Growbags are a simple way to start off growing vegetables in containers and the beginner gardener would do well to try out a few plants in them before embarking on a full scale container kitchen garden. They contain a peat-based compost with added nutrients sufficient to establish most plants. Plants grown in growbags will need additional feeding throughout the year.
Traditionally they were used to grow outdoor tomatoes and placed against a warm wall with canes to which the plants could be trained. However, the range of vegetables that can be cultivated in growbags is much larger.
These include, lettuces, peas, French beans, spinach or perpetual beet and peas can be allowed to sprawl over the sides of the bag rather than being trained upwards on twigs. This also serves to hide the bags.
Gardening with growbags is simplicity itself. Put the bag in position and make a number of holes in the base according to the instructions on the side. Cut out the squares on the top of the bag and insert the plant. A normal bag can cultivate three tomato plants, but if you plan to use one for lettuce or peas then these can be planted quite densely. Plants need to be fed regularly with liquid fertilizer. Aim to cover the whole surface of the growbag when he plants are mature.
There are two main problems with growbags. They need to watered properly every day in summer: modern bags often incorporate a plastic funnel that conveys water along the length. They need also to be concealed for they are not things of any great beauty.
If you have an established patio kitchen garden then you can construct special boxes or troughs into which new bags can be placed each year or you can have a sunken space on the terrace the right dimensions to take a new bag. This is an excellent idea if you are planning to grow vegetables, such as peas or tomatoes in growbags each year, for it lowers the bag to ground level making it less conspicuous and trailing plants will hide the plastic relatively quickly.