I’m super excited, today is day one of my attempt at straw bale gardening! What is straw bale gardening you ask? Let me tell you about this gardening magic… According to everything I’ve read, straw bale gardening is the easiest thing you may ever do in the garden. Here are some of the books and websites I’ve read to get ready for this new gardening adventure. Just click on the picture to be taken to the website.
All you need to start a straw bale garden is a straw bale, some high nitrogen fertilizer, and water. That’s it! It has all the perks of a raised bed garden with a much smaller price tag and NO WEEDING. One other great thing is that you can put a straw bale garden pretty much anywhere! It can sit on grass, on rock, or on concrete- the ground underneath it has no bearing on it. Once you are done with a growing season or two you just compost the remaining bale and start over.
Before you start planting you must “condition” the bales. Straw bale gardening works because the fertilizer causes the interior of the bale to begin composting, creating new soil. I began conditioning my bales today by covering each one with a half cup of a high nitrogen fertilizer and soaking them with water. I followed the method of sprinkling the fertilizer directly on the bale and then watering but it did not seem to dissolve well. I think I will switch to dissolving my fertilizer in a bucket of water and then using that to water the plants two days from now when it is time to fertilize again. I’ll be posting several updates as I finish the 10 day conditioning cycle.