Have Any of You Tried Straw Bale Gardening?

Discussion in 'Fruit and Veg Gardening' started by AAnightowl, Jan 15, 2021.

  1. AAnightowl

    AAnightowl Young Pine

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    I have been reading up on it some, and thought I would try it this year. Our soil here is mostly red clay with loads of rocks and tree roots. I have been adding things like compost, leaves, peat moss, horse manure and it is still rocky red clay. You could spend eternity removing the rocks here, and never remove all of them from your little patch of garden.

    I may have mentioned this little quip, not sure, but a friend once told me, "Do you know what they call half inch gravel in Missouri? The answer is TOPSOIL.

    So, I am collecting plain brown cardboard to put under them and tame some of the weeds, and have a few straw bales already.

    My potatoes have gone to seed, so I have them in a bucket ready to plant--only it is too early. I have garlic to plant, and parsely seeds that might go out now. I think I will add the garlic and parsley to my tubs of different things...It will get those chores out of the way.

    I need to look at my seeds again and see what won't mind being planted early.

    My compost is in barrels now. I had to get rid of my old compost pile --it was full of black walnut roots, so I shoveled it over into the bog in my horse pasture... I started over with the barrels that were given to me.

    My son wants to try growing tomatoes in buckets. I hope he does. Maybe we can have a "contest" on growing tomatoes? (Guess who will get to care for them when he is on the road driving trucks?) He watches a lot of gardening videos on you tube.

    I had some store tomatoes in the fruit bowl, because "they" have been saying not to put tomatoes in the fridge. The cats found them and played ball with my tomatoes on the kitchen floor. I gave those to the chickens. Tomatoes WILL be going in the fridge now.
     
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  3. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    I have never heard not to place toms in the fridge. I do it all the time because I get so many that they must be saved somehow until I can get to them to make a storable concentrate.

    What I have noticed though is that toms that are at room temperature have a better flavour in the salad than ones right of the fridge.

    As for using hay bales—there are some postings on here by someone who has done exactly that. I hope you can find them.
     
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  4. mart

    mart Strong Ash

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    O pllanted tomatoes and some potatoes in an old round bale of hay ! They did well until stepson decided to put that roll out for the horses ! It is an easy way to grow ! But the older the straw or hay,, the better !
     
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  5. Dirtmechanic

    Dirtmechanic In Flower

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    No we get too much fungus here already. Late season that much breakdown is too rich here.
     



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  6. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    The tomatoes in the fridge... It's okay for an application such as cooking them, but for fresh eating the texture changes to a mealy texture and the sugar changes to starch... so you can taste the difference when eating them fresh.

    This year is the first year I am trying straw bale gardening. I am doing it for a community garden though so I haven't actually done it before. You do need to have aged bales... Is my reading up on it. Fresh bales aren't damp enough nor releasing nutrients for the plant to use.
    If you are on facebook there is a straw bale gardening group. I don't know how much help it would be but maybe more than we are at this point.
     
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  7. mart

    mart Strong Ash

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    When I did it I added some soil and horse manure to the planting hole ! Then when the plants get going they can take nutrients from the aging hay or straw ! !
     
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  8. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    Remember straw bales and hay bales are two different creatures......Straw is what you have after the seeds have been removed from the Hay. Bales of Hay still have seeds that will sprout and take over your garden.
     
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  9. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    A very important reminder for your folks there, toni.
    Here it is different...the difference between hooi and stro .
    Here hay is dried gras sorts.
    Straw is a collection of dried stems from grain plants.
    Yeah I know, we always have to be different. Sigh.

    Addendum: there can be seeds in both of these ( over here).
     
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  10. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    Yes.. straw is dried stems of oats, wheat barley etc... A grain usually. It is usually used as bedding and some animals do eat it just for the roughage. Hay is green, cut, dried and baled for nutritional sustainance for animal feed.
     
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  11. Dirtmechanic

    Dirtmechanic In Flower

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    Well you can make up for it by giving me a salmon recipe. Its my day to cook dinner.
     
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  12. Islandlife

    Islandlife Young Pine

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    I tried a few years ago and got more NEW weeds than I ever had before!
     
  13. hummerbum

    hummerbum Young Pine

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    Definitely going to attempt this method this year. Couldn't figure out why my inground veggies in another area of the yard didn't make it last year ...well while digging to enrich the soil even more..i found out why. Feeder roots from nearby trees had taken over the mounds. So this year, I am using this method with a layer of pond liner on the bottom (to prevent the roots from invading). Will start prepping the bales next month.
     
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  14. hummerbum

    hummerbum Young Pine

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    I'm doing it as promised and love it!!! check out what you can make of the pics...still learning the right quality to resize pics.
    View Photo Album: 2021 Straw Bale Gardening
     
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