no to growbags

spent a lot of today cleaning up the greenhouse and going after some weeds and insects in the area where I have my growbags.  Took the grow bag with the comfrey out of the greenhouse and moved it outside to make room for 3 wicker baskets.

Earlier this year I’d gone big time into grow bags.  Thought they were wonderful idea and had ordered some for potatoes.  Really nice quality, sturdy, and, as it turned out, gave me good potatoes too.  Was so impressed with their quality that I ordered some rectangular grow bags.  They varied in size from 2’x2’x1′ tall, divided into 4 (square foot gardening at its best!!) to something like 2’9″ x 2’9″ x 18″ tall, divided into 4 compartments.  The results were not particulary great, mostly because the bags are seriously deteriorating before the end of their first season!  They were not the same material as the potato bags first off.  I did plant tomatoes, bush zuchinni, peppers,  in the rest.  The comfrey did well although it never reached flower stage. Maybe because of being in the greenhouse.  The bush zuchinni stayed small and did yield some decent fruit, but had a very short life span.  Peppers did okay and the tomatoes also were stunted in size.  Lettuce did alright. 

grow bags with lettuce, chard, onions, spinach

For the cost of the growbags (and I still do appreciate their light weight) for a season,  I’m looking at alternatives.  Now the 2’x2’x1′ bag took 2 cubic feet of soil (that’s one them BIG bags).  Yesterday found 3 wicker baskets at one of the thrift stores, they look like they would be good laundry baskets.  They were respectively $4, $4, and $3.  Lined them with heavy plastic bags (2 each, the outer one has holes in the upper area, the inner has bottom holes).  Figure if they last the season, they have done as well as the grow bags for much, much, MUCH less money.  The larger baskets took just over a cubic foot of soil and the smaller one took just a bit less.  That equates to $8 for 2 baskets vs something like $18 for the grow bag holding the same amount of soil!  The baskets are now in the greenhouse (looking plastic mounds) ready to be planted with lettuce and/or broccoli.

one of the plastic lined wicker baskets w/ lettuce seedlings

Oh yeah,  tomatoes and lettuce from the garden with lunch today.  Can’t get over its 11/5 and no frost yet. Although it was touching 40 at 7am!

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