Grow an easy small-space garden for edibles made from a soil bag. In the bag on your patio, deck, balcony or wherever, it’s easy to grow herbs and other edibles such as oregano, chamomile, basil and thyme. Another option to consider in the cool season: lettuces.
Start your easy garden from small plants or from seed, depending on growing season and timing.
Tools and Materials
- Bag of potting or raised bed soil
- Clear storage tote with lid (Make sure it fits over soil bag – 80 quarts or larger)
- Garden scissors or snips
- Utility knife
- Gardening gloves
- Hand trowel
- Soil scoop
- Garden hand cultivators
- Herb plants or vegetables or seeds
- Organic Vegetable Fertilizer
- Watering can
Steps for Making an Easy Small-Space Garden for Edibles
Step 1: Prepare Your Soil Bag for Planting
To find the perfect spot for your soil bag garden, look for an area that gets a minimum of six hours of sun. Once you’ve selected a location, set your soil bag on top of the storage container lid. The lid will catch the drainage underneath. Having it underneath will prevent water stains on decks, balconies or patios.
To create drainage, lift the soil bag and poke drainage holes using your garden scissors or snips.
With a utility knife, cut around the bag in a square about two to three inches from each edge. Leaving space on the sides will help to keep the soil from spilling out of the bag.
Step 2: Arrange Your Seeds or Plants
Determine how you want to arrange your plants, such as an assortment of herbs. Place taller plants in the back. For our garden, we planted herbs: oregano, lemon thyme, lemon verbena and chamomile.
If you prefer to plant seeds instead, know your frost date and growing season length and plant accordingly.
Read your plant tags or seed packets to know how to space your plants.
Step 3: Plant and Enjoy your Soil Bag Garden
Dig holes in your soil bag garden and start planting. Be sure to save any extra potting soil you dug out of the bag and set it aside so you can use it in other planters. Snip herbs as needed and enjoy your garden.
For a similar version of this project, try the soil bag garden for lettuce.
What to do in unexpected frost
If unexpected cold weather and frost creeps into the weather forecast, keep your soil bag garden warm with a storage tote. With the lid underneath the bag, place the bin on top so it acts like a cold frame. Tuck in the sides and snap it closed on cold nights below 47 degrees Fahrenheit.
As a general rule, prop open the cold frame with a stick when day temperatures reach between 35 degrees to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. You can pull it off entirely if temperatures rise above 40 degrees.
Tip: Make sure to use a storage bin that’s big enough to fit over your soil bag garden.
More Small-Space Gardening Ideas
For more easy gardening ideas for small spaces, consider the perfect pairing to your soil bag garden. Use hanging basket planters ready-made with peppers or strawberries.
For another idea, consider planting a grow bag with a tomato plant on top. Ours is planted using a Bloem strawberry planter grow bag with Big Boy tomatoes, complemented by Siam Queen Thai basil by Vigoro spilling over the side openings. With these, you’ll have a tomato, basil and mozzerella caprese salad in no time.