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straw bale gardening..any ideas or tips?

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straw bale gardening..any ideas or tips?

Postby benjimum » Apr 17, 2011 7:47 pm

I have had some raised beds in the last few yrs and they are needing some renovations. My husband tells me he will be working on them during the summer so I decided to try some straw bale gardening this summer and see how it works while he does the work. I have watched videos and read up but most of the info is from American sources.
Have you tried it out?
Do you have tips?
I would love to see your photos if you have some.
We are concerned mostly aobut the watering.
thanks
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Re: straw bale gardening..any ideas or tips?

Postby Eeyore » Apr 18, 2011 3:31 pm

What is straw bale gardening?
Lyn
AB, Zone 3A
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Re: straw bale gardening..any ideas or tips?

Postby benjimum » Apr 18, 2011 4:43 pm

It seems to be coming quite common. You plant on top of straw bales.

Here is some information:
http://thegardenersrake.com/raised-bed- ... -gardening
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Re: straw bale gardening..any ideas or tips?

Postby CdnChelsea » Apr 18, 2011 5:11 pm


I have never heard of straw bale gardening before either. After scanning the websites provided, it looks interesting :)
After dinner tonight, with a glass of wine, I plan on researching straw bale gardening.

You have piqued my curiosity, Benjimum!

Thank you.

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Re: straw bale gardening..any ideas or tips?

Postby benjimum » Apr 18, 2011 6:00 pm

Thats great:) there are some tube videos as well as several articles on it. Have fun exploring!
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Re: straw bale gardening..any ideas or tips?

Postby MareE » Apr 19, 2011 6:39 am

Read Denise's Q&A and, well Benjimum, you two have completely U-turned my semi-planned birdhouse gourd growing plans for this Summer, many thanks! Straw's always been my favourite mulch for veggie plots and patches but have never seen anyone using bales as raised beds. Brilliant! Would love to do a maze design like Denise but alas have only 4' X 4' of "fallow" real estate to play with. Thinking something like beeman's compost tea for the soaking stage.

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Taken before backyard clean-up April Fool's Day. This nekkid new fence faces South. Idea is to straighten he arbour/trellis but leave where it is and the Climbing Rose, MGs and Sweet Peas will learn to share with a few gourd vines. :wink:
~do not make tragedies of trifles ~ do not shoot butterflies with rifles~author unknown~
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Re: straw bale gardening..any ideas or tips?

Postby Lulu » Apr 19, 2011 8:23 am

I successfully tried my hand at straw bale gardening several years ago, at my cottage, mainly because the soil there was sparse and very, very rocky, so, did what I could to increase my growing space.

Grew only tomatoes and cukes, and had great luck with them both. Would have liked to try snow peas & carrots, but, had a hard time getting the bales. It is said potatoes do well in bales also. Lots and lots of information on Google.

I placed the bales at the edge of my driveway, but one thing I did not do, is put plastic under them, to retain the water in the bale, so, constant watering became a necessity. Hard to do, when I was not @ the cottage, during the week,,,so,,reverted to putting the 2 litre pop bottles in the bales for the week. That worked!

Was a fun project that I said I would repeat,,but,,sadly,,didn't!
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Re: straw bale gardening..any ideas or tips?

Postby benjimum » Apr 19, 2011 8:48 am

pop bottles are a great idea! I do that in my greenhouse sometimes. and i use one on the top of my hanging tomato.

That would be the perfect place to use straw bale gardening.
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Re: straw bale gardening..any ideas or tips?

Postby ColleenatStar » Apr 27, 2011 9:37 am

I tried the straw bale gardening last year. I enclosed the bales with chicken wire but that prevented hubby from using weedeater so all weeds had to be pulled by hand. I definitely am trying it again this year since you are supposed to get 2 years from the bales. But I am going to put more soil into the holes for the plants. I also had to put up a windbreak since it is beside an open field.
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Re: straw bale gardening..any ideas or tips?

Postby benjimum » Apr 27, 2011 11:51 pm

So I got started with my Straw bales today....boring pics so far, but I hope to have fun ones soon.

I started the process to get the bales ready, by soaking them down and then adding Milorganite. (Nitrogen rich) Now they sit for a while. I decided to put two bales in the greenhouse this yr and then I will have four more outside by my garden plot. As you can see I plant part of my greenhouse in containers and there is nothing planted in them yet.
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