How to Make Hanging Grow Bags


Even when making use of novelty items such as grow bags, gardening doesn't have to be expensive. Rather than buying a grow bag, you can make your own out of recycled items. This type of gardening doesn't require the purchase of any materials, with the possible exception of potting soil if you don't have any on hand. Potting mixes are notably lighter than regular soil and will prevent your grow bag from becoming too heavy. Once you have plants inside, remember that grow bags need a lot of water because they tend to heat up and dry out quickly. You may have to water plants in a grow bag two to three times a day in the hottest part of the summer.

Step 1

Place the shopping bag inside the tote bag to serve as a waterproof liner. Insert the cutting board into the plastic bag to use as your cutting surface.

Step 2

Cut two to five 2-inch slits in the bag where you wish your plants to grow, cutting through both bag layers at once. The number of holes you cut will depend on how large your tote is and what type of plants you are going to grow. If you want to grow cherry tomatoes, for example, stop at two slits for an average-sized tote bag. Space cuts evenly apart, not too close to the bottom or the top of the tote. They don't all have to be at the same height.

Step 3

Make about four 1-inch slits on the bottom of the grow bag for drainage.

Step 4

Moisten the potting soil and mix in slow-release fertilizer according to package directions. Fill the grow bag about half full of potting mix. Gently tuck the seedlings in their holes, with the roots in the bag and the stems sticking out the holes you've prepared for them.

Step 5

Fill the bag full of potting mix. You may plant one seeding right at the top if you like. Hang your grow bag on a sturdy hook and water it thoroughly.

Things You'll Need

  • Sturdy tote bag
  • Plastic shopping bag (the same size or slightly larger than the tote)
  • Cutting board
  • Soilless potting mix
  • Slow-release fertilizer
  • Utility knife


  • Tuscon Gardener: Totally Tubular
  • Frugal Mom Digest: Gardening in Homemade Grow Bags

Who Can Help

  • Missouri State University: Gardening in a Bag
Keywords: make grow bag, simple grow bag, homemade grow bag

About this Author

Ann Wolters, who has been a freelance writer, consultant, and writing coach for the past year and a half, has had her writing published in "The Saint Paul Almanac," and in magazines such as "Inventing Tomorrow" and "Frontiers." She earned a master’s degree in English as a second language from the University of Minnesota and taught English as a foreign language for nearly seven years.