Saturday, May 7, 2016

Straw Bale Gardening

I read about straw bale gardening some time ago... somewhere. I'm sure I first saw it online. Last summer our library hosted author Joel Karsten where he taught us about this great garden idea of his. Of course, while it was not required, we were encouraged to purchase a copy of his signed book. Which I unfrugal-ly did. It's been a great reference for me, far more clear than the one page of notes that I'd taken while he was speaking - ha ha. For your reference, the book is titled Straw Bale Gardens Complete.

While I didn't keep note of the date that I started my seeds, I believe it was in the first week or two of April. I planted some cabbage and lavender seeds. Sadly, the lavender appears to be duds. However, nearly all the cabbage seeds came up! (You're also seeing oat seeds = cat grass that I more recently sprouted for my furry boys.) It's not much, I know. I'll give the lavender a few more days then I will reuse that soil to start something else.

This is a pic of my small straw bale garden project. Depending on whether or not I experience much success with it, I may enlarge it next spring. Of course, if we can't find a reasonable price on the straw, I won't be doing it in that case. Prices in our area for the small square bales run anywhere from $6-$12 each. We ended up paying about $2 or $3 per bale after finding a farmer nearly two hours away. While we spent money on gas, we felt better putting some cash in that gentleman's pocket than we would have at our local greenhouse or feed store. Principles, people, principles!
There are 5 bales in the garden photo above. I have another 6 off to the right in this pic that you can't see, as well as several that are in use in the traditional dirt garden that my dad keeps in another part of the yard. I took this photo on day 4 of the 14 day cycle where you prep the bales. My intention is to get those cabbage seedlings transplanted after the bales have been completely prepped. I also have plenty of space for other veggies, which I have seeds for spinach, lettuce, carrots, beets... I'll post again as we further complete this project.

1 comment:

  1. It will be interesting to see how your straw bale beds do. I thought maybe I might like to try that but then decided it was too much work and expense. Good luck! Nancy