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Old 04-24-2016, 05:21 PM
 
Location: The sleepy part of New York City
1,773 posts, read 776,957 times
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Thank you! Thank you! You've all probably saved me a lot of frustration. I was just in the process of trying to find straw bales because I wanted to try growing my veggies in them..

You've all talked me out of it.
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Old 07-14-2017, 11:23 AM
 
1 posts, read 163 times
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I seasoned mine for a month, blood meal, organic compost(I have chickens). My problem was they broke down so quickly, they were hollow shells. I swished them down, and added more composted soil to save them. Peppers did great! So did squash and cukes. My herbs and tomatoes have been the worst I have ever had. 2 out of the 6 have survived. But are way behind where they should be. I will go back to tomatoes in my raised beds. May try pallets next year for greens etc. But very disappointed with my tomatoes. I have been an avid Gardner for 40 yrs.
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Old 07-14-2017, 11:46 AM
 
4,316 posts, read 1,588,347 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacqueg View Post
I tried it a couple years back, and was unhappy with it.

First, it was very hard to get the bales wet enough, and I didn't. I was living in a water-limited situation, and they take up a *ton* of water. If I were to try it again, I'd put the bales out in February and let the rain do it for me.

Second, and more worrying, I found the plants grown in the bales were far more susceptible to insect damage than the same varieties planted a few feet away in the ground. I don't use insecticides, so this was a major factor.

As for the herbicide issue, yes it is a real problem. Try to find a source for organic straw. Failing that, you can test bales before you plant them by trying to sprout seeds - see this http://cals.arizona.edu/cochise/wate...rdens_6-13.pdf


.........." try to find a source for organic straw "....


This retired dairy farmer bought many semi loads of straw to use for bedding for cattle in winter.


It didn't take me long to learn to veer away from any straw that was organic as I did not want weeds and weed seeds brought onto my farm.


I have never in my life seen a "clean" field of small grain on an organic farm.


My young neighbor was certified organic and every year he planted oats and got a citation /warning from the township to control his weeds . He always ended up cutting it for hay because being organic he could not use herbicides.
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Old 07-15-2017, 04:50 AM
 
Location: Central WI
900 posts, read 296,598 times
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Please excuse my perverted way of thinking. I don't, after all, think the Elephant Man looks anything at all like an elephant either:

But Straw Bale Gardening kinda reminds me of the can of Dehydrated Water I once bought for emergencies Directions: just add water and stir.

If you have to Add Dirt & Water, aren't you just using the straw bale as a big, ugly, moldy flower pot?
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Old 07-15-2017, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Old Hippie Heaven
13,465 posts, read 5,331,013 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
Please excuse my perverted way of thinking. I don't, after all, think the Elephant Man looks anything at all like an elephant either:

But Straw Bale Gardening kinda reminds me of the can of Dehydrated Water I once bought for emergencies Directions: just add water and stir.

If you have to Add Dirt & Water, aren't you just using the straw bale as a big, ugly, moldy flower pot?
The basic idea is that as you are composting the straw bales, you are growing plants in them at the same time. At least that's what appealed to me. If you have compacted soil with insufficient organic content, growing in straw bales seems a way to get you to good growing soil faster.

And some folks like having a raised garden.

As I said above, I liked the idea, and tried it. But first, I didn't get the bales wet enough. I could have fixed that, but the second problem I had, more insects on the plants in the bales as opposed to the plants in the ground, discouraged me from continuing to experiment with this. Other peoples' mileage obviously does differ.

As for ugly, that's in the eye of the beholder. Personally, I think lush vegetables are one of the world's most pleasing sights. https://strawbalegardens.com
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Old 07-16-2017, 08:07 AM
 
Location: Kronenwetter, Wis
440 posts, read 924,623 times
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Just an update on my straw bale journey this year. I planted cucumbers, squash, beans, tomato, pepper, and lettuce.
I planted various flower plants in two bales which are sitting atop wooden rustic wheelbarrows.

So far everything is growing great. Tomato plants are 6' tall and growing. Lettuce is outstanding. Beans are doing very good. This year I covered the bean bales with netting so chipmunks couldn't dig out seeds.

Someone mentioned Joel Karsten's book. I follow his conditioning recipe to the letter each year. I had 2 extra bales this year which I gave to friends. They did not follow a conditioning pattern and their results are not good.

For me this type of gardening works without the "work" of maintaining a regular traditional inground garden.
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