There are several advantages associated with growing garden plants in sacks or bags, but there are also some disadvantages. I have been curious about sack gardening for some time, so recently, I decided to visit a local garden center where I got to talk to an expert with 50 years of experience as a gardener. We talked about the advantages and disadvantages of sack gardening for a while, and I learned a lot. Therefore, I have written this post to share what I learned with you.
Sack gardening allows you to grow more plants in less space since the sacks or bags prevent the root systems from spreading too far and inhibiting the growth of other plants. However, growing plants in sacks or bags can increase the risk of overwatering, but you can reduce this risk by cutting holes or using grow bags.
Below, I have done my best to convey the excellent information I learned from the expert gardener I spoke to about sack gardening. The goal is to help you decide whether sack gardening is worth it for you by comparing the advantages and disadvantages and giving some additional tips on how you can make sack gardening more efficient than it already is.
Advantages of Sack Gardening
I have known about the concept of sack gardening for a while, but I did not know much about it until recently when I was fortunate enough to talk to one of the most experienced gardeners I have ever met. 50 years of experience. Now that’s impressive.
I used the opportunity to ask him about the advantages of sack gardening since I was curious about it, and he started explaining right away.
I have made a list of bullet points to summarize what the expert gardener told me.
These are the advantages of sack gardening:
- The soil and roots are isolated which reduces the risk of pests and diseases.
- You can grow more plants in less space.
- It is cheap to get started.
- There is little to no cleaning needed.
- It is easy to move plants around.
The primary advantage of growing your plants directly in a sack or bag seems to be that they are growing in an isolated environment. You know exactly what type of soil they are growing in, and you are in full control of what goes in it.
This is also important when it comes to animals and pests. Since the plants are growing in much more isolated spaces, the risk of animals and pests (such as slugs) is significantly lower.
In addition to that, the roots from different plants will never get in the way of each other, so by growing your plants in sacks, you can place them very close to each other without having to worry about that. As a result, you can grow more plants in less space.
Another advantage of sack gardening is that it doesn’t take up much space. This is especially great if you have limited space to grow plants in or if you just want to optimize your growing space as much as possible.
When growing plants directly in a bag with soil, you can also grow plants that require different amounts of water and fertilizer next to each other since the water and fertilizer will not reach other plants.
Another advantage of sack gardening that is absolutely worth mentioning is that it is a cheap way of growing plants. You do not have to pay for pots or containers since you will be growing the plants directly in the bags your soil came in or some other sacks or bags you have laying around (or can buy cheaply).
Saving some money on pots or containers can be great since gardening can sometimes be an expensive hobby. It does not have to be expensive, though. If you are interested in learning about the costs involved with gardening as a beginner or an advanced gardener, take a look at this post which I have written about that exact topic.
Since you use sacks or bags to grow your plants, virtually no cleaning is also involved.
One last thing that the expert gardener I spoke to did not talk about, but I thought about later, is that when you grow your plants in sacks or bags, they are much easier to move around.
As the amount of direct sunlight that reaches your garden changes throughout the growing season, being able to easily move your plants can come in handy if some of them are getting too much direct sunlight during the warmest months of summer.
These are the advantages of sack gardening, but there are also some disadvantages that you should be aware of before deciding if you want to try it.
Disadvantages of Sack Gardening
The expert gardener I spoke to seemed to really like the concept of sack gardening, and he also told me that he was currently growing 6 plants this way.
When I asked about the disadvantages of sack gardening, he had to think for a moment before he thought of some things, but it seemed like even those couple of things are not necessarily negative.
The primary disadvantage of sack gardening is that many sacks or bags are not always breathable and therefore have poor drainage. Poor drainage increases the risk of overwatering, which can lead to root rot. This can, however, be avoided by cutting some holes around the bottom of the sack or bag or using grow bags.
Non-breathable bags with poor drainage is not a very good thing for your plants, but you can easily solve it by merely cutting some holes in and around the bottom of the sack or bag.
Using grow bags can also be an excellent choice for sack gardening. They are cheap, natural, and very breathable, allowing for good airflow, which is excellent for your plants and soil. In fact, they are made for it. A cheaper solution is to use burlap sacks as they are also highly breathable.
A trick to growing more plants and producing more fruit when using a burlap sack is to place the sack as tall as possible, fill the sack with soil to almost reach the top, and cut some holes around the sides. This allows you to grow plants at the opening of the sack and all over the sides.
Before talking to the expert gardener, I imagined that the sack or bag would inhibit the growth of the plants’ root systems since the space is rather limited.
He told me that while that was technically true, limited room for root systems to grow is not an issue by itself. As long as the plants get the nutrients and water they need, the size of the root system is technically not important as long as it is large enough to provide enough stability for the plant.
I hope you enjoyed reading my post and found it helpful! If you are interested in other “alternative” gardening methods, I have written another post (here) about how you can grow plants in cans. I have done it myself and included photos of the entire process so you can see precisely how you can make it work. It is a great way to save money on pots and recycle cans in a fun and productive way.