How to make straw bale gardens organic gardener magazine. Its a gardening method of raising vegetables, herbs, and flowers planted directly on a straw bale you can also use hay, alfalfa, oat, or rye bales straw is more common and generally cheaper and has less weed seeds bales bound with poly twin work. Planting in a hay bale is similar to planting in the ground. All you need is a bale of hay or straw and you have a minigarden. Beginners guide to straw bale gardening gardening with straw bales is the answer to any organic gardeners prayers.
Although the practice of gardening in straw bales dates back to ancient times, i learned of it only a decade ago during a chance encounter with a local strawbale guru, kent rogers. If your soil is so poor that amending, or enhancing, it with compost, fertilizers, or leaf mold makes you exhausted just thinking about it, then using straw bales for planting may be the perfect solution. For 3 days, water each bale until it runs through approximately 10 gallons per bale. Construcon material bind clay and concrete in cob, straw bale houses, composite lumber, enviroboard, etc.
Look for bales that have synthec twine because the natural twine will. Hay bale gardening center for excellence in disabilities. One of the coolest things about straw bale gardening is that it combines the best of container gardening with vertical gardening. Start by arranging the bales in any way you like, side by side to make a block, end to end to create a line, zigzag, circle, whatever takes your fancy. Oct 06, 2014 gardening using a haystack, gardening using a bale hay. Ive never made the mistake of using hay, or straw makes great mulch or, for that matter, a great addition to your compost pile. Etsy is the home to thousands of handmade, vintage, and oneofakind products and gifts related to your search. Straw bale gardening is just that, planting your seedlings into bales of straw. Hay bales are grasses that have been dried and baled together. Hay bale garden, waist height raised bed and more at the orange county great park duration. Straw bale gardening is a great alternative for building raised garden beds, and the modular nature of straw bales allows for gardening at any scale, from a balcony to a community. Its economical, easier on your back, and is great for people with mobility issues.
When my publisher asked me to write about straw bale gardening, i tested the techniques in my own gardens and was quite impressed with the results. Bale gardening is one way to garden if you do not have a lot of soil or space. Be sure the bales are straw and not hayor youll be growing whatever is in that hay along with what you intended to grow. Benefits of straw bale gardening, hacks and howto gardensall. You dont need to till soil to plant in straw bales. The first year i tried it, i planted 20 bales each straw and hay and treated them identically. Karsten recommends erecting sevenfoottall posts at the end of each row of bales, and running wire between them at intervals of 10 inches from the tops of the bales. Growing vegetables in straw bales, strawbale gardening. Hay bale gardening uses bales of hay in place of soil. The hay bale garden everything you need to get started. Straw is more common and generally cheaper and has less. Wheat, rice, and barley straw make the best bales because they drain well. A straw bale garden bed starts with a bale of straw. Once you begin watering and planng you will not be able to move the bales.
Have been straw or hay bale gardening for 3 years now and love it i have had 2 back surgeries and have nerve damage from the injury. It cuts down on the amount of weeds, and as the hay deteriorates, it leaves rich compost behind. We tried it this year for ourselves and our 81yearold mothermotherinlaw whos thrilled to have easier access to tending garden plants. This is especially useful if you do not have space for a huge garden, or if you have difficult soil, or gravel, to work with. When my publisher asked me to write about strawbale gardening, i tested the techniques in my own gardens and was quite impressed with the results. This fact sheet is part of the wsu extension home garden series. A garden in a bale of the many benefits of straw bale gardening, one of the most popular is the backsaving easier access. How to use hay bale gardening to increase your harvest. Maintenance of garden beds made from straw and hay is easy, keep the bale garden watered during hot dry weather, a little bit of weeding and nature will do the rest.
The bale is first conditioned and then vegetable plants are planted and grown inside the bale. Straw bale gardening university of illinois extension. Make sure its level water carefully so it doesnt wash away or cut the bottom out of a plastic flat, pin it. So, hay bale gardening differentiates from straw bale gardening in several ways.
Add another round of fertilizer as in days 1 and 3 and water for 3 mins. Maybe the wind took it away or some bird made a nest out of your scattered hay bale. May 2, 2019 creating an organic straw bale garden could be a great way for those with food allergies to grow foods with the nutritional elements they need. Enjoy organic home grown vegetables in a space as little as 4 ft x 2ft.
The surface under the straw bale is not of any importance because the plants roots will. Although the practice of gardening in straw bales dates back to ancient times, i learned of it only a decade ago during a chance encounter with a local straw bale guru, kent rogers. The hidden dangers of straw bale gardening the grow network. Pdf using cereal straw bales in home gardens researchgate. Straw bale gardening is simply a different type of container gardening. If you merely stroll through the garden, you are but an. Growing in the bale gardeners can make a quick raised bed by using hay or straw square bales. Straw bale gardening is a great option for people who have limited mobility, poor soil quality, or limited space. Use one or umpteen bales as you need and in any pattern. The best straw bales for a garden are wheat, oats, rye or barley straw.
Seeds can be planted directly on top of the bale or seedlings can be used. Hay bales can be used, but they contain more weed and grass seeds that will grow. Is1678 growing in the bale mississippi state university. Is1678 growing in the bale mississippi state extension. You could consider straw bale gardening a form of composting and gardening simultaneously. These types of containers can be located anywhere there is at least 68 hours of sunlight and access to a water source. Whatever you call it, its a great way to grow herbs and vegetables. Consider the pros and cons to determine if straw bale gardening is right for you. Theyre like growbags at a fraction of the cost and without the plastic waste. The bales hold water, and the added 112 to 2foot height makes gardening easier for those who cant bend easily. Its a gardening method of raising vegetables, herbs, and flowers planted directly on a straw bale you can also use hay, alfalfa, oat, or rye bales straw is more common and generally cheaper and has less weed seeds bales bound with poly twin work much better than bales with jute. Alan windham, a professor of plant pathology with the university of tennessee extension, compares straw bale gardening to gardening in containersminus the container. Heavy gauge, coated if not coated, paint the inside of the panels with an exterior. Beginners guide to straw bale gardening safer brand.
Contact your local county agent to find out where to get straw bales in your area. Organic soilfree potting media will help hold nutrients and water more efficiently for faster growth. Be sure to purchase bales that are straw from small grains and not alfalfa hay. For gardeners without a plot of tillable land, hay bale gardening is a way to garden in a relatively small space. A variety of crops can be grown in bales, including tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, melons, and herbs. Remove a chunk of straw and fill the hole with potting soil. Planting seed large seeds and for individual plants cucurbits, legumes, beets and chard, kale, kohlrabi, etc. Gardening with straw bales university of tennessee system. Many people will note the difference, but some of us have to use what we have available.
There is no need to rotate crops, since each season you start with new hay bales. Bale size varies slightly, but a 3 string bale is about 48l x 16w x 24h and a 2 string bale is about 36l x 14w x 18h. Setting them up is the hardest part but there are many benefits to this type of garden. For gardeners without a plot of tillable land, haybale gardening is a way to garden in a. Straw bale gardening removes the possibility of soilborne diseases. Are you tired of putting hay in your garden just to have it gone in a week. The main difference is that the container is the straw bale itself and is held together with two or three strings. Planting tomatoes in a bale of hay may seem like a strange gardening technique, but its actually a very effective and practical way to grow a healthy crop of tomatoes. Sep 21, 2017 planting tomatoes in a bale of hay may seem like a strange gardening technique, but its actually a very effective and practical way to grow a healthy crop of tomatoes. Hay bales create an environment similar to gardening hills in soil. I can not get down on the ground and get backup and cant stand bent over for more than a few seconds.
The hidden dangers of straw bale gardening the grow. Arrange hay bales in their permanent position as the bales are too heavy to move once watering has begun. A straw or hay bale garden is a gardening method used for. Straw and hay bale gardening explained flowerpotman. Water bale good water flow rate out of hose or rossheadtype attachment. Last year i tried a few offthewall types of gardens, including a straw bale garden. Its always one of the top leisure activities enjoyed by tennesseans of all ages, and straw bale gardening is gaining favor with seasoned and novice gardeners alike.
You can either create holes in the hay or plant on top of the bale. All printed materials are available in braille, electronic format, cd and large print. How to make a selffertilizing hay bale garden bed hg. I also use a square bale garden formation for heavy feeding plants, lay out the bales for an interesting garden and have mossed the sides of the bales for a very artistic flower garden. Gardening using a haystack, gardening using a bale hay. In fact, he uses hay bales in a simple notill raised garden bed. In this article, youll find the whys, hows and wherefores. See more ideas about straw bale gardening, straw bales and hay bale gardening. Once the straw inside the bale begins to decay the straw becomes conditioned compost that creates an extraordinary plant rooting environment. Straw or hay bales from alfalfa, wheat, oats, rye, or other cereals are suitable for making a garden bed. An indepth guide to straw bale gardening for beginners. The bales are the perfect height for me and i grow all the beans, peas, potatoes, and other veggies we want. Old straw bales work well if bales are still held tightly together by the twine. A straw or hay bale bed is a type of bed that can be used for raising vegetables pepper, tomatoes, onion, grain amaranth, etc.
Hay bale gardening is easy and the garden area has a unique look. Container gardening without the container advantages of straw bales height 2 foot raised bed no digging, cultivation soil type doesnt matter inexpensive raised bed used bales can be used as mulch, compost mobile at least. Because straw bale gardening is raised, its easy to work with, so make sure you allow for handy access. Straw bale gardening is also called bale gardening or mistakenly, hay bale gardening. They function essentially as a raised bed each bale is 1416 inches high and a container garden in one.
Straw bales are stalks of plants, typically corn that are dried and baled together in various shapes and sizes. Straw is typically yellow, dry, hollow and not food for animals. The master of the garden is the one who waters it, trims the branches, plants seeds and pulls the weeds. The main reason for using straw, from all the research i did, is there might be a lot of weeds in hay. Step by step of creating a straw bale garden straw bale. The main thing is be sure the strings around the bale are the side touching the ground.
Add another round of fertilizer as in day 1 and water for 3 mins. I started hay bale gardening about 10 years ago, after learning all about straw bale method and deciding that it made little sense to use a medium that doesnt hold moisture or offer nourishment. Either way, you need potting soil or compost for the plants to grow. Straw bale gardening is another form of container gardening where the container slowly decomposes becoming a rich compost.
This makes it a great choice for anyone with hard soil or no soil at all, as all the magic takes place above the surface of the ground. Garden guides how to grow tomatoes in bales of hay. The best part of hay bale gardening is how easy it is so if you have a brown thumb or are just looking for a really simple, low maintenance way to start a garden, then hay bale gardening might be for you. Straw bale gardening university of wisconsinmadison. A straw or hay bale garden is a gardening method used for raising vegetables, herbs, and flowers directly on a bale. Gardening with straw bales alan windham professor, plant pathology what is straw bale gardening. Gardening using a haystack,gardening using a bale of hay. Enjoy your organic harvest and please share your straw bale gardening experiences and hay bale gardening tips with the rest of us. Straw bales are preferable over hay because hay bales contain more weed and grass seeds. Jul 16, 20 one of the coolest things about straw bale gardening is that it combines the best of container gardening with vertical gardening.
Search the internet for information on using hay vs. Its a lot of fun and its a quick way to get a garden going without worrying about improving the soil. A bale garden uses hay or straw bales in place of soil. You will want a bale that is held together tightly with baling twine encircling the bale in two to three places. As the straw breaks down over the course of the summer, it turns into compost that feeds your plants.
Frequently asked questions answered by joel karsten, straw bale gardener expert, author and speaker. Heavy gauge, coated if not coated, paint the inside of. Its a bit like container growing, only the bale of straw becomes the container. First let me clarify, although its called hay bale gardening, you can use straw. In his book youll find the answers to why he no longer uses a rototiller or a composter. No matter what youre looking for or where you are in the world, our global marketplace of sellers can help you find unique and affordable options. Pdf once a popular commercial method of growing commercial crops, straw bale gardening is experiencing a resurgence among home.241 1165 1217 1146 658 45 1314 702 357 1134 773 1068 456 764 467 171 1022 78 473 1262 965 943 670 829 757 1424 558 1364 672 1227 735 104 1033 1152 226 1223 1125 213 850 1113 965 910