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The Strawbale Garden

Updated on April 14, 2011

Straw bale garden

Are you too busy to start a garden, but, really want to grow some of your own food? A straw bale garden is easy to install and requires only a minimum of care. All you need to do is to put the straw that is straw, not hay, bale where you want it and plant.

Sound too easy well it is not, straw bale gardening is a great no dig garden method and a raised bed garden all at the same time. The number of bales that you use will depend upon the size you want the garden to be. You could grow a few cherry tomatoes and some basil in one bale.

Be sure to place the bales where you want them to stay, because, they are not easy to move. The bale will last for one or two seasons and makes ideal mulch or can be composted when its life as a garden is finished.

You can grow, for example, tomatoes, potatoes, squash, greens, peppers, gourds and flowers in straw bales. The peppers and tomatoes could be staked if needed.

I grew potatoes for two seasons this way and then used the straw to begin a new no dig garden bed.

I suggest, when you have selected the spot where the straw bale raised garden will go, you place the bales on their sides. Next water the bales over a seven day period, making sure that they are wet right through.

Add between three and five inches of compost to the bale tops and you are ready to plant. Salad greens will do well in this garden and will begin producing quite rapidly if they are placed where they get the sun they need to grow.

Alternatively to adding soil to the top of the bale, you could cut a few holes, depending upon what you are planting, in the bale, add compost and plant.

It is important to use straw bales rather than hay as hay has seeds in it, and you will get a crop that you are not looking for and one that will compete with the plants you want. Wheat straw is readily available in many places and does very well as a garden bed.

If you are looking for a quick start, easy to care for garden and like the idea of a raised bed, no bending over, then you may just want to get your hands on a straw bale or two and start your own straw bale garden.

potatoes

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  • 49lart profile image

    49lart 6 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

    Thanks. I am in Scotland.

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick

    Depending upon where you live, late summer or early fall.

  • 49lart profile image

    49lart 6 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

    Hi Bob,

    I growing some potatoes in my small garden. When are the ready for harvest.

    Ivor

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    Happy Gardening, thanks for dropping by.

  • oliversmum profile image

    oliversmum 7 years ago from australia

    We have tried this once,but without 100% success,but with this new information,it WILL work.Thank you. :) :)

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    You may want to consider a spell checker and thanks for dropping by.

  • HubCrafter profile image

    HubCrafter 7 years ago from Arizona

    Hi Bob:

    I think there must be a straw bale under that chin of yours sir. Ya got quite a crop a' white tops workin there, lol.

    Well, let me thank ya before ya thank me fer stoppin by.

    Gotta crick in mah neck from all this rain we bin havin. Ya ever growed a turkey in thet straw bale, there Bob?

    Ya have hurd a turkey inna straw ain'tcha? They's wild turkeys. I know'd ya hurd a wild turkeys. Ever man's bin ta the bars hurd a wild turkey, tight?

    Well, thanks for the bales a straw and the wheat germs an' all. Whutever I kin I grow'd it inna ground. Now heres tell I kin growd it inna kitchin. Saves runnin. Rinse the dishes over the lettusses and carbo-high-drate muh coffee grinds.

    Them werms. Do they come out at the night time? Run round the floor on ya? Cats prolly git em annyway.

    Kinda nice havin bottmland right here in the kitchen. Saves on hollerin when Maws got the supper reddy.

    Well, tha's progriss for ya. Prit near time fer them hogs ta start up. Mebbe I kin nokk down this here wall. Call im right into the gardin. Nope, nope. Cain't. Theys straw bale eaters fer sure. An there goes muh indoor corn crop if'n ah do.

    Well thanks agin. An' thanks fer stoppin by.

    HubCrafter

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks, and thanks for dropping by.

  • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

    Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada

    I have grown my potatoes in straw for many years now but never thought of growing other veggies in it too. Thanks for the ideas Bob.

    As always great hub.

    regards Zsuzsy

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    it ought to work anywhere as long as it is placed in the right place. It is fairly easy, thanks for dropping by.

  • suziecat7 profile image

    suziecat7 7 years ago from Asheville, NC

    I love this - thanks. I watched the videos and he makes it look like a snap.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

    Great idea. Is there any reason this wouldn't work well in northern FL? Lots of bugs here but I wouldn't think that would matter. Thanks.

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for dropping by.

  • reddog1027 profile image

    reddog1027 7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

    You always have such great ideas. I can't wait to give it a try this summer.

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    You are welcome and thanks for dropping by.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

    That is a great advice. I never knew about it and thank you for posting this hub. Sounds so ideal.

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thank you all and Happy gardening and thanks for dropping by.

  • The Rope profile image

    The Rope 7 years ago from SE US

    I am SOOOOO going to try this! Planting season is just around the corner and now I can't wait. Thanks Bob! My dad would have been so impressed with the idea.

  • jayjay40 profile image

    jayjay40 7 years ago from Bristol England

    What a brilliant idea- I didn't realise you could garden like this-Thanks Bob for this hub

  • Sterling Sage profile image

    Sterling Sage 7 years ago from California

    Thanks, Bob. What a cool idea!

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    You are welcome, let us know how it goes and thanks for dropping by.

  • brsmom68 profile image

    Diane Ziomek 7 years ago from Alberta, Canada

    This is a very good idea! I have a garden spot, but it isn't good enough for most crops yet, as it is mostly clay. I do have access to straw bales, so am anxious to try it out in the Spring. Thank you for the wonderful idea!

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    It is easy enough and thank you both for dropping by.

  • Mel-Mel profile image

    Mel-Mel 7 years ago from United States

    What an awesome idea. I will have to try this some time. Thanks for this hub. Sincerely, Melanie

  • myawn profile image

    myawn 7 years ago from Florida

    I'm going to try this too sounds good and easy. I have never heard of it. Thanks for letting me know.

  • Lady Guinevere profile image

    Debra Allen 7 years ago from West By God

    Thanks! I sent this link to my hubby!

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

    Narrowest side up, I have used bales for Halloween and then moved them to the garden worked just fine. Thank you both for dropping by.

  • gracenotes profile image

    gracenotes 7 years ago from North Texas

    I have a straw bale left over from Halloween. I wonder if it is big enough to experiment with. Probably.

    I will watch the video you provided and see if I can make anything out of it. Thank you.

  • Lady Guinevere profile image

    Debra Allen 7 years ago from West By God

    Oh Wow!! I love this idea. Now when you say on the side, which side sticks up?.. The side where the sraw is sticking up or the smooth side. I am going to try this this year--you bet. I have been wanting to get rid of the boarded raised beds that I have because the boards are rotting now and won't be holding up much longer. Straw is cheaper when you have all the ingredients already and are higher so that I don't have to bend down as far!

    Thank you Bob! I always love your ideas.

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