A Shot at Straw Bale Gardening

We had a bit of rain and snow this morning… great for moisture, which we really need!  I worked outside and in today…

Here’s my straw bales this morning…

straw bale gardeningI have them in an “E” shape, with the brace left over from last year’s pole beans as a support along the back.  The smaller poles will probably get pounded in for support as well, I can see little boys and dogs and tomatoes possibly tipping the bales over since they are sitting on their narrow sides.

I was going to double them so they could lean against each other, but with five bales, that wasn’t going to work!

The process is fairly simple.  Day One you add some nitrogen fertilizer and soak the bale until water runs out the bottom.  Day Two, you water and water some more!  It pretty much is alternate fertilizer and water with just water the next day… Until Day Twelve when they’re ready to plant.  By Day Six, heat should be coming out of the bale as it decomposes.  Well, I’ll show you that when I get there!

(Yes, if the weather continues to be cold, it will take longer to get the process started…)

It’s recommended you water with a soaker hose throughout the summer.  I’ve got to buy one of those…

I don’t know if it will work… but, I’ll give it a shot!


A Shot at Straw Bale Gardening — 10 Comments

  1. I tried this last year – and got as far as fertilizing the straw bales and adding some potting soil and watering it all in. Then they sat there and decomposed!!! Not all bad, as this year I spread them out all over my garden and am going to “no till” the garden. Yes, even the radishes, lettuce, and spinach. Maybe going to do more straw bales for tomatoes and lettuce. Also spread my potatoes along the ground and cover with mulch to about 6 inches deep. Will see how that goes – looking forward to not having weeds to hoe!

    • Well, I’m glad it worked for you! That gives me hope…getting them to decompose is the idea. I tried potatoes under a layer of straw, but they didn’t get watered well, and that was a Big Fail. No weeds would be nice, but I’m pretty sure I’ll have plenty!

  2. You sure gave me a chuckle this morning. I thought,”how tall were her pole beans”?.
    Looks like your rope is high on the telephone pole. Then I took a closer look. Can’t wait to see how it works out. You come up with great ideas.

  3. I’m anxious to see how it works because it sure sounds interesting. I commented on your last post that my sister didn’t have good luck with it but I don’t think she watered the straw so it would start to decompose, which may account for her lack of success.

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