This week's 'dig'
Kate at High Altitude Gardening reports a neat thing happening in SLC, UT

You know you're a gardener when...
Blunders with Shoots, Blossoms 'n Roots
Where things either live or die!

Sep 4, 2009

Last time I saw was alive!



I wanted to do a quick tomato bag update and review. To start, it was easy to work with when planting the tomato starts (plugs). It looked nice hanging there...if watered ;). I would definitely use a cherry tomato and no bigger if I tried it again. The type of soil used is very important and I chose to use Black Gold Coco Blend, which was a good choice because it retains water well. I also hung the bag in a part sun (dappled) area and one that was more shaded in the afternoon- that helped. The constant watering was still a problem and the design had everything to do with it.

The way it hangs, because of where the cords are located, the holes the plants are in are facing forward and downward. This means that when you water in the top, the water runs out the holes instead of saturating the soil. And if you’re watering it up high the water will trickle down your arm and into your shirt, and finally into your armpit! I learned the bag needs to be lowered- duh :). I put it on a bungee cord and that helped (I could then pull it down easily), but I had to be careful because the bag is long and could hit the ground and what is the sense of it doing that if it’s a ‘hanging’ plant?  All this didn’t help the fact that the holes faced forward and down and the water still came right out the holes. I then tried holding up the end, which meant that now it wasn’t just my armpit getting soaked :). In the end, I had to put the darn thing horizontally and soak it.

I did a search for these things on the internet and found similar ones that come with a cone attachment for a soda bottle. You put these in the top of the bag and they’re watered by drip. I’m not sure that would be good enough, but I plan on trying this next year with similar attachments I already have on hand (why I didn’t think of it is beyond me;)  I can’t remember the site I found them on, but here is a DIY for making them.  If I have the same troubles, I’ll have to say it’s a bad design and scrap the idea of at least hanging it- with some creativity, I’m sure I can find another use for it.

With travel, surgery, and life in general there was bound to be a causality. I’m afraid any potted plant was the first to be at risk. We did get a lot of tomatoes before it bit the dust though and I must say that ‘Gold Nugget’ will be added to my ‘must-have’ list! They were stocky, delicious, sweet, and the skins were thin!

So to all of you that had a need to you know.  If anyone still wants to try these next year be sure to let me know- I still have a couple more bags, just don’t say I didn’t warn you!




Happy Gardening,



  • Anonymous

    Hi Tessa~~ I'm glad your surgery went well. I hope you're recovering comfortably.

    This my own opinion so please take it with a grain of salt. I think using these bags is committing plant abuse. LOL [I have never used them and probably won't so my opinion is not empirical, just me being curmudgeonly.] On my trip into town I was able to monitor them routinely. The poor tomato plants were dead by, what was it? Mid-June I think. At least you were able to harvest tomatoes. They sound delicious. Take care.

  • Anonymous

    I don't know that I would go for a hanging system for my plants do just fine in there little tubs and I don't get wet whilst watering...I would love to know if you solve the watering problem next year but i think I'll just stick with what I know!!

  • DirtDigger (Tessa)

    I agree with both of you- and while I was looking forward to putting a few of these together for family and friends next year if they worked well, I think I can deem this experiment mostly a failure- there are much better ways to have tomatoes for those gardening in small spaces! I will give it a go with a water bottle next year still- just to be sure. I'm glad I didn't pay for these :)- sorry Cathi, I hope they weren't too expensive!

  • Wendy

    Great review of these bags! I can't help but think this is just a fad, but seems they've been around for a while now. Good point about watering your armpits - It makes me mad enough that I alwasy splash water on my feet, I don't think I could deal with water down my arm and to the pits too! Enjoying your blog!!

  • Savory Tv

    Oh your photo made me so sad! Thank you for the great review of the tomato bag, and I'm glad you were able to enjoy some tomatoes before the casualty occurred!

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