Some of our plants needed to be moved over in bigger containers, so I made DIY grow bags to transfer them into. We had a lot of leftover landscape fabric after building the Square Foot Garden boxes and I decided to use it for this project. The material is sturdy and made for gardening, so it’d work great. I found this tutorial on how to DIY grow bags and it was a helpful starting point. I wanted to make our bags stronger and easier to carry, so I made some changes:
- Doubled the fabric used to make them sturdier
- Made them taller so I can roll the top and use it to grab the bags when they need to be moved around
- Used a slightly different method to figure out where the seam will go on the bottom corners
TOOLS AND MATERIALS:
- sewing machine
- landscape fabric
- heavy duty thread
- measuring tape
- cardboard or something with a 90 degree angle
Time: 30-45 minutes/bag
P.S. These bags aren’t hard to make, but they are somewhat time consuming, especially if you’re making many of them. I’ve seen some online that aren’t expensive at all, so if you’re planning to buy all the materials, it may not be worth the cost. If you already have materials on hand, then it’s just a time commitment. Evaluate wisely 🙂
- Determine the rough dimensions of your bag. I used a bucket and measured around it to get an idea of the width I need. I settled for 40″. For the height, I made them all 24″. The landscape fabric is 48″ wide, so doubled it and made that the height of the bags.
- Using measuring tape and scissors, cut the fabric to needed dimensions.
- The folded double-up fabric will have two open edges and that’s where you’ll sew. The part where the fabric was doubled-up is the top of the bucket – it doesn’t need to be sewn and can be easily rolled for carrying.
- Set up your sewing machine. Make sure the fabric is lined up properly, then start sewing the two sides. I double stitched mine.
- You’ll end up at this point with a flat bottom bag, like a pillow case. To give it support, you’ll need to sew the bottom corners.
- Here’s where it gets a little tricky… Like I said above, the post I used as reference didn’t have any notes on how big those corner pieces should be. I never made bags before so I had to figure out a way to measure mine. …and it involves math. If you have an easier way to figure out this part, go for it! Otherwise, try following along my steps.
- Here’s what all of this means:
- The bag is going to have a diameter of 11.5″. That’s the same length that the bottom seam of the bag needs to be so it’s a cylinder that’s got the same inner measurements at the top and bottom (more or less; no need to be super exact).
- The bottom seam measures 18″, so I deducted 11.5″ to see how much I need to adjust to get those two dimensions to match.
- The answer is 6.5″. There are two corners, so I’d have to sew 3.25″ (or 3″ to round it and make my life easier) from each corner seam to get my grow bag cylinder shape.
Alternatively, use the following auto calculator that I set up. Once you input the length of your bottom seam (in inches), press enter and it will calculate how much you need to sew in from each corner.
- To measure, I used a marker, ruler and cardboard to make squares on both sides at the bottom corners, measuring 3″ from the seam.
- After all four sides are marked, lift and flatten out the corners. You should have a straight 3″ line going in both directions from the main bottom seam. Sew a hem along that line. That’ll give your bag the bottom you need.
- Flip the bag inside out and roll the top as much as you’d like.
- Place it over your head and take a nap…much needed after all this work! 🙂
- Lastly, fill up with soil and plants!
September update: The plants have been growing beautifully in these bags. What I like about them is that they retain moisture and water well. The soil doesn’t dry up nearly as fast as in the regular plastic buckets, so we don’t even need to water these as often as the other plants in pots. We have melons growing in two of them and here’s how that’s going.