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Friday, May 21, 2010

How to plant a straw bale garden

Other than sticking plants into straw rather than into the ground, the planting part is pretty similar to traditional gardening. The spacing between plants is the same.

For example, per bale:
2 tomato plants
2-3 squash (then thin to 1)
3 green peppers
2 broccoli

Then it was time to get creative....

lettuce on one half, radishes* on the other and cilantro and rosemary on the side of the bale.

Broccoli on top of the bale and pumpkin on the side.



Green peppers on top and cilantro on the side.





If you remember my garden from last year then you probably notice the biggest difference between the two - the new trellis system is going to replace the tomato cages and the string we strung between the stakes. Tomato cages don't stay standing once the bales start to decompose significantly later in the growing season.

On the side with the concrete reinforcement wire ($7 a sheet at HomeDepot) we planted 12 tomato plants, 4 bean plants, and we planted two rows of peas* (one on each side of the wire).

In front of the peas we planted carrots* and in front of the beans I planted a row of onions (the rest of the onions are planted in their own bale just across the way from the bonus row)

We planted much bigger plants this year and already some blossoms on some of the cherry tomatoes.

And there you have it folks! Pry apart the decomposing bales, stick your plants in and watch your garden grow....


* denotes veggies that were planted as seeds in 2 inches of organic potting soil (The other 'dirt' you see is actually fertilizer & manure. See this post where I talk about how poorly the fertilizer dissolved this year.)




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5 comments:

  1. Interesting, I have never heard of this before! Looks like fun, too bad I am not a green thumb, I can rarely keep flowers alive. :)

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  2. Thanks for sharing the tips to plant straw bale garden. I will try to create one in my backyard. It looks beautiful.

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  3. I'm learning more just visiting! Thanks for all you share here. Great blog and gorgeous little cubs you've grown too!

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  4. I'm starting a straw bale garden this year. Are you going to use the same support system for your tomatoes this year? If not, what are you going to do? If so, can you give some more detailed directions on how to build it?

    Your posts are so helpful! Thanks so much!!

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  5. DO YOU HOLLOW OUT THE BALES AND FILL WITH SOIL PER PLANT? YOUR PICTURE LOOKS LIKE YOU DUG A LITTLE HOLE AND PUT IN THE TOMATO PLANT, IS THAT CORRECT? ALSO, I'VE READ ABOUT STARTING POTATOES THE SAME WAY, HAVE YOU ATTEMPTED IT? I DID THE LASAGNA GARDEN A FEW YEARS BACK, HAD GREAT RESULTS BUT IT WAS MESSEY ONCE IT BROKE DOWN OR DECOMPOSSED. BEAUTIFUL WORK MAMA-BEAR. CAN I ASK, HOW OFTEN DO YOU WATER? OUR WELL RUNS DRY AND WE HAVE TO CONSERVE QUITE A BIT BUT YOU MENTIONED YOU RECEIVE LOTS OF EVENING RAIN. HAVE A GLORIOUS DAY!

    ReplyDelete

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