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Gardening Australia: How to Grow More Plants and Maximise Space Using Grow Bags with Josh Byrne

Urban Revolution Products on Gardening Australia!

We were lucky to be contacted by a researcher from Gardening Australia earlier this year looking to feature a range of our urban garden products in a piece around grow bags. We were so excited as Gardening Australia is our absolute favourite TV show!

The episode went to air on Friday 13th October 2023 on ABC TV.

WA presenter Josh Byrne showcased a selection of our products:

Recycled Plastic Root pouches

Square Coir Planter Grow Bag

Jute Planter Bag (Sold out)

Potato Grow Bags

Watch the segment in full below:

If you are short on space for productive plants, whether your garden beds are already full, or you haven’t got a garden at all, grow bags could be a simple solution to squeeze in more plants, anywhere!

Sustainable Growing Pots

Grow bags are a great solution to a space problem, especially in smaller gardens with limited room and budget. Even a set of steps or a driveway can be used as growing areas, provided you have access to sun. They are easy to move, so you can shift them when more sun or shade are required.

Josh says, ‘they were really easy at our last place, when we were renting, because it meant we could take at least part of our garden with us.’ Another benefit is that when you aren’t using them, they fold up nice and flat, taking up a lot less room to store than traditional pots. Josh takes a look at grow bags made of recycled plastic bottles, which have been spun into a fibre. This creates a porous container whereby ‘water easily passes through it, but also air gets in. That means that the roots don’t get root bound by circling around like they would in a plastic pot. The roots grow to the edge of the bag, and then they stop,’ explained Josh. This is called ‘air pruning’ of the roots. In a 39L root pouch, he potted up a blueberry bush.

Growing it in a container like a bag means that he can provide the perfect acidic soil mix that the blueberry will thrive in. He also potted up an English lavender with an underplanting of common thyme in the smaller, 16L grow bag. He filled this with premium potting mix, taking advantage of the excellent drainage this style of grow bag offers. 

Blue root pouch with lavender plant

He moved onto a square, jute fibre grow bag, which is lined with bioplastic. This will result in retaining more water than the other bag options. Josh planted a native lemongrass, which is a very hardy plant that thrives in moister soils and can handle flooding.

Compostable Grow Bags Made from Coir

The next bag is interesting, as it is made of coconut coir, which will naturally biodegrade over a few years. It is great to plant with an ornamental or tree that you eventually want to put into the garden, as once you have a spot for it you can plant the whole thing directly into garden soil, with the coir bag around it. In this, Josh planted a jalapeno chili, using premium potting mix.

Chilli plant in square coir planter bag

Growing Potatoes in Grow Bags

‘Spuds are probably the classic grow bag crop, and I’ve had plenty of success with this method over the years.’ Josh used a mix of 50% coir and 50% potting mix, which is low-cost, and lighter than just using straight potting mix. ‘Start with about 150mm of mix at the base. Layer your seed potatoes, then cover with another 100mm of mix. Once the seed spuds shoot, keep adding mix around the stems at they grow until the bag is full. But don’t smother the tips!’ Potatoes will set off the tip of the plant, and can be harvested as baby potatoes, or as larger potatoes once the plant dies down. ‘Like other plants grown in containers, they will need regular watering and fertilising to thrive.’

It’s so easy to add extra growing space to your place using grow bags. If you choose the right plants, it can be productive and also look good!

Seed potatoes in a grow bag

Gardening Australia is an ABC TV program providing gardening know-how and inspiration. Presented by Australia's leading horticultural experts, Gardening Australia is a valuable resource to all gardeners through the television program, the magazine, books, DVDs and extensive online content.

We'd love to know how you use root pouches and grow bags in your urban garden. Please let us know in the comments below or tag us on Facebook or Instagram with your photos!

1 Response

Chris Chapman

Chris Chapman

October 22, 2023

I have used supermarket shopping bags and plastic yard waste bags wrapped loosely in silver builder’s insulation paper and shade cloth for years and they’re great. You can also stack them two and three high so an edge is sticking out for the plant to prep out and cascade down (tomatoes , pumpkins) or grow upright (eggplant beans). The top layer helps keep the ones under cool too and if your dun angle permits you can pyramid them.

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