Gardening Article Categories

Straw Bale Gardening 101: An Introduction

learn to make straw bale garden

Are you sure that’s a garden?...It looks like you’re bringing goats into your yard!

What do you expect your neighbors will say when they see you watering a bunch of straw bales lined up in your backyard this spring?.The first concern is usually, Are you feeling alright? or even, Are you intending on bringing home a goat or a horse, or what EXACTLY are you doing?.

You explain somewhat reluctantly that you’re preparing to grow veggies by planting directly into the straw bales.Your next-door neighbor, a veteran gardener, tells you that is never ever going to work, due to the fact that vegetables need specific nutrients and those nutrients can only be stemmed from the soil, and anything that grows from a straw bale will be lacking in nutrients … if you can get anything to grow in the first place..

It is at this point when you become a teacher..

You calmly explain that while it might sound crazy, the science behind straw bale gardening is straightforward and extremely basic.And its success rate is undeniable, securing numerous variables that would otherwise impact standard soil gardening.

For 2 weeks prior to planting in the bales, you will be conditioning them.Conditioning is a process where nitrogen and water are used to the bales to feed the (naturally happening) bacteria inside the bales.These germs, when provided a food source (nitrogen) and water over a few warm days, will replicate every 15 minutes till they colonize or saturate the bales..

As soon as the bacteria have actually entirely colonized the bale, during which time the bales get extremely warm, they begin to take in and digest the high-carbon cell walls of the oats, wheat or barley straw in the bales, and quickly break down those cells, releasing the particles that created those cells, turning what started as straw into brand name new soil inside the bales..

The previous summer season, Nature built the straw by drawing from the soil potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus, the 3 fundamental structure blocks of all plant life on earth, together with a variety of micronutrients or trace-elements like iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc, and.Arranged them to construct cells that broadened and grew the oats or wheat..

Everything that has ever been alive on this world is ultimately decomposed back into soil, deconstructing cells and launching molecules, which can then be soaked up by the roots of a brand-new plant and changed into a brand-new organism..

This procedure of deconstruction, decomposition or digestion is accomplished by 5 main decomposers including insects, worms, fungis, mold, and the heavy lifter of all decomposers, germs..

The tiniest, microscopic in size, but the most effective of all decomposers, bacteria is the engine of decay that permits all forms of life to exist, by recycling the molecules from one organism so that they can be used once again to grow another plant.

The bales will be a host for all of these decomposers, filling with insects, worms, fungi, mold and bacteria, all of which work together to produce beautiful virgin soil inside every bale..

When the bales have actually been conditioned they are ready to plant.There is no sticking around illness or insect invasions in this virgin soil .Last year’s garden soil lying just listed below the bales may really well be harboring illness or insect problems, and definitely includes countless weed seeds in every cubic foot..

It is essential to never ever present existing garden soil into the brand-new Straw Bale Garden, due to the fact that numerous potential problems may ride along.Weed seeds, which often harbor in soil for years prior to getting the best conditions to sprout, would be spread on the surface of the Straw Bale Garden if soil were presented, in addition to possible fungal spores, pests, or other diseases that might be sticking around because existing garden soil.

Selecting what to plant is actually easy, due to the fact that nearly anything with roots will prosper in these freshly conditioned bales.Stay away from the couple of plants that like extremely acidic or alkaline growing media, since the bales will produce a soil that is almost neutral..

Prevent planting corn, just due to the fact that the roots are substantial, and even the biggest bale would just have space for a few stalks of corn.Other perennial rooted vegetables like asparagus and rhubarb, which take a couple of years to get established, will never ever be gathered from the raised height of the bales.The bale decomposes and will collapse and break down right on that area within three years for sure, leaving a little lump of soil, and an asparagus or rhubarb spot because area.

straw bale garden trellis

Beyond that, plant everything else that you like to eat.Leafy greens enjoy the bales, as do root crops, vines, cucurbits, herbs and even flowers.If you usually plant using seeds, then use seeds in your bales as well, but develop a seed bed on top of the bales first utilizing about an inch or more of sterile planting mix..

Soil-less mix, with no potential to harbor illness, insects or weed seeds, spread out on the surface area of the straw bale will hold moisture around the seeds till they germinate and send a root shooting down into the bales.Or if you are planting utilizing bed linen plants or transplants, simply make a hole in the bale and tuck the rooted plug down into the bale.Pretty basic!

When you end up being a preacher about the method, it is at this point!

Straw Bale Gardening supplies numerous benefits over traditional soil gardening, some of which have already been mentioned: no weed seeds, no disease or insect bring over, and a neutral pH which allow you to grow basically anything with roots..

straw bale cabbage growing

There are numerous other advantages to this technique, which have made it so popular amongst brand name brand-new garden enthusiasts, and those garden enthusiasts that are well experienced and might be nearing the end of their gardening careers.The raised height of the bales is a big advantage, eliminating the need to come down on the ground level to plant and harvest.Soil is heavy and moving it around is labor intensive, while straw bales once in location get rid of much of the physical requirements of standard gardening..

Straw Bale Gardening supplies at least 10 other unique benefits too, which you can learn more about by going to. or our. Facebook page ..Get your hands on a copy of the comprehensive guide to growing in straw bales, my book titled. Straw Bale Gardens. which is filled with particular information on the entire process, gathered from my 22 years of research on this incredible approach called Straw Bale Gardening.

Take pleasure in sharing this revolutionary and trying technique and all the crops it will yield!

close up of straw in bale with text overlay a guide to straw bale gardening

More Gardening Ideas & Resources

Article source: