It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. It is still too cold to grow vegetables here in the bold north but it isn’t too early to get ready for planting. Last year I experimented with straw bale gardening. I had the most success with cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and herbs. The root vegetables I planted didn’t do too well and neither did some of the flowers.
This year I am increasing my garden from 4 bales of straw to six and I used the remains from last year’s garden as mulch around the garden. The next step is to start seasoning the bales with fertilizer and monitoring the temperature. As they start to decompose they will get warm, up to 90 degrees. Once they cool down, I’ll start planting. Some of my crops are already growing in the kitchen.
What I like about using straw bales is I can put them where I want them, there is very little weeding and no bending. I don’t need to rotate my crops because I can start with new bales each year which also means fewer diseases. They are ideal for smaller spaces and city type yards. They could even be placed in a parking lot. It takes about ten days of watering and applying plant food to get them ready for planting which is much easier than digging in the dirt.
Here is a cucumber I grew last year in a straw bale.