bags, or will any multipurpose growbag be suitable.

When they are done I can reuse them on my raised beds which are not completely full, but if the tomatoes are a success and i decide to do them again next year, can i reuse them for tomatoes and just replace the nutrients with slow release fertiliser such as pelled chicken manure and/or feed liquids specifically targetted at tomatoes.

Finally which grow bags do you all recommend.

Thanks for any help you can offer

Title: Re: reusing grow bags
Post by: HLS on April 20, 2009, 13:31
I had reasonable success (until the blight caught up with me) last year growing tomatoes in deepish black plastic troughs from Wilko's, filled with general purpose compost and fed with a tomato feed.  I don't know whether they'd have done better with the compost you get in tomato grow bags, but the troughs were certainly easier to water, easier to stake, more stable and more attractive than grow bags, and I can re-use them this year.  Other people on here seem to grow tomatoes in free/cheap flower buckets from supermarkets - haven't tried that myself yet.

Once you've got a container I'd think you could mix up the compost yourself, adding a bit of bought compost if you need to.  I'm not an expert on nutrients, though - hopefully someone here will be able to advise on what you'd need to add to your own compost.
Title: Re: reusing grow bags
Post by: Ropster on April 20, 2009, 13:35
I dont think it matters what sort of grow bag you use as you should be feeding the Tom's with tomato food anyway

Yes you can put the compost onto your raised beds

I dont think it is a good idea to reuse the bag again for Tomatoes as you shouldnt grow the same type of plant ion the same place (soil) year on year

as HLS says you would probably be better getting a stack of Flower buckets from the supermarket and putting your own compost in them
Title: Re: reusing grow bags
Post by: andtiggertoo on April 20, 2009, 14:01
Thanks to you both, we have just gone onto wheelie bins in calderdale this week, so I've cut my old dustbins into two sections, the bottom sections will be good for doing tomatoes in, i might see if any of my neoghbours want to part with their old bins too, as I could do with another 2 or three.

Good point about reusing the compost for same crop could run into all the problems we avoid by rotation.

Thinking about it, i could put the spent compost on one of my 4 raised beds and rotate which one I put it on each year, and i could take some of the compost from my raised beds ( not the potatoes of course), to fillmy tomato tubs.

Anyway for now i will puchase whatever is the cheapest stuff and buy the tomato feed to suppliment it.

Thanks again
Title: Re: reusing grow bags
Post by: Kristen on April 20, 2009, 16:12
My views are:

Grow bags are about the cheapest "compost" that our garden centre sells. I theretofore don't think that it is a very "subtle" mix :)

I find grow bags very hard to get the water content right - and as such stopped using them several years ago.  I buy grow bags and use the compost to fill 11" / 10Litre pots (and also all my urns and tubs).

I have read of people cutting a grow bag in half, and using the two "halves" as pots.  That seems a good idea to me.

I put the spent Tomato compost on the bed where the potatoes were - so it will be 4 years before the Spuds see that bed again. Ditto if you want compost / soil from your beds to pot up your Toms I would suggest taking it from where potatoes will be next year (well, "this year" if you are taking the soil before the Spuds are planted)
Title: Re: reusing grow bags
Post by: strangerachael on April 20, 2009, 20:01
Slightly off topic, but when I asked about those flower buckets in Sainsburys, they said no, they had to send them back to the flower suppliers. Anyone know which supermarkets do give them away?
In the meantime I am using, among other salvaged objects, my redundant recycling boxes because we have also been supplied with new wheelie bins.