A New Thing

The straw bale gardening saga continues…

Last week, I managed to move all thirty straw bales into the raised beds where I want to try this experimental gardening technique. It wasn’t a hard job. Since straw is in short supply this year, the bales were smaller and lighter. That was great!

The bad news is that they didn’t cover as much area as I had hoped. I was only able to fill three full 4×8 raised beds and one-half of two raised beds. The bales have to be placed on their sides, so they took up less space.

Straw bale gardening.

Straw bale gardening.

Another view.

Another view.

Just because of the way the bales stacked in the beds, I ended up with a corner that no bale would fit. I am saving these areas for planting flowers to add visual interest. I used re-bar and plumbing PVC hoops to hold the bales in place and separate them into planting sections.

I began the conditioning process. I am using regular lawn fertilizer (not herbicidal), to get the bales heated up fast. I emptied out a canister of black pepper in the garden to keep the cat out of the raised beds without straw. It came in handy for sprinkling the fertilizer on the bales. Day 1-9 of the conditioning process includes 1/2 cup of fertilizer sprinkled per bale alternating each day with “watering to saturation”.

Lawn fertilizer and empty pepper container for applying the fertilizer.

Lawn fertilizer and empty pepper container for applying the fertilizer.

Fertilized straw bale.

Fertilized straw bale.

I am on day five which requires 1/2 cup of fertilizer per bale. It is pouring rain at the moment, so that might have to wait.

Since I used one of my beds that I intended to turn into an herb bed, I switched to using big pots for my herbs.

Herb pot beginnings with rosemary in place.

Herb pot beginnings with rosemary in place.

Even though I didn’t have as many bale-filled beds as I would like, I am very excited to get them conditioned and planted. It is always fun to try something new in the garden:)

Are you trying anything new this year?

“A new commandment I give unto you. That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”  John 13:34




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