Tomatoes are the most beautiful crop to grow. They are very versatile. Have so many varieties to choose from. We can grow them everywhere. They are easy to grow. In this article, we will learn how to grow tomatoes in grow bags, how to take care of them, the best kind of grow bags to use, varieties of tomatoes to grow in grow bags and much more.
What is Grow Bags?
There are so many different kinds of grow bags available in the market we can choose. Later I will share with you 5 best Grow Bags available in the market right now. But if you don’t want to buy these bags, don’t worry. You can just use your bag of compost and potting soil etc.
Why We Should Use Grow Bags:
- Other containers and pots are made of plastic, cement or other materials, which is not good for airflow and have bad drainage.
- Grow bags have great airflow, which is good for roots.
- They are easy to carry because of handles.
- Are cheaper as compare to other containers.
Varieties Of Tomatoes For Grow Bags:
There are so many varieties of tomatoes to grow in grow bags. Here are 16 most suitable and fastest varieties to grow in Grow Bags.
They are the sweet cherry tomatoes. You can harvest them in just 50-60 days. They are the best for Grow Bags.
2) Patio F1 Hybrid.
They can produce the first fully ripen fruit in just 70 days. They produce a tennis ball size tomato.
3) Health Kick Hybrid.
This variety produces sweet tomatoes within 75 days. These tomatoes are a healthier choice for your family. They have 50% more lycopene, which is a healthy antioxidant.
4) Oregon Spring.
The growth time of this variety is just 55-60 days. They are very easy to grow in Grow bags.
5) Pik Red.
They are also heavy yield producers. They make medium red tomatoes in 70 days. They are disease resistant. Best for growing in Grow Bags.
6) Better Bush Hybrid.
They produce medium-size tomatoes in 70 days. They have very bushy plants. They are resistant to sunburn.
7) Bush Early Girl Hybrid.
They produce small fruit. Their growth time is 50-60 days. This variety is very resistant to diseases. This variety is very common in nurseries all over the world.
8) Sun Sugar.
They produce medium-size yellow coloured cherry tomatoes in a period of 65 days. They are high yield producing beautiful plants. The fruit is very favourable and full of sugar contents. That is why they are the best choice for the customer in the market.
9) Talladega Hybrid.
This variety is best for the hot climates. They can produce fruits in 65 days of the period.
10) Solar Fire Hybrid.
They are also good for hot climates. If you are living in hot climate areas. These are the best to grow. They can grow up to 8 feet in length.
They are very beautiful yellow cherry tomatoes. They can produce fruits in just 55-60 days of the period.
12) Ace 55 Hybrid.
Growth time of these tomatoes is 75-80 days. This is one of the most popular varieties of vegetable gardening. This variety is also disease resistant.
13) Mountain Gold.
They produce smooth round beautiful yellow tomatoes. Growth time is 70-80 days. This is also a disease resistance variety. They are very heavy yield producers. They can produce up to 14 oz fruits.
14) Sweet 100.
This variety can produce very sweet red cherry tomatoes in 65 days. They can produce long fruit-bearing stem with 100 plus red cherry tomatoes. They are very attractive to grow.
15) Bush Steak.
They are big juicy tomato producing plants. Growth time of this variety is 60-65 days.
16) Clear Pink Early.
These plants are not very diseases resistant. They can produce fruits in 60 days. They produce pink tomatoes with sweet flavours.
Best Time To Grow Tomatoes:
We all know tomatoes are warm-weather sun-loving plants. So they need a hot climate to grow at their best. Here are some factors you can use to see if time is right for tomato plants:
- If the temperature of nights stays above 50-degree Fahrenheit or 10-degree Celcius, the time is right.
- If you are growing seeds in the greenhouse and have some heat source, you can sow seeds early as long as the temperature is optimal.
When not to grow tomatoes?
Some people start to grow tomatoes early, so they can get an early harvest. But this is not going to work out, because tomatoes plants will produce flower but not gonna produce fruits. Tomato plants need 55 plus degree or 10 degrees Celcius (night time temperature) to produce fruits. If you have a greenhouse and heat source, then you can grow them a little early.
When is too late to grow tomatoes?
If you wait a little too much longer to start growing, and wondering if your plants will produce fruits or not. Then you have to choose varieties of very little growth time. Varieties with a growth time of 60 days or less are best. If the first frost time of your area is less then 60 days, this may be a problem for you. Again if you have heat source you can go for it.
Seeds Or Seedlings?
Let’s be honest with each other. Growing with seeds and watch them grow is the most satisfying thing ever. In 5-12 days the seeds of tomatoes germinate. And in 6-8 weeks the seedling will be ready to transplant in Grow Bags.
But if you wanted to cut this time, you can always buy some seedling from the store. Starting with seedling will save you time. And you can choose the healthiest seedling from the store. The only con of seedling is, there are not many varieties available in store to go with. If you have no problem choosing the same varieties over and over, then I suggest you go with the seedlings.
Method Of Growing Tomatoes In Grow Bags.
There are two ways you can grow tomatoes in Grow Bags. Either you buy some good king of grow bags or you can simply make some whole in the bag of compost and start to grow your tomatoes. Both of them has its pros and cons. I’ m going to explain both ways in details:
How To Use Grow Bags?
Purchase a good grow bag from any nearby store, nursery or from an online store. Here are the 5 best kinds of Grow Bags you can buy:
1) Winner Outfitters Grow Bags!
These bags have great fabric, that helps to stand up the bags on its own. The size ranges from 3-10 gallons. They are easy to fill and grow tomatoes.
2) Plantmate Grow Bags!
They have great aerated fabric. This kind of fabric is great for air circulation. They are a little bigger than the first one. The size ranges from 1-15 gallons. They also have handles like Winner Outfitters to hold.
3) 247Garden Grow Bags!
They are the largest grow bags. Their size ranges from 1-30 gallons. Because of their size, they are so versatile to use. They also have handles to hold and change the position of bags.
4) Vivosun Grow Bags!
They have the thickest fabric in all of them. But they still have the ability to flow air easily. The size is the same as 247Garden, 1-30 gallons. Also have handles to carry them.
5) Honest Outfitters Grow Bags!
3-15 gallons is the size of these grow bags. Also have handles and alerted fabric for a good flow of air. The flow of air is good for the roots of the plant.
Here are the links of Amazon to buy them.
Add some clay pebbles at the bottom of your grow bag. If your compost is good and has well drainage percentage, there is no need to add pebbles in grow bag.
Add soil in grow bag. You can add compost in the bag. Good compost is highly recommended. You can buy good compost from stores or you can make your own compost.
Now the compost in the bag, shake the bag to loosen it up. You don’t want compact soil in bag. Shake until the soil inside the bag loosens up.
If your grow bag has drainage holes at the bottom, then skip this step. If your bag doesn’t have holes, then pick a scissor and make some hole at the bottom. These holes are necessary for the release of excessive water.
Now place your grow bag where you want. We are growing tomatoes and tomatoes are sun-loving plants. So pick a place where sunlight is abundant. You can put grow bag on the roof and balcony too.
Now Pick a healthy seedling with healthy roots. Plant the seedling in grow bag. Scoop out the compost and make some room for seedling and plant it. Cover all the roots of the plant with the soil.
Water the plant. Grow bag plant will need some extra water for best growth then potted plants. Any time you see the soil is drying, water the plant. Soil moisture is very necessary for the growth of tomato plants.
As plant growing and gaining some height, some kind of support will be required. There are so many different kinds of support you can give to your plant.
- Simply use a rope to support the plant.
- Make some wood trellis to support.
- Or you can buy a trellis to support the plant.
How To Use Compost Grow Bag To Grow Tomatoes?
Buy some good kind of compost from the store.
Shake the compost bag to loosen up the soil in it. Do not plant the seedling in compact soil.
Cut the slot from 3 different places out of the bag. Do not cut too many. 3 slots are enough in a bag.
There are two ways you can plant the seedling of tomatoes in the bag. First, plant directly in the soil or use some growth rings. If you wanted to use the growth ring, then push the ring in the soil a little bit. And then plants the seedling.
Now water the plant. If you are using a growth ring, then watering is easy and more beneficial then another way because the water goes straight to roots.
Cons Of Using Compost Bag Directly As Grow Bag:
- There is not much area for roots to spread in the soil.
- The hight of the bag is only a few inches (2-3). Which is not in case of other special grow bags.
Best Practices For Growing Tomatoes In Grow Bags:
Protect Plants From Pests: Because grow bags are very close to the ground, the pests and sludges can easily crawl to plant and destroy them. So use some kind of grow bag tray or anything that keep sludges away from young plants.
Nutrients: There is only a limited supply of nutrients available for the plant in the bag. Tomatoes plants are heavy feeders. So after running out of nutrients, we need to add some extra nutrients. Add some all-purpose vegetable feed in the soil.
Water Supply: The optimal supply of water is the most important thing if you are growing in grow bags. Too much water can cause tomato splitting and less water can kill the plants. Little and often is the best way to give water.
Cut Leaves: Every leaf or stem which is touching the soil, cut them. Because they can easily attack by the fungi and harm the whole plant. So cut them off the plant.
Prevent Diseases Of Tomatoes Plants:
There are so many diseases of tomatoes. I’m not going to discuss all the disease, that will require another article. But here are some tips you can apply to save the plants from disease.
Change The Soil In Grow Bags: Pathogens of tomatoes live in the soil. So it is good if you change the soil or rotate the crops.
Pinch of Leaf: Leaf or stem which touch the soil, pinch them off. They can be the start of fungal infection.
Wet Tomato Foliage: When the foliage of tomatoes is wet, do not work in the garden. You can transfer the pathogen from one plant to another.
Burn The Disease: At the end of the season, do not use the diseased plant in the compost pile. Burn them or through them away.
Pests Of Tomato Plants:
Green Aphid and whitefly are tiny pests of tomato. They cluster underneath of leaves. It is better if you remove them with your hands or just cut the effective leave. If the attack is severe, then spray on plant. Water with a small amount of washing up liquid will do the trick.
Harvesting The Fruit:
The best way to check if the tomato fruit is ripe or not is to taste it. Pick one and taste it, if it is okay, then harvest other fruits. You can also use colour as an indicator. But the colour depends on the variety you are growing.
Fresh tomatoes always taste good. Do not harvest green tomatoes. If frost is here or you wanted to harvest all of them for some reason then separate the green one and put them in a warm place until the ripe. Piling up is not a good idea, single layer in some container and a warm place, about 22C or 77F temperature is best.
Read More: How To Grow Beefsteak Tomatoes In Pots
Summary: Growing tomatoes in Grow Bags is the best thing if you don’t have land or you want some experiments with your kids. It is easy to manage method. Just take care of some things and you will have your own supply of organic tomatoes, which by the way taste 2X more sweet and good.
I hope you enjoy this article and gain some knowledge from this. Please share it with your friends and family. Thank You! Have a good day.