Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Straw Bale Gardening: 101

It appears as though I have sparked some interest from many of you about my straw bale garden.

Let me just preface this by saying, I don't really know what I'm doing.  This is the first year I am attempting this and, as I quite frequently am reminded of, I kill just about everything green around this house.

With that in mind, I do have a couple of helpful sites with step-by-step information on how to get your own straw bale garden started.  And since I never profess to be better than the average gardener I will let these sites speak for themselves.

Why would you choose to do a straw bale garden?
  • We live on top of granite...literally.  It is about six inches down under the whole town of Rolesville.  It makes gardening even that much more difficult.
  • You don't have to have a large yard to have this kind of garden.  Just large enough to put a few bales of straw.
  • You don't need much soil.  It really saves money in the long run.

Where did you figure out how to do this?
First of all, I saw the idea for the first time on a fun blog, which unfortunately no longer exists:(  I figured it was worth a try.

Her bales looked awesome by the time it was all said and done.

Do you have any pointers for us?
Yes, I have already learned that you are supposed to place the straw bales sideways, with the string around the perimeter and the loose ends up and down.  This will help keep them together as they begin to disintegrate.  I turned and rearranged my bales yesterday.

Do you have any other resources that you can pass along?
If you are still unsure about this technique or have more questions, this site may be able to help.  It goes into great detail about the type of bale you should buy, the different layouts of your garden, how to plant your seedlings and how to take care of the garden.

And if you're still not sold on this idea, you can read more about straw bale gardening HERE, HERE and HERE.

Hopefully by the end of the summer my garden will look something like this!  Hey, a girl can dream can't she?

Unfortunately, many of these links no longer work, but thankfully the internet has unlimited sources as to what kind of materials work best for these kinds of gardens.


About Our Family said...

Thanks for posting the info! I can't wait to have time to look at all the links. I hope your garden looks like that, too- it's beautiful (and so neat and tidy, which I'm a fan of). :)

Tish said...

Hello, I'm Katie Martin's mom. I love this idea-thanks for all your info. I'll give this a try in our Chesapeake Bay region.

Keesha Via said...

Umm, yes please. I would die for a garden like this!

Unknown said...

Oh, I would LOVE if my garden turns out to look like that one! Since my little ones were dropping fists full of seeds, I find that highly unlikely, ha! We have the straw, the seeds are growing well, now this weather needs to warm up so we can do some planting :)

farmer said...

Hi, just came across this info, i have been using straw bales for years, thought i was the only crazy person :-), Great for growing potatoes. Give it a go, enjoy.

Unknown said...

Can I do this on a patio?

The Via Colony said...

Wende, yes! Anywhere you can fit a straw bale you can use this method of gardening:)

Unknown said...

The links don't seem to work for me.

Unknown said...

My brother has used this method for several yrs now. The problem I saw, was the feeding of the plants. Straw doesn't offer much in the way of nutrients. He decided to use commercial fertilizer. I think if we scratched our heads enough, we could come up with some kind of tea to use. Thanks for reminding me of this:)