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Make an Easy No-Dig Garden with Paper Bags

© Stephie McCarthy
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watch how to make a paper bag garden

We think fellow gardeners will love this new way to garden, especially if you have problem soil.

Organic gardening with paper bags

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Problems like hard, barren soil and weeds plague a lot of gardeners. But, we found an organic way to add new soil and deal with weeds at the same time — one paper bag at a time.

Growing perennials in paper bags

This Painter's Palette Geranium (cranesbill, Geraniaceae pratense) is one of the flowers we grew in a paper bag. It's a big plant now, covered in purple flowers like the ones above. The paper bag allowed us to keep a raised mound of dirt around the original baby plant, until the roots were established.

How to plant flowers in paper bag containers

We used ordinary paper grocery bags, but you can also use large lawn-and-leaf bags or small lunch bags if they suit your plans.

How to beat the weeds with paper bags

The grocery size works well for small plants, perennials, herb starts, or even seeds like those of grass and clover.

stop erosion with papger bags

We're using paper bags to expand a perennial garden on the slope shown above which has both weeds and erosion. We removed the weeds and plae the bags on top of dry leaves which will eventually turn into top soil.

Organic gardening tricks

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Watch faux wicker with foam noodles

You can also put paper bag containers directly on soil. Here we've put a little powdered lime under them too.


Here we placed bags on a thin layer of straw meant to help keep the ground moist. We usually pull larger weeds, but even if we leave small roots in the ground, the bags will help surpress weed regrowth.

DIY paper seed pot

An easy way to make a paper bag container is to fold the bottom in half as shown above.

Make a flower pot fromm a paper bag

Cut along this line which is just above the folded bottom. (You'll get the hang of it with practice.)

DIY paper flower pot

Cut straight across. You'll end up with a bag about the size of a shoe box.

The Amazing Paper Bag Garden

check the price of paper bags here

check the price of Happy Frog Potting Soil

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Place the bags where ever you want new plants. Add soil to the depth you like — we do about three-quarters full. The best soil we use is Happy Frog Potting Soil, but we also recycle used flower pot soil and make our own compost.

Stop weeds with paper bags

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Add plants and then water. Once watered, these bags are like sponges. The paper keeps the water from wicking into the ground. We check the bags every few days to make sure they stay moist.

#LasagnaGardening with paper bags

The roots grow through the bags over time. After a season or two, the bags disintegrate all together into the soil.

How to make an easy Lasagna Garden #No-Dig Gardening

In the meantime, the bags blend into the landscape and give protection from wind, erosion, and pests too!

— watch the video here —

watch our DIY organic paper garden containers here


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