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 Post subject: Bad soil/limited space....try straw bale gardening
PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 9:06 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2005 8:59 am
Posts: 5796
Location: Here
Straw bale gardening is an interesting option for those who have either limited soil, limited space or have difficulty bending over.

I’ve used straw bale gardening and found it productive although I note that commercial grower recommendations tend to use fertilizer more than I currently enjoy doing. More on that below.

What kind of straw should you use?

Any straw is good. Most will come with leftover grain seed in the straw so you’ll have a bloom of grain plants as soon as you start watering. The number of seeds is determined by the efficiency of the combine doing the grain harvest.

Generally, I’d use what I could find. Oat straw was the most common in our area so oat straw was used.

Don't Use Hay

Do not use hay bales.

Hay comes with grass seed and this is a major problem. You can pull out the grain seed relatively easily from straw bales but grass is much more tenacious and much tougher to pull out.

What’s the difference between straw and hay bales?

Straw is the stem of the grain plant.

Combines remove the grain and leave behind the dried out stem. This is baled up and mostly used as animal bedding.

Hay is the entire grass plant including stems, leaves and some seed heads. It is cut down and baled up for use as animal feed. Hay usually contains more weed seed along with the grass seed than straw.

Read more: ... HW6NiSUG&C ... ening.html

I have been observing weekly one such project since day one in a friends back yard. Thus far several plants in a small space are beginning to thrive.

Old straw can always be used for mulching flower and shrub beds.

 Post subject: Re: Bad soil/limited space....try straw bale gardening
PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 9:31 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2006 11:36 am
Posts: 92
My mother tried this last year with great success. She had one bale and two celebrity tomatoes. She had plenty of tomatoes for herself and had to pick the remaining green tomatoes in the fall when frost was predicted. This year she has two bales.

I am trying 6 bales with different varieties of tomatoes plus one bale with canteloupe and one bale with cucumbers. Lack of sufficient sunlight is my problem. I plan to try to move my bales ASAP. Hope the twine holds!

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