My Straw Bale Garden Experiment
After seeing a Straw Bale planting on a television show, I began reading about planting in Straw Bales. From what I've gathered, it's not an uncommon practice in the South, but I've yet to find anyone from the South who is familiar with it. Anyway, We've decided to give it a try this year. I began
with the purchase of 12 bales of straw from a local farmer. I put them in place over a bed of gravel that used to be the floor of my portable garage for my old car. Severe weather destroyed the garage after about 4
years. So, we had this graveled spot next to the permanent garage. It seemed as if it would be
a good place to set the bales, because Carol had scratched out spots for 4 Azalea plants which did well for two years.
I'll try to add new photos, about every 3 or 4 weeks, to show the progress of my experiment.
Here are the pictures of the experiment after 'seasoning' the bales. Seasoning the bales means to soak them and keep them wet for about 7 to 10 days, to get the heat
inside, down. As the straw is wetted, it begins to decay, causing heat to build up inside them.
May 19, 2007
Straw Bales, after seasoning and
top-dressing. Transplants go directly into the bales.
I found it easiest to use a hatchet to cut the straw, when making holes
for inserting the plants. I used just enough fresh topsoil to pack around
the plants, just to keep them in place. Two Tomato plants can be planted
in one bale or, up to three pepper plants. I'm sure I'll have to stake them, and
any other tall plant.
Some of the bales were top-dressed with a couple of inches of fresh
top-soil, for sowing seeds. I made hills for Cucumbers and Squash.
Photos after nearly four weeks.
June 14, 2007
After dressing up garden with
a lattice fence.
Cherry Tomato plant with tiny tomatoes
June 14 - after 4 weeks
3 June 26 - Deer damage and
7 - August
Web sites I found for information
Decatur Daily (Living Today July 30, 2004)
Thanks for visiting,