The latest version of hanging grow bags is one in which the plant grows out the bottom of the bag. Tasty tomatoes can be grown with minimal effort, compactly and deliciously, right outside your door. You can buy these bags ready-made, or make your own by recycling a 3-litre soda bottle. Although this example is for tomatoes, the hanging bag works for any vegetable or flower that doesn't mind being hung upside down.
Cut a 2 1/2-inch circle with a sharp utility knife in the centre of the bottom of a 3-litre soda bottle. Cut off the cap end of the bottle so there is a 1 1/2- inch opening.
Punch two small holes, one above the other, so one is below the curve of the base of the bottle and the other is directly opposite it on the other side of the curve. Repeat this two more times. Each set should be evenly spaced every third of the way around the bottle
Turn the bottle upside down. Feed the galvanised wire through the lower hole from the outside in. Feed the wire through the second hole above it. Have approximately 2 inches of wire overlapping the long wire, and twist the entire 2 inches tightly around the other wire using pliers. Cut the long wire to a minimum of 14 inches. Repeat the same process for the two other sets of holes.
Feed the long wire through the solid ring and bend over 2 inches. Using pliers, tightly twist the 2-inch wire around the long wire. Repeat with the two other wires, reversing the feed direction on the one wire which will be between the two others.
Hang the bottle from any place that will allow it to hang without touching another structure. It will be heavy when filled with soil and water, so the hanging support must be strongly secured in wood, or in a structure solidly placed in the ground.
Make a slit in the foam to the centre of the disc. Gently place the stem of the plant into the slit. Put the root ball and foam into the opening at the cap end of the bottle. Spread out the foam so it seals the opening.
Start adding small amounts of potting soil from the top while the bag is hanging. Tilt the bag as you add the soil so it will spread evenly around the root ball without damaging it. Once the root ball is covered, add the rest of the soil up to approximately 2 inches from the top.
Water generously and consistently from the top of the hanging grow bag in anticipation of the taste of that first ripe tomato.
Things you need
- 3-litre soda bottle
- 18-gauge galvanised steel wire
- 3-inch foam disc, 1/4-inch thick
- Metal hanging ring
- Utility knife
- Hole punch
- Wire cutter
- Potting soil