Constructing a garden each year doesn’t have to be troublesome. You don’t have to till the ground, construct raised beds, and even plant in containers. HOW? Straw bale gardens are where it’s at!
Straw bale gardening is a great way to grow a lot of plants in a small area, and it is best for those who are not able to dig the yard, but have some space for the bales. Straw bale gardening can be weed totally free. It also will require really little flexing over to harvest. This makes it easier on the back and knees.
I am going to share with you some basic straw bale gardening issues from the failures and successes we have actually had more than the years. These things we needed to discover the tough way, however they were lessons well learned.
For the best chance of success at straw bale gardening, you need to get the straw bales numerous weeks in advance of planting. This permits you to completely damp them down and prepare them for planting. To prepare them, we take a garden hose and soak the bales up until they are leaking with water.
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Cover them with plastic to heat the bales up in the sun. This helps to kill any mold in the bale that might be present. Rinse and repeat for a number of days, till the bale ends up being saturated. We thought we could simply purchase the straw bales and plant the same day. They hadn’t mulched down. They also were not moist adequate to support the roots of the plant.
If at all possible, when straw bale gardening, try and source natural straw
There might still be infects on the straw from spraying the wheat fields that can get into your plants. It will cost more per bale and may not be readily available in all areas.
When straw bale gardening, keep the twine in location on the bale
This will help you keep the bales in place for the entire season. Otherwise, the bales can easily break down on you mid season as they compost down with the plants. Make sure to load them next to each other as tightly as you can for additional assistance when you are placing the bales for planting.
The second year, we cut the twine and end up with tomato plants all over the place due to lack of assistance from the straw bale.
When the bales have been saturated and solarized, it’s time to prepare the tea. Straw bale gardening requires a great tea. You’ll want to space the holes based on the plants you desire to put in the straw bales.
Dilution is needed because the chicken poop can be higher in ammonia and eliminate the roots of the plants. Continue to water down the bales for another 3-4 days while adding compost to fill the holes.
Including straight rabbit manure WILL help. It still needs lots of wetness to compost and feed plants.
After 3-4 days of manure tea and consistent thinning down, the bales are all set to be planted. We put seedlings in the bales, but you can also directly plant seeds. Space your plants out as you would in the ground. Location a little potting mix in the hole, include the plant, and cover with more potting soil. Gently load it around the stem of the plant to offer assistance.
You’ll also want to put assistance structures in location PRIOR TO you plant the straw bales. For example, tomato trellises must remain in place prior to the plant goes into the bale. This will avoid attempting to fanagle it around the plant. Likewise, the assistance must enter into the GROUND to hold up the plant, and not into the bale itself. As the bale is breaking down, it will not be strong enough to hold the plant and assistance.
The finest plants for straw bale gardening are anything you would wish to plant in a routine bed. Tomatoes, peas, green beans, peppers and even squash all work well
Leak irrigation is essential for consistent watering. The straw doesn’t hold water as well as the routine ground, so you will want to water the plants more typically. We let soaker tubes run over the bales to help with that.
After the growing season is over, eliminate the plants and utilize the left over bales to cover your other garden beds. Or, you can position them directly into a compost bin to develop more compost for the next season! Straw bale gardening is fun, simple and will supply lots of veggies for you!