Tip Tuesday: Straw Bale Gardening

How to transform straw bales into a flourishing garden in three easy steps

It is easy to start a straw bale garden. Simply arrange your bales where you want them, cover them with potting soil, and water daily. If you look closely, you can see that we placed them cut side up with the baling twine on the exterior of the bales. It is easier to plant this way.

Make sure to place the bales exactly wherever you want them. The bales absorb water and become very heavy.

Tips to keep in mind when planning your garden: Will your garden get enough sun but not too much? Is there a water source handy? Do you want to be able to get a lawnmower between the rows?

Watering the bales daily for about a week helps to break down the bales to create a better growing environment for your plants.

While we were prepping the bales, we started seeds using recycled egg cartons as seed pots. We planted the seed pots directly in the bales. *More to come about this process in future posts.

When it's time to plant, use a shovel or hoe, 'chop' into the bales to loosen the straw where you plan to plant your seedlings. You may notice that we supplemented our seedlings with plants that we bought.

Learn from our mistake... Make sure that there is no longer a chance of a hard frost in your area before planting. In our excitement, we planted too early for our region. We covered our plants with old sheets and blankets at night during a cold spell. Luckily, most of our plants survived. We lost a few plants, but they were easily replaced.

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