Planting in a bag of soil?

lisatx04(z9 TX)June 29, 2008

I just read this somewhere and I don't know if it would work...

If your soil is not ready for planting, buy a bag of garden soil. Cut some holes in the(back of bag)and lay it on the ground. Cut open the top of the bag(front), and transplant a tomatoe plant into it. Mulch, water, fertilize and watch it grow! At the end of the season, dump the soil onto the ground, and that should help with amending the soil for next year.

What do you think? I am new to veg gardening and have clay soil. Am thinking of trying this for a fall harvest.

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jimster(z7a MA)

The bag method works fine from what I have read. I don't know why it wouldn't and it certainly would be convenient.

I am philosophically opposed to buying soil by the bag, maybe because my grandfathers both were farmers. I buy my soil by the acre. :-)

Clay soil is not necessarily bad for gardening. It depends on the type. It may be a little messy to work with but it can be very fertile.


    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 9:30PM
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lisatx04(z9 TX)

Thanks Jim. The clay soil I have is as hard as concrete!
I definitely have to amend it before making any kind of garden. That is why I am thinking of doing the bag, then for next spring make a really good bed using the compost I am presently making here at the house. We don't eat a ton of tomatoes, so 1-3 plants would work well.

Thanks again!!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 10:00AM
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It works real good. If you buy a soil product marketed especially for vegetable growing, you couldn't find anything better to plant in.
I have 8 tomato plants in my raised beds, 3 in half whiskey barrels, and I had 9 seedlings left over. So I did the bag thing with 3 of those leftover seedlings. All 3 plants are to the top of those cheapo small size tomato cages 1 month after transplanting. Then I use stakes and green garden tape to support the higher growth. If you keep the bags a reasonable, but not a great distance apart the plants support each other somewhat. Kind of like a tomato hedge.
Best way to grow I know of if you do not have good ground prepared. And easier than growing in conventional containers in my opinion.
One pointer: Stuff more soil in the bag after you cut your planting hole and before you plant. For instance, I needed 3 bags for the plants and I bought one more bag of soil and used that to fill the other 3 bags to capacity. So your planting bags will be all stretched with soil and your planting hole can then be a bit lower than the areas of the bag surrounding the planting hole. Thus when you water, the water will not run off the top of the bag and away from the plant nor will it wash away the soil by your plant stem, but will seek that lower area of the planting hole and go there and only there. Good luck. Check the roots when you're finished in the Fall. You might be surprised how they got down into that clay through the holes you punched in the bottom of the bag.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 1:21PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

You wrote: "The clay soil I have is as hard as concrete!"

That's because it's dry.

Clay is an excellent basis for a garden.

But you need to mix in lots of compost -- the first season a minimum 4 inches, but do only 2 inches at a time -- when the ground is evenly moist.

In successive years, mix in another 2 inches, minimum.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 2:32PM
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