What Fabric Are Grow Bags Made of (How To Sew Grow Bags)

When you want to feel good and build your confidence, you need to go with the best. Doesn’t matter what it is, you always need the best if you are going feel that sense of accomplishment. Making grow bags are no different you need the best fabric possible to have success in your garden

What fabric are grow bags made of? The general consensus is that modern grow bags are made from the same fabric reusable grocery bags are made from. That is a very broad category so to narrow it down, the fabric used is called polypropylene. It is a breathable, sturdy fabric.

To learn more about the fabric behind those grow bags, just continue to read our article. It is filled with informative content meant to help you find the right materials for your personal garden. Even if that garden is in a bag.

What Fabric are Grow Bags Made Of?

When you are going to grow vegetables, etc., in a bag you want a material that can withstand the continuous amounts of water, fertilizer, and so on. Regular natural fibers may be good for the environment but they cannot stand up to the daily wear and tear of gardening.

That is why most grow bags are made from polypropylene. This is a fabric that is strong, can handle the heavy use of gardening supplies, and last for a long time. This is the same fabric that is used to make some of the reusable shopping bags that you see different people carrying in the supermarket.

The advantages of using this material are that it does not retain heat or water. It is a breathable material that is soft and allows for root pruning. With polypropylene’s ability to breathe you can avoid exposing your plants to root rot.

The water circulates the nutrients better providing you with a better looking, healthier plant.

How Long do Fabric Grow Bags Last?


The typical and most common answer to this question is it will depend. The quality of the material will play a role in the longevity of the grow bag. Some versions come with reinforced seams and stitched handles so they will last through several seasons.

Next, the type of material used to make the grow bag will determine how long yours will last. Cardboard versions will last about 1 year, recycled plastic grow bags can last for about 5 years.

Fabric grow bags can last anywhere between 3 and 5 years and with proper care that lifespan may be extended to 7 to 8 years. The rule of thumb is that you will get between 1 and 10 years of use out of grow bags.

There are also plastic grow bags and you should be careful as plastic has not been known to be plant or root friendly. You have to make alterations to the plastic to get it to where it is an effective grow bag.

Are Fabric Grow Bags Safe?


For the most part yes they are. But you need to wary of the type of fabric grow bag you are buying. The safest options are the ones that are made from BPA free ingredients and are rated food safe.

Polypropylene is made like other plastics and not all versions are good for use as a grow bag. Besides BPA and lead, there may be other chemicals in plastic and these types of grow bags.

Other fabric grow bags may not last as long or be as beneficial to the plants like polypropylene materials but they will be healthier in the long run. If you want a temporary option paper grocery bags and cardboard are good examples of healthy grow bags.

When the paper wears out, it helps fertilize the soil providing your plants with more nutrients. The thing is you just can’t assume that the product is safe and just grab a set of grow bags off the shelf.

You need to check to see if they are BPA and other chemicals free before using them for your garden.

Are Fabric Grow Bags Reusable?


Some are and some are not. The fabric ones can be cleaned and reused year after year. With proper care, you may extend the life of the bag for a year or more. The key is in the words proper care.

If you drag your grow pots from place to place then do not expect them to last very long. You should use the handles, if they have them, and lift the bags up and then gently place them back down again.

Washing them out and storing them in the proper location will also help the grow bags last longer. All you need to use to wash them is your standard garden hose. This little effort removes chemicals and salt so those items will not degrade your grow pot.

Now if you are not looking for long term use, then you may want to go to cardboard or paper grocery bags. These do not last more than a year and you do not have to worry about cleaning them.

Take some time and compare different grow bags to see which ones will work the best for you.

Advantages of Fabric Grow Bags

There are lots of advantages of using grow bags over regular pots or investing in a huge garden that takes up half your lawn. Here are a few of those advantages:

  • They are lighter than clay or other pots
  • You can move them easier because most have handles to lift them
  • They help circulate the nutrients and water better
  • They are breathable and flexible
  • Grow bags normally do not retain water or heat
  • They help avoid root rot
  • These grow bags are easier to store
  • Grow bags are temporary
  • They take up less space in your yard, patio or home
  • They can be used anywhere

It wouldn’t be fair to list just the advantages of grow pots. Here are some disadvantages that help give you a proper perspective on the issue:

  • You may replace them more often and run up your costs
  • They do not look as good as clay pots
  • Some versions do not last a long time
  • Not all fabric grow pots are environmentally friendly
  • You may have to water your plants more often
  • Large grow pot bags, 20 gallons+, will be hard to move

Make Your Own Fabric Grow Bags

One of the tools you should have on hand is an upholstery sewing machine. Don’t buy one unless you plan on making a lot of grow bags or do other heavy fabric work. Next, use black landscape fabric as it is the same material used for many grow bags you can buy in the store.

The first step you need to do once you have your tools and material is to determine how big you want your grow bags to be. For one that measures 1 square foot, you will need 4 feet of fabric plus an inch for the seam allowance. For the height fold the material in half and it should be good.

Step two has you folding the material then sewing the bottom and the side to make a bag. Step three, you need to fold the corners and secure them. Next, you draw two lines to make an inner square. That requires drawing a line from each corner 6 inches long and a 12-inch line from the middle.

Step four fold the top of your bag over once or twice and finish it. These are very basic instructions and you should sew using a stitch that is flexible and durable. Making your own grow bag is similar to making a tote or other type of bag without using a zipper.

The key will be in determining what size you want.

How to Sew Grow Bags


The above section dealt with making your own grow bag and the sewing technique is basically the standard style of sewing. Just select the right stitch as the grow bags will be holding a lot of weight inside.

When folding down the top part, you should sew a couple of lines of stitches at least 1/2 inch apart to reinforce the fabric and make it sturdier. For handles you want them to be about an inch wide and secured at the seams.

Use a top stitch on the exterior side of the bag and place the handles about 4 inches down the sides. Sew all 4 inches. Just be careful not to twist the handles when placing the ends on the bag.

If you need diagrams to help you see what you are doing, then you can click on this link. It provides a simple easy to follow diagrams with instructions and photos.

What Size Fabric Grow Bag for Tomatoes


Part of the size of the grow bag you will need will depend on what type of tomatoes you are going to grow. For cherry tomato plants you can get away with using a 2 or 3 gallon grow bag.

Larger tomato plants should be grown in at least 5 to 10-gallon bags. These are the typical patio type tomato plants. If you want a larger size and a larger crop of tomatoes then you should use a grow bag that is larger than 10 gallons.

When growing tomatoes, you should water wisely and not be frugal. Also, be consistent in your watering times. Then you should use a very good potting soil mix that has peat as part of the compound. A good compost additive will help as well.

The blend of the soil and compost should be 60-40 and these items will help keep disease away. Finally to add to the health of your tomato plants place a trellis next to the grow bag and help your plants grow vertically.

As an added tip, re-potting the tomato plant during the season helps it grow into a plant that can be harvested year-round.

Do Fabric Grow Bags Need Drainage Holes?


Not if you get the breathable fabric to grow bags made from polypropylene. These grow bags allow for water to escape, almost naturally, so your plants’ roots are spared the chances of contracting root rot.

If the fabric grow bag you choose does not let water escape then you would have to put some drainage holes in the bag, if they are not already placed there by the manufacturer.

If you are serious about using grow bags for your next garden, then you will want the breathable type. This lets excess moisture escape and help your plants be healthier and produce better fruit.

Fabric Grow Bags vs Plastic Pots

If you have a choice, go with the grow bags. The reasons for this are many. First, you get better temperature control. Plastic pots retain heat and can cook your plants. Second, grow bags are more difficult to over water. That is because unlike plastic pots, the excess can escape.

Third, fabric grow pots are easier to store and hideaway. They do not become an eyesore or take up a lot of room in your storage area as plastic pots do. Plastic pots can also break when not in use.

Finally, some grow bags are biodegradable which means you can plant them in the ground and not worry about the soil. Plastic is not biodegradable.

Some Final Words

Using a fabric grow bag is a great idea when you have little space to grow vegetables or flowers. They are flexible, easy to clean, and store plus there is a grow bag in the size you need.

All you have to do is pick the right one and take proper care of it when in use or in storage. They also are easier to move when you change to a new home.

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