How to Grow Vegetables in a Bag of Soil


Container gardens allow you to grow vegetables in areas where you normally couldn't install a garden bed, such as on patios and paved areas of the yard. But, you don't even need a container to grow a successful vegetable garden. Bags of potting soil can be used as-is to grow a variety of vegetables. Shallow-rooted vegetables, such as lettuce and spinach plants, work best with this method. The bag method can also be used to start vegetable seeds of deeper rooting vegetables like tomatoes and peppers. After these vegetables are rooted, transplant them to larger containers or into the garden bed.

Things You'll Need

  • Bog of potting soil
  • Knife
  • Seeds or seedlings
  • Fertilizer
  • Lay a bag of potting soil down flat. Poke holes every 4 inches in rows over the bag, then flip it upside down so the holes are on the bottom. The holes allow excess water to drain from the soil.

  • Cut a small X where you will plant each vegetable seed or seedling. In general, if you are growing vegetable seeds for transplanting, space them 4 inches apart in all directions. If you are planting lettuce or other crops you plan to grow on to maturity in the bag, space the seeds or seedlings so there are two to four plants per bag.

  • Plant one to two seeds per X-cut to the recommended depth, usually to a depth that is twice the seed's width. Plant one seedling per cut at the same depth it was growing in its nursery pot.

  • Water the soil until the excess moisture just begins to drain from the bottom of the bag. The plastic soil bag retains moisture so it may not require as frequent watering as a pot does. Check the moisture of the soil by sticking your finger into one of the planting holes and water when the soil begins to feel dry.

  • Mix 2 cups of 10-20-10 analysis fertilizer with 1 gallon of warm water. Mix 2 tablespoons of this with one gallon of water and water the bag with this diluted solution once every week to replenish the nutrients in the soil.

Tips & Warnings

  • Tomatoes, potatoes and other long-rooted plants can be grown to maturity in bags that are propped upright against a wall or fence. Plant only one of these plants per bag.
  • Set the bags in an area that receives at least six hours of sunlight so the plants receive the light they need.
  • Drainage can be a problem in plastic bags. Avoid setting the bags in areas where water tends to collect.

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  • Photo Credit preparing soil for garden image by Cherry-Merry from
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