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 Post subject: Too much clay? Straw bale gardening YES!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 11:58 am 

Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2005 8:59 am
Posts: 5796
Location: Here
Last summer I watch a bale garden from day one until the frost. Quite successful.

The bale is the garden. Put it on your balcony or path if you want to.

Use one or umpteen bales as you need and in any pattern. Because straw bale gardening is raised, it's easy to work with, so make sure you allow for handy access.

Wheat or oat straw is best as it's the stalks left from harvesting grain with very few seed left. Hay bales are less popular as they are made of whole plants with mucho seeds and often other weeds in. Use what you can get locally — it may even be lucerne or pea straw bales.

Put the bales in the exact place, because it's too hard to even nudge these monsters once you've got your little straw bale garden factory in full swing.

You'll get one good season out of a bale and usually two, albeit with a bit of sag. It makes for great compost or mulch when finished with.

Lay them lengthwise to make planting easy by just parting the straw. Make sure the string is running around each bale and not on the side touching the ground in case it's degradable twine.

Keep the twine there to hold it all in place and if it does rot, bang some stakes in at both ends, or chock up the ends with something heavyish, like rocks, bricks, boxes or plant containers.

Starting off with slightly aged bales of about 6 months is best, but if they're new, thoroughly soak with water and leave for 5 or so days whilst the temperature rises and cooks the inside, then they will cool and be ready for planting. They won't be composting much inside yet, that takes months, but you don't want that initial hot cooking of your plants.

Some sneaky people speed up the process of producing microbes and rot by following a 10-day pre-treatment regime of water and ammonium nitrate on the top of each bale. But, hey, organic gardeners are a patient lot aren't we, so let's follow nature?

Keep watered. That's going to be your biggest task. Straw bale gardening uses more water than a normal garden, so set up a system now. It may be that swilling out the teapot on it each day is enough in your area, or you may need to keep the hose handy.

Straw bale gardening — plants to plant... ... dening.htm

 Post subject: Re: Too much clay? Straw bale gardening YES!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 7:26 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 05, 2005 8:59 am
Posts: 5796
Location: Here
(((This could be exciting which is to say this is my year to give it a shot)))

Upside-down growing is a fun way to garden that is also easy for tomato-lovers of all abilities. Hanging tomato plants don't need staking or tying. There's no weeding, and less chance of soil-borne diseases. Since the fruit doesn't touch the ground, it has fewer blemishes. And you can hang your planter anywhere that gets plenty of sun.

Hanging planters are prone to drying out, but our new Deluxe Revolution™ Planter lets you garden without worry, thanks to a three-part watering system. Capillary strips carry water from the one-gallon reservoir to plant roots. A layer of plastic, sandwiched between natural coir fibers, prevents rapid drying out.

Even if you have a regular in-ground garden, we think you'll find that this revolutionary growing system is a fun way to get a picture-perfect harvest of delicious, garden-fresh tomatoes.

* Have fresh, homegrown tomatoes at your fingertips
* Includes planting tips from our own test gardens
* No weeds, no pests, no cages and now easier to plant!
* Also grows peppers, cucumbers and eggplants!
* Does not include soil — we recommend Self-Watering Container Mix and Organic Tomato Fertilizer
* The Four-Arm Plant Hanger, sold separately, is an ideal support
* Take the guesswork out of watering with the AquaScale, sold separately ... lt,cp.html

Vinland Valley Nursery - local

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