growbags come in all shapes, sizes and prices. But are the more expensive growbags worth it? I ran a trial to find out.
What is the trail?
My setup is pretty basic. I have bought six different grow bags and will be testing them by growing two tomatoes in each bag.
The tomatoes are Moneymaker tomatoes and they were all sown at the same time. They are fairly similar in development, but there obviously will be differences.
These differences are only small, and over the entire length of this test, they won’t matter.
So let’s start with the growbags. We have a lot of variation here, all the way from a £2.50 Lidl bag up to a £12 RocketGro bag!
£11.99 Direct From RocketGro
This is a big growbag, the biggest I have seen. It comes in at 60 litres and it feels like you could easily fit four plants in rather than the usual three.
Opening this bag up the first thing I am hit by is the smell, it smells strong, almost like manure.
Tomorite Deep Fill
Another big growbag and usually my go-to bag when it comes to growing tomatoes.
I know they work well but let’s see how well they work against the competition.
The soil in this growbag is nice and dark but is fairly woody, this is common with peat-free composts.
I have used a lot of growmoor compost and always found it really high quality.
It is always really crumbly and has no big woody bits like most modern composts.
Nice looking soil!
£4.99 – Local Garden Centre
This was just a relatively well priced grow bag from a local garden centre.
The compost looks good but a little woody, which is to be expected.
Westland Big Tom
£12.98 – Amazon
This is another big bag that is meant to be packed full of goodies for your tomatoes.
It is available on Amazon for nearly £13 but can be found cheaper in local garden centres.
The compost looks good but a little on the fibrous side, it will be interesting to see how all these bags with added nutrition do when compared to one another.
£2.49 in Lidl Stores
Bringing up the rear we have the Lidl growbag, an absolute steal at £2.49, but is it? It’s only cheap if it actually has any nutrition in it, so let’s find out how it gets on.
Update 1 17/06/2022
So, the tomatoes have been in the bags for a little while now, around two weeks, so will be establishing themselves.
The Lidl Bag
Let’s start with the interesting bag, and the only one showing much difference from any of the others is the Lidl bag.
The tomato plants are looking a bit sad and yellow, especially when you compare them to the other tomatoes down below.
Something is definitely going on with the tomatoes in here, they don’t seem to be able to get all of the nutrients they need.
The RocketGro Bag
Both tomato plants are looking really healthy and have put on good growth, they have both started to flower too.
Tomorite Deep Fill
Again really healthy-looking strong growth on both plants.
You can see how much greener the tomatoes are when compared to the earlier lidl bag.
Some really lovely growth here, in fact, I think this is the best-performing bag so far.
Let’s see if it can keep that up though with it only being a little one.
Another bag showing much of the same, nice strong growth with flowers not far away.
Much of the same once again, nice strong green growth on the tomato plants with a few flowers beginning to appear.
What I have learnt from this so far is that most of the bags are providing very similar growth.
With one obvious outlier which is the Lidl bag.
A Few Weeks later
So what happened after a few weeks of growth?
The plants in the organic rocket gro bag are looking a little yellow and they are nowhere near as developed as the other bags.
This is a big disappointment so far, I garden organically myself and really wanted to see this bag do well.
It just looks like they are lacking nitrogen to me.
The tomatoes in the Lidl bag have greened up a lot.
But they are still miles behind the other plants. They are much smaller are further behind in their development.
Flowers have just started to appear whereas I already have many green tomatoes on the others.
Here’s what the others are looking like.
With all of the other bags, the plants are very similar, there is nothing between them.
So I just included a photo of one for you to compare the other two, which are performing worse, to.
The Final Results
So what were the final results?
For the majority of the bags, there was very little between them. They grew to similar heights and provided very similar numbers of tomatoes.
Because of this, my winner is the Durstons bag simply because it was much cheaper than the others but performed just as well.
The two outliers were the Rocket Gro and Lidl bags. Both of these bags were big failures.
It is more understandable from the Lidl bag, it was £2.49 after all.
But the Rocket Gro bag was one of the most expensive in the test, and I expected much better out of it.
Look at that sickly-looking yellow plant in the front left of the image above. It barely grew to half the height of the other plants!