Gardening Methods: Straw-Bale Gardening

gardening methodsThere are lots of gardening methods out there. There are even lots of organic gardening methods out there. Depending on your environment and temperament, some might be better suited for you than others, but there is one I recommend you give a try: straw-bale gardening.

I tried straw bale gardening last year as an experiment, and it was easy, fun, inexpensive, and . . . successful.

Watch the video below, and when you’re done, I’ll tell you a bit more about what I did and my results.

 The Straw-Bale Gardening Method

Before I go any further, I have to point out that this gardener plants in hay bales. I recommend straw because of the seeds in hay. Part of the joy of this type of gardening is the lack of weeds, so why negate that factor by using hay bales?

For my straw bale garden last year, I created a much smaller garden than the video’s gardener, and I did not include the hole in the middle with the deeper soil. I just put up a small square about two bales by two bales on my asphalt driveway, applied organic fertilizer with nitrogen, watered the bales, and waited. A couple of weeks later, I put on some soil, although not six inches of it,  and after it had settled, started planting.

I planted cucumbers, green peppers, cantaloupes, strawberries, basil, and oregano. The cucumbers went absolutely crazy (and I grew them vertically) as did the basil and oregano. We had several cantaloupes that matured, but something got to them before we could. Hmmm . . . The strawberries tried to make a go of it, as did the green peppers, but, sadly, they were unsuccessful.

I suspect that I didn’t do enough research to meet the strawberries’ and green peppers’ needs. Or they may not have liked being as crowded as the others seemed to. My approach to gardening is frequently to give anything I feel like a try, and if it makes it, it gets to come back, and if it doesn’t, I’ve learned a lesson.

Having said that, though, I will try the strawberries and cantaloupes again this year, but I’ll be a little more scientific about it. I’m also planning to add more bales this year and to put some of them on the lawn beside the driveway. That will give me a lot more gardening area, and when the straw decomposes on the lawn, it should enhance the rock hard clay beneath it.

We’ll see.

If you’ve tried the straw-bale gardening method, please post a comment and let us know what you did and what kind of results you got.

And if you enjoyed today’s post or learned a little something, please share Today’s Organic Gardening with your friends. Thanks!

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