How to Wash, Store, and Care for Grow Bags

Grow bags are really easy to use and care for. You can grow fruits, veggies, flowers, and nearly anything else in them and get great results.

Related: What Can You Grow in a Grow Bag?

If you take care of your grow bags well, you’ll be able to keep using the same bags year after year, making them very affordable in the long run.

How to Care for Grow Bags

Grow bags don’t need a lot of attention, but the little care they do require needs to be done consistently if you want the bags to last as long as possible.

The main things you need to do with grow bags are:

  • Wash your bags annually
  • Store bags inside during the offseason
  • Place them in the correct areas outside
  • Fill and plant properly

Here’s how you do it.

Washing Grow Bags

When you’re growing things seasonally, you need to wash out your grow bags to store them during the off-season.

Even if you’re growing throughout the year with the same bags, it’s a good idea to wash them at least once a year between plantings. This is going to keep the fabric strong and prevent buildups of dirt, mold, roots, or anything else.

Cleaning your bags helps you start afresh every time you’re growing something. A clean slate.

Here’s how to wash a grow bag.  

Step 1: Empty Out Soil

Before you can wash your grow bags, you need to pour out the soil.

If you’ll be reusing soil, you can empty it out onto a tarp. Bonus points if you’re harvesting your successful potato crop that can be easily picked out of the dirt on the tarp!

If you’re using fresh soil for your next replant, go ahead and pour the soil out into your yard, garden, compost pile, or elsewhere.

Shake the bag upside down a few times to get as much soil out as possible.

Step 2: Wash the Bag

All types of grow bags can be washed, even thing plastic bags. The only difference will be how you wash them.

Machine washing or hand washing?

Sturdy fabric bags, even polypropylene bags, can be machine-washed safely. Wash them alone, not with other loads of laundry.

Don’t use bleach or harsh detergents, and wash with cold water if possible.

Grow bags are made tough, so you don’t have to be too gentle with them. But, if you want them to last as long as possible, it’s best to wash them carefully once a year.

Hand Washing

If you don’t have a washing machine, or you’d prefer to wash them by hand, it’s also a super simple process.

Fill a bucket or basin with water and add washing detergent to it. You can use liquid, powder, or bar soap.

Put the bags in the water and swish, scrub, and rub them together until they’re clean. Use a brush on the stained parts if necessary.

Rinse the bags in clean water to remove the soap and any residual dirt.

Step 3: Line Dry Bags

Grow bags should not be put in the dryer, especially polypropylene bags.

Hang them on the clothesline outside until dry.

How to Store Grow Bags in the Offseason

When your grow bags are not in use, you should store them inside away from the elements.

After you’ve cleaned them, put your bags somewhere out of the way and away from the sun. Find a place that’s dry and out of direct sunlight.

Just fold them and stick them on a shelf somewhere until the next growing season. That’s all you have to do!

Where to Place Grow Bags Outside

Grow bags are resilient. They can be placed almost anywhere a plant pot or raised bed would go.

You can use them outdoors on the ground, on a stand, or even buried in the soil if you need to.

The only consideration you need to make is keeping the bags from sitting directly in water for extended periods of time.

Preventing Mold

If grow bags are sitting in water over time, they can begin to grow mold. You can prevent this by placing grow bags on soaking surfaces that get plenty of sunshine.

Soaking surfaces are those that don’t allow water to pool up and sit for a long time. This means anything like gravel, sand, dirt, pavers, etc. Even solid surfaces like concrete are fine, as long as they’re properly sloped to keep water from pooling up after you water the bags, or after rain.

Grow bags need some exposure to sunlight to help them dry off after being watered. As long as they’re getting a little sun every day it should be fine, and you can base the sunlight exposure on what the plant needs, rather than the bag.

Using Grow Bags Indoors

Grow bags can be used to grow things indoors as well as outdoors. If you’re using a grow bag inside, you can put it on a tray to collect excess water, but make sure there’s something on the tray to elevate the bag above the sitting water.

Gravel works well for this, or a small stand to raise the bag up by an inch or so.

Place the grow bag near a window where it can still get sunlight throughout the day.

If you’re using your grow bag to grow your own mushrooms, you’ll mainly focus on limiting excess water poured into the bag since mushrooms prefer to be placed away from sunlight and strong airflow.

How to Fill a Grow Bag

No matter what type of growing medium you’re using, the process of filling your grow bag will be the same.

Related: What Should You Put at the Bottom of a Planter?

Grow bags should be filled around ¾ of the way full instead of filled up to the very top. Leave anywhere from 2-5 inches of space between the top of the soil and the top of the bag. This reduces the weight of the bag, preventing it from breaking when you move it and allowing you to carry it with the handles.

Once you’ve poured your growing medium into the bag, shake it around to settle the soil into place. If it’s too low in the bag, add more on top and shake it lightly again.

If you’re going to fill the bag with anything that could rip a hole in it, such as gravel, large rocks, or sharp sticks, make sure it’s already sitting where you want it, so you don’t have to move it too much.

When you’re ready to plant, the only thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want to plant too close to the bottom of the bag. If you have a shallow grow bag, don’t dig down too deeply in the soil to plant your seeds, seedlings, cuttings, etc.

Final Thoughts

Grow bags can last for years when you take good care of them.

By planning well and washing your bags for storage during the offseason, you can extend their useful lifespan as long as possible and keep using your bags season after season.

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