DIY Fabric Grow Bags

Wednesday, May 13, 2020


Happy Wednesday! I have a quick little tutorial to share with you today!

Over the weekend I set about making some DIY grow bags. I've seen grow bags at my local nursery before, but never really thought too much about them. Fast forward to our current situation and I decided I wanted to make some to expand our planting opportunities. Ordinarily I would run to the store for some more terra cotta pots, but we're trying to avoid any unessential trips to the store. I remembered we had a partial roll of landscape fabric leftover from a previous project and decided to try making some myself! I ended up making two and they came together really fast!


I've never used grow bags before, so I can't comment on how well they work, but I'm excited to give them a try! It was either bags or nothing for me, and I already had the fabric so it seemed like a good risk to take. I will update this post at the end of the season with my thoughts on using them! I plan on filling mine with onions and leeks. Excited to grow more veg this year!

In the meantime, I got a lot of questions about how I made mine, so I thought I would share a few instructions and info on how to make other sizes.


The landscape fabric I used is the kind that's really thin and doesn't feel too plastic-y. It should still allow for the dirt to breathe and for water to drain. I wrote the instructions to double up the layers to provide extra durability. If your fabric is thicker, you could just cut two 32"x24" pieces and turn the top edges under.

Finished size: Approximately 16" wide, 16" tall, 16" deep
(The finished sizing is not exact because it doesn't account for the seam allowance. Plus once it is filled with dirt it stretches some.)

Materials: 
- 64" of 4' wide landscape fabric
- Polyester thread (or heavy duty thread)

Cutting:
Cut fabric into (2) 32"x48" rectangles.

Instructions:
Use 1/2" seam allowances unless otherwise noted.


1. Fold rectangles in half so that they measure 32"x24". Top stitch along the fold on each piece to secure in place. You may choose to baste the other three sides if you want.


2. Cut 8" squares out of the two bottom corners on each piece.


3. Place pieces together, lining up all four edges. Secure in place with pins. Sew around three sides, leaving the top folded edge open.


4. Pull the top and bottom layers of one corner apart, pinch together so that the side seam lines up with the bottom seam. Pin and sew across with a 1/2” seam allowance. Repeat with other corner. Turn right side out.

If you need extra help understanding this step, I have a photo and video tutorial of this technique here: Simple Steps to Great Looking Gussets


5. Optional: Add tucks to each corner for extra shaping. Use each bottom corner as a guide. I have a video tutorial of this process here: Using Tucks to Add Structure to Your Bag

To make other size grow bags:
This simple math formula works for square shaped bags. Decide what size square you'd like the height and width of the bag to be. Let's use 12" as an example.

Multiply the square size by 2 to get the width of the fabric pieces to cut:
12" x 2 = 24" 

Multiply the square size by 1.5, then double it to get the height of the fabric pieces to cut:
12" x 1.5 = 18", 18" x 2 = 36" 

The corner square cut out is half the square size: 12" / 2 = 6" 

So, you'll cut 2 pieces 24"x36", and cut 6" squares from the bottom corners. Resulting grow bag will be around 12" tall, 12" wide and 12" deep. Actual finished size will be a bit smaller because of the seam allowance.

Hope this little tutorial is helpful. If you make some, please be sure to tag me on Instagram (@jenib320 or #jenibaker), I'd love to see them!

Happy Gardening!

18 comments :

  1. This is a fabulous idea. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. What a fabulous idea! I am going to have to try this.

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  3. Sewn on machine? What kind of needle did you use?

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    1. Yes, sewn on a machine! Just a regular needle, I think I have an 80/12 in right now.

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  4. Thanks for sharing this tutorial with us. SEW much better than plastic pots!

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  5. Interesting, I've never seen these before, but I live in a small townhouse so there's not a lot of growing. When I first saw the picture, I thought of those re-usable grocery bags that are a lightweight perforated fabric. Curious how the landscaping material compares?

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    1. I think it would be pretty similar! Might be a bit thicker than the landscape fabric.

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  6. I am excited to see how this works out in your garden. I know for sure you will not get any naughty wild bunnies nibbling your plants. I finally learned to make little fenced in gardens with chicken wire. These grow bags are a great idea.

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  7. What a fun idea - talk about using what you have on hand - this looks like it will work really well. I am curious to hear an update later on in the season!

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  8. Good idea! I'm enthusiastic about any sensible ways to increase our self-sufficiency. Thank you, Jeni!

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  9. Nice idea. Will have to try this out.

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  10. Love,love, love this idea. I don't have landscape fabric will try making out of other strong fabric I have on hand.

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  11. HI. I just made a couple grow bags that are round but I am going to use your pattern to copy Ikea Skubb boxes! With Covid they are closed and the click and collect is so busy. You just saved me time and money! Thanks

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  12. We have grown potatoes in bags for about 5 years. We love the results - altho we laugh at ourselves about how much the soil costs to fill the bags. Still worth it for the "sport". This year we're trying carrots, too. Commercial bags are expensive so I'm excited to try this idea because we want more every year. Thankyou.

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  13. Great job. Difference is night and day from a plastic pot. I grow raspberries, squash,etc. Once filled with soul and water be careful when moving. To avoid rips. Thanks for the ideas. Will repair my commercial grow bags with landscape fabric

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