So, you finally moved from that congested condo you have live in for the last decade and you are really looking forward to the fun of owning your own backyard. After settling into your new house, you walk down to the convenient store and buy a couple of tools determined to convert a part of your backyard into a lavish garden. You no longer want to rely on the grocer or air freshener to either keep your pantry stocked or to keep the entire compound smelling fresh.
On getting back to your backyard, the first few shovel hits lower your morale. Instead of highly fertile soils ready for your plants, all you find is a stony surface full of glass shards and concrete bits. The best you could do with this is planting some grass and hopping it would work well. But this is not what you had in mind. You wanted an elaborate garden that would let you plant ‘real’ plants. You have the option of using raised garden beds, but getting the soil is costly. Straw bale gardening sounds like a better way out.
Straw bale gardening
This is a different type of container gardening only that the container is the straw bale itself held together with two or three strings. The outside crust of the bale serves as the container. The moment the inside part of the straw begins to decompose it is considered conditioned and ready to plant. The condition is a step by step process, which creates, and extraordinary moist, warm, productive and nutrient rich rooting environment that is excellent for young seedlings.
This means that one of the essential parts of the process is getting the straw bales conditioned and should be done two weeks prior to the expected planting date. The planting date varies from one region to another depending with where you are in the world. One thing that works rough is that this planting technique can be used throughout the year, anywhere in the world regardless of the season.
Most people want to know if they can garden this way where they live. The shortest answer to this question is yes. The straw bale gardening technique is excellent for regions in the arctic to the Caribbean as long as you can straw bales or a similar bale of tightly compressed organic materials. The method needs you to replace existing soil container with conditioned compost as media for growing plants. You do not need to use any special tools or have any special gardening knowledge.
Why choose straw bale gardening
Growing a successful kitchen vegetable garden is already difficult with terrific soils to plant your garden into but doing so in poor soils makes the process almost impossible. The good thing with straw bale gardening is that anyone interested in growing a vegetable garden is free to do so even if they have the poorest soils around. You can grow a great garden in a less labor-intensive environment and reap many products.
The raised height of straw bale gardens makes it easy for individuals with back problems or those who cannot bend as required in gardening practices that need you to turn soil as well as when harvesting. A good example of how easy this can get is when harvesting potatoes all you need to do is knock over the straw bale and pick the potatoes up.
With straw bale gardening, weeding also becomes outdated, as no weeds exists in these gardens. You do not have to spend money on buying containers, raised beds or buying gardening special mixes when you decide to use this technique. Minimal maintenance practices results in maximum benefits because the production will always be high. The moment you try straw bale gardening you will have a transformation on what you considered as the best gardening practices. What is more, these gardens allow you grow all types of vegetables, flowers and herbs as long as you think it is helpful to you.
Who is it suitable for?
Are you an urban gardener that seems not to find enough space to grow a tomato plant or two because of lack of space or poor soils that you can hardly hold any water? Is your situation such that you cannot dig up a large area on the ground to prepare soil for gardening? It does not matter what reasons hold you back from enjoying a favorite crop harvest that can save you dollars spent on groceries and earn you extra cash when you sell the excess. Straw bale gardening is the perfect solution for such a farmer not to mention the convenience of not having to bend, deal with weeds and enjoy a mud free organic farming. You need to be ready to start.
You may be wondering what is the perfect spot to start your garden when the parking seems to be where most light is present. Even though this space seems excellent passing animals and poor soils could make it less desirable. This can be resolved by opting for straw bales. If beauty is your concern, you can decide to plant many colorful lettuce varieties, squash and pumpkin vines, which will spill a few plants over to the side. This is a site that you can never get enough of because of its natural beauty.