Tomatoville® Gardening Forums


Notices

General discussion regarding the techniques and methods used to successfully grow tomato plants in containers.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 1 Week Ago   #1
Greatgardens
Tomatovillian™
 
Greatgardens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 791
Default Durable Grow Bags?

This is my first year using grow bags, and I like the results, thus far. Unfortunately, mine are a bit small for the varieties I'm growing. I have 10-gallon bags -- about 15" in diameter and 13" tall. I have a Stellar (determinate) growing in one and it is OK so long as I water it about every 24 hours. Much more than 24, and they start to wilt. 30 hours gives serious wilting.

So I'm thinking 15 gallon for next season. Any particular bags that folks seem to find pretty durable? 4 or 5 yrs would be great. Considering these at Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/VIVOSUN-Gallo...gateway&sr=8-8

As of right now, the dimensions of the 15 gal. are not listed. (But I did submit a question about the dimensions.) BTW, I'm planning on leaving these in place through the winter.

-GG
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Stellar in 10 gal Grow Bag.jpg (218.3 KB, 138 views)

Last edited by Greatgardens; 1 Week Ago at 03:47 PM.
Greatgardens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1 Week Ago   #2
AKmark
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Wasilla Alaska
Posts: 1,892
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greatgardens View Post
This is my first year using grow bags, and I like the results, thus far. Unfortunately, mine are a bit small for the varieties I'm growing. I have 10-gallon bags -- about 15" in diameter and 13" tall. I have a Stellar (determinate) growing in one and it is OK so long as I water it about every 24 hours. Much more than 24, and they start to wilt. 30 hours gives serious wilting.

So I'm thinking 15 gallon for next season. Any particular bags that folks seem to find pretty durable? 4 or 5 yrs would be great. Considering these at Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/VIVOSUN-Gallo...gateway&sr=8-8

As of right now, the dimensions of the 15 gal. are not listed. (But I did submit a question about the dimensions.) BTW, I'm planning on leaving these in place through the winter.

If it is a watering concern hook up a cheap drip system on a timer. Other than that there is no reason to use anything over 4-5 gallons, you will save a fortune in media. We grow about 1500 plants in 4 gallon, and each container has two plants. We have also grown around a thousand varieties. Right now, we have 15-20lbs hanging on each of the two plants in the containers. I have some grow bags that are 8 years old, most are very durable. Most outlets carry them. Good luck

-GG
AKmark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1 Week Ago   #3
Barb_FL
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Indialantic, Florida
Posts: 1,819
Default

I still use the brown Root Pouches that I bought in 2012. If I get a hole in it, it is because I'm moving it not by the handles.

https://www.greenhousemegastore.com/...root%2bpouches

The dimensions are listed on each size.

The 15 gallon ones seem huge when you are filling it. I have 2,3,5,7,10,15 gallons.

My large tomatoes actually produce more in the RP than an EB. However, they get really gross where I need to pressure wash them to get the moss (??) off. I've PW them all at the end of the season too. I use a porch type Presser Washer and they hold up to it.

That said, after the first few buys, I started buying the cheaper grey ones. My original grey ones must be 4-5 years old by now.

I like the 7 gallon ones the best.

I use to leave mine out all year holding the potting mix; but I haven't for several years now.

ETA - Your plant is beautiful!!

Last edited by Barb_FL; 1 Week Ago at 04:52 PM.
Barb_FL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1 Week Ago   #4
Greatgardens
Tomatovillian™
 
Greatgardens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 791
Default

Thanks Barb! It is my best looking plant this year, but since it is dry (now), it's a pretty good year for nearly all. Overall though, a lot of bug damage. I like the size of Stellar -- both plant and tomatoes. I'm looking for a variety that I can "set and forget" (mostly) -- this might be the one.

@AKmark
1500 plants -- boggles the mind! And in 4-gallon containers. Yes, I'll rethink going bigger. One thing about the 10 gallon bags -- I don't need to fill them completely. My present ones have about 8 gallons (?) of media.
Greatgardens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1 Week Ago   #5
SueCT
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 1,378
Default

These are the ones I used, they are called Phat Sacks, and they held up well. I only used them for 3 years but they are still usable. I used the 20 gallon for large plants, I don't think they have 15 gallons, but I didn't fill them up all the way, so i probably used the equivalent of 15 gallons. I like having some extra room for watering and to keep the soil in and everything neater, but I did wish they had 15 gallon so I could compare.

https://www.htgsupply.com/?s=phat+sa...ct&dgwt_wcas=1
SueCT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1 Week Ago   #6
AKmark
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Wasilla Alaska
Posts: 1,892
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greatgardens View Post
Thanks Barb! It is my best looking plant this year, but since it is dry (now), it's a pretty good year for nearly all. Overall though, a lot of bug damage. I like the size of Stellar -- both plant and tomatoes. I'm looking for a variety that I can "set and forget" (mostly) -- this might be the one.

@AKmark
1500 plants -- boggles the mind! And in 4-gallon containers. Yes, I'll rethink going bigger. One thing about the 10 gallon bags -- I don't need to fill them completely. My present ones have about 8 gallons (?) of media.
Yep, we are busy all the time, but we do this commercially for profit. I started with 15-20 gallon, and they do work, but it is super expensive and yield is not better. I start noticing a difference when we go under 3 gallon.
You certainly will be able to grow monster plants in 10 gallon, you can also let some pruning slide and still not dry them out too fast. If you need any help with fertigation, or fertilizer components just ask.
AKmark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1 Week Ago   #7
SueCT
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 1,378
Default

My problem with the grow bags was keeping them evenly watered. If you don't do it professionally and don't have an irrigation system, it can hard to prevent drying out and BER. if i grew professionally or was retired, I could attend them every day. Having a full time job outside the home, and lots if other stuff to do as well, keeping up with pots the way i think they needed to be to get good results was more than I could put into it. If you have the time and/or the money and motivation to set up an irrigation system i am sure you could get much better results than i had. Watering by hand on 90-100 degree days and not over watering or letting them dry out takes more time and attention that I could give them.
SueCT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1 Week Ago   #8
AKmark
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Wasilla Alaska
Posts: 1,892
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SueCT View Post
My problem with the grow bags was keeping them evenly watered. If you don't do it professionally and don't have an irrigation system, it can hard to prevent drying out and BER. if i grew professionally or was retired, I could attend them every day. Having a full time job outside the home, and lots if other stuff to do as well, keeping up with pots the way i think they needed to be to get good results was more than I could put into it. If you have the time and/or the money and motivation to set up an irrigation system i am sure you could get much better results than i had. Watering by hand on 90-100 degree days and not over watering or letting them dry out takes more time and attention that I could give them.
That is so true, and it is the biggest problem my customers run into. I always suggest a cheap drip system with a timer from Home Depot or Lowe's, they connect right to a garden hose and are very easy to assemble. Up here the cost is under 40 dollars. The problem is feeding consistently by means of the system. One will have to feed by hand and adjust the strength to meet the demand and frequency. Once this stuff is figured out and installed, it is a real joy instead of just more work. Good luck this fall
AKmark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1 Week Ago   #9
Barb_FL
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Indialantic, Florida
Posts: 1,819
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AKmark View Post
That is so true, and it is the biggest problem my customers run into. I always suggest a cheap drip system with a timer from Home Depot or Lowe's, they connect right to a garden hose and are very easy to assemble. Up here the cost is under 40 dollars. The problem is feeding consistently by means of the system. One will have to feed by hand and adjust the strength to meet the demand and frequency. Once this stuff is figured out and installed, it is a real joy instead of just more work. Good luck this fall
Over the years, I tried a bunch of the retail drip irrigation systems and the Mister Landscaper one (and their separate 1/4" tubing) I found to be the best. (Sold at Lowes) Some of the other vendor tubing (well all of it) is so hard to get the fittings into unless you have really strong fingers / heat it, etc.

Mark - this past season I followed you with using smaller containers - I went with 5 gallon Root Pouches for one plant and 7,10,15 gallons for 2 plants. It only got tough when it got really hot out around late May and June. I would just water / feed a couple of times a day (but I don't work either).

Since I had big monster square cages, I put 2 of the 5 gallon pouches per cage; that didn't work out so well for one of the plants. I think amount of Sun was limited to the slower grower. The majority of my season is when there is shorter light hours.

In all the years I've been gardening, I've only had BER on < 5 tomatoes.

----
AKMARK - Have you ever tried the coco grow slabs? Are you using much coir at all or still just ProMix?

I grew a SunOrange (improved SunGold) in a 6" Grodan Rockwool cube set in a flimsy 1/2" tray set in a Home Depot bucket with holes so no water accumulation. (not ideal at all but still major producer)). I bought the right accommodating gear for this season coming up

Last edited by Barb_FL; 1 Week Ago at 03:07 PM.
Barb_FL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1 Week Ago   #10
AKmark
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Wasilla Alaska
Posts: 1,892
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barb_FL View Post
Over the years, I tried a bunch of the retail drip irrigation systems and the Mister Landscaper one (and their separate 1/4" tubing) I found to be the best. (Sold at Lowes) Some of the other vendor tubing (well all of it) is so hard to get the fittings into unless you have really strong fingers / heat it, etc.

Mark - this past season I followed you with using smaller containers - I went with 5 gallon Root Pouches for one plant and 7,10,15 gallons for 2 plants. It only got tough when it got really hot out around late May and June. I would just water / feed a couple of times a day (but I don't work either).

Since I had big monster square cages, I put 2 of the 5 gallon pouches per cage; that didn't work out so well for one of the plants. I think amount of Sun was limited to the slower grower. The majority of my season is when there is shorter light hours.

In all the years I've been gardening, I've only had BER on < 5 tomatoes.

----
AKMARK - Have you ever tried the coco grow slabs? Are you using much coir at all or still just ProMix?

I grew a SunOrange (improved SunGold) in a 6" Grodan Rockwool cube set in a flimsy 1/2" tray set in a Home Depot bucket with holes so no water accumulation. (not ideal at all but still major producer)). I bought the right accommodating gear for this season coming up
Yes, I have used it. I get about the same results in Pro Mix, and buy it in quantity because of the floral side of things, so it is affordable. You are doing well if you get few BER in small containers.
When we had our hot spell I watered 4 times per day, pulled shade cloth, and fought for my crops. It was 85-90 outside the greenhouses, so you can imagine 19 hours a day of that inside them. The reds held up better it seemed.
AKmark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1 Week Ago   #11
zipcode
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Romania/Germany , z 4-6
Posts: 1,275
Default

Grow bags go great with drip irrigation on a timer. Their fast drying is good, but only when you can keep with the watering, and a 'wet to somewhat dry' cycle seems to be good for tomatoes and peppers both.
zipcode is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1 Week Ago   #12
edweather
Tomatovillian™
 
edweather's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Southeast GA, USDA 9a, HZ9, Sunset Z28
Posts: 324
Default

Thanks for the grow bag suggestions. Have been using 15 gal totes, but they fall apart in a few years. Might look into getting a few bags. Aside from the durability of the bag, do the plants grow "better" in the bags? A little worried about the drying out factor here in the south.


@AKmark - Your results are amazing. Have seen some of your posts before, and have been blown away seeing your operation. Have seen others get amazing results in small pots/bags also. Sounds like you have found the sweet spot with the fertilizer. 30-40 pounds of fruit hanging from two plants in a 4 gallon pot? Wow.

I soak my containers daily, and then mix up a 2 gallon watering can of Texas Tomato Food, regular strength, and pour "some" on top of the wet containers, and let is seep down. So they aren't getting full fertilizer every day, but am guessing it averages out to about 1/4 strength with the amount I'm applying. They get a calcium nitrate snack once a week too.
__________________
You'll be surprised what you never have to do if you put it off long enough.
edweather is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5 Days Ago   #13
Salsacharley
Tomatovillian™
 
Salsacharley's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 1,949
Default

I wonder about the effects of freezing and thawing and UV light and what toll they may take on the bags. I have a 4ft avocado tree growing in a 5 gal bag that I will bring in when the freeze begins. I have a fig tree in a 30 gal bag I've left outdoors for 3 years now and it is hanging in there, certainly not a show piece. It is a Smart pot.
Salsacharley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5 Days Ago   #14
maxjohnson
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: OH 6a
Posts: 567
Default

I specifically bought from the Honest Outfitter brand because their 15gal version have wider diameter than the rest, including vivosun. Most of the growbags last well for me, I haven't found one that breaks apart.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0722RWGV4

You can use saucer or kiddie pool to have a water reservoir for the bags, although 22"+ saucers to fit these 15gal bags are probably pricey.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_20190813_182531.jpg (455.1 KB, 47 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_20190813_182713.jpg (357.2 KB, 47 views)
maxjohnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4 Days Ago   #15
asaump
Tomatovillian™
 
asaump's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Maine, 4b
Posts: 62
Default

I've purchased some Rain Science grow bags this year. I love them so far. I believe they are built to last many, many years. I don't have an issue with drying out as I have them set up on the hybrid rain gutter grow system. A bit pricey but I think they are worth it. Currently have 8 bags but plan to replace all my bags next year with the Rain Science bags.

https://rainsciencegrowbags.com/

This is a 10 gal with an indeterminate.

__________________
Ken
asaump is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:40 PM.


★ Tomatoville® is a registered trademark of Commerce Holdings, LLC ★ All Content ©2019 Commerce Holdings, LLC ★