Planting – Straw Bales

This week, in hopes of purchasing some straw bales, my sister and I drove in her flatbed truck to a local feed store. The price was right, about six dollars a bale; I bought four. I plan to grow tomatoes in the bales.

IMG_5528

Please excuse the quality of this photograph. I realized before I published this blog post I had forgotten to take an accompanying photograph…so…long story short…ran outside in the dawn hours, tried not to slip on the rain-soaked grass, and took this photo. πŸ™‚

Instead of placing the bales on newspaper, we opted to use wooden palettes to keep them off of the ground. The palettes add a little extra height. I’m thinking of growing the tomatoes without support, letting them cascade instead over the straw.

Growing Vegetables in Straw Bales

I would love to hear from anyone who is trying this gardening technique. We can compare notes!

20 thoughts on “Planting – Straw Bales

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  5. Mary Bigger

    At our first house near Sea Tac airport, I grew potatoes in straw. Rather than bales, I kept piling the straw around the growing plants. I had a great harvest, and it was fun reaching in and picking the potatoes without disturbing the plants. What was not fun was having to wear rubber gloves because the slugs loved the wet straw and the easy access to the potatoes too!

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    1. Hi Mary, Thanks for the terrific tip. I didn’t know that the slugs would be drawn to the straw. I have the bales on palettes, perhaps that will help, I can also crush eggshells and seashells and make a border around the palettes. It’s good to know in advance what problems might present themselves. Thanks for the heads up and the encouragement. I might try potatoes one day. πŸ˜€

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    1. Hi Susie, After wetting the bales, fertilizing and letting them cool down, they begin to decompose, I will create two holes in each and add dirt, almost like a self-contained pot inside the hay. As the season progresses, the straw should continue to decompose and become dirt/soil as the tomatoes grow. I have read you can grow many vegetables in this way. I’m excited about trying something new in the garden. I’ll update through the growing season. Thanks for visiting and the comment. It’s appreciated! πŸ˜€

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