Our 2021 garden: making grow bags

One thing about our internet being a problem is that we’re really learning what browsers and websites are data hogs of one type or another. Chrome is better than Firefox, and WordPress is just awful. Not just the editor, but simply trying to view other WordPress blogs. I don’t know what they’re trying to do in the background, but it’s more than our internet can handle and they are constantly timing out or only partially loading.

Today, I’m trying a new browser, and it seems to be working MUCH better. Which is weird, because I’m using Tor right now, and it’s an onion, so you would think it would be worse, not better!

Either way, here I am, able to write a blog post!

As much as possible, we keep Sunday as a day of rest. What often happens during that rest period is that it becomes a time of inspiration. Today was one such day, and I came up with a garden solution.

When I posted about our layout plans for this year’s garden, one of the things mentioned is that our potatoes aren’t anywhere on it; we are planning to grow potatoes in containers this year.

The question was, what to use as containers?

The easy solution would be to buy grow bags. That requires money, of course. Money that would be more efficiently spent elsewhere. We had a number of things around the property we could use, but each had more negatives than positives about them.

So that problem got set aside, and we got to thinking about other things. Like how to preserve our harvest. Particularly the root vegetables. I got to thinking about the bags from deer feed and bird seeds we’ve been accumulating, and how they might be usable.

Which is when the inspiration hit.

The feed bags would make excellent grow bags!

The bags are simple tubes with seams sewn on the top and bottom. The seams are basically slip stitched, so to open them, I trim one end of the thread close to the bag, then yank. The whole thread pulls out, leaving the top of the bag undamaged. Once the bags are empty, they lie flat.

So I grabbed one to experiment.

To use them as grow bags, they need a flat bottom. To create that, I folded the ends of the seam so the points met at the middle, then stitched them in place. Because of the layers of thickness from the seam, I had to do two rows of stitches on either side of the seam. I used a back stitch, as that would hold better. The thread I used was salvaged from the inside of a very long length of paracord. My younger daughter had made herself a corset, but the lacing she got was not long enough. The lacing is the same as the outside of paracord. My husband bought a 1000 yard roll of black paracord a while ago, so we had plenty to use. It took a while, but we got the inner strands out, which we then separated into individual strands to keep for other things. It’s remarkably strong, and we didn’t want to waste it! It was perfect for this job.

This is the end result. A flat bottomed bag with sides that can be rolled up or down to the height desired. The bags will allow for drainage, and are strong enough that we will be able to move them around as needed.

They’re fairly small. The bags are more long and narrow than wide, and the bird seed bags are taller than the deer feed bags. They are large enough for just a couple of potatoes, or maybe three or four fingerling type potatoes, at most. So we’ll need a lot. I don’t mind the smaller size, since that means they’ll be easier to move after being filled. We are pretty sure we know where they will go, but if that doesn’t work out, being able to easily move them is a bonus.

I brought in the rest of the bags from the sun room, which turned out to be another 12 bags, plus we’ve got two more bags of feed on the go. Over the next month or two, we will be getting more of both deer feed and bird seed, which will likely give us another 8 bags to work with. After that, we’ll just be buying bird seed, but by then, we’ll be planting, so it won’t matter. Until we actually get the seed potatoes, we won’t know how many we’ll have, since they’re sold by weight, not number of potatoes. If we don’t have enough bags, we’ll just try some of the other ideas we were thinking of.

I’ve stitched up three, altogether, to get the hang of it, and now they are set aside. Over the next few weeks, we’ll stitch up the rest so that they will be ready for our planting in late May or early June. Being in bags, we should be able to get away with planting earlier.

The cats, meanwhile, are absolutely fascinated by these bags, and all the smells that came in with them! 😀

The Re-Farmer

5 thoughts on “Our 2021 garden: making grow bags

  1. Three cats have owned me and *all* three were fascinated by bags and boxes. They reminded me of myself when I was little and a new large appliance was delivered….big boxes were *the best*. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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