Straw bale gardening is a new and progressive way of keeping healthy gardens. The technique involves pushing several large and tightly wound bales of hay together and planting the garden inside these bales. People have turned to this method if they don’t have enough soil in their gardens or if their drainage systems are subpar. There are many reasons to choose straw bale gardening and, the best part is that, they’re very easy to put together.
No Need for Soil
As mentioned above, straw bale gardening is great for those who don’t have enough soil in their gardens or yards. The straw serves as the food for the plants, so there’s no need for soil. However, one of the greatest benefits of straw bale gardening is that it doesn’t require bending over, which can become painful after extended periods of times. This is why this type of gardening is perfect for those who suffer from back or knee pain.
Reduces Weeds and Pests
Unlike in soil, weeds don’t do well in straw. While there may be the stray weed every now and then, for the most part, these bales will grow without the typical weed infestations. And, because they’re further off the ground, pests don’t get to them as easily. This minimizes the need for pest control in the straw bale garden. This is a huge deal for those who like to grow organic gardens. Organic gardeners will also be happy to know that they don’t need as much fertilizers as soil gardens. Because the straw decomposes as the garden is growing, it creates a type of mulch that naturally gives nutrients to the plants.
Straw Bale Gardening: Option #1
Starting a straw bale garden is pretty easy, too. First, an area needs to be decided on. It should be somewhere with lots of light and plenty of breeze. The bales should be placed in the shape that the gardener desires so that it can be accessed easily from all areas. The bales will need to be conditioned first. Conditioning means the bales should be watered several times a day for about six days. This will get the straw breaking down, creating the nutrients that the plants will need in the future. After about a week, a little bit of soil can be added to the tops of the straw, and the plants can be placed in this soil.
Straw Bale Gardening: Option #2
For those who don’t want to use any soil at all, there is another method. Just like the first one, the bales need to be conditioned. Instead of planting with soil after a week, around day six, a little ammonium nitrate needs to be added to the watering process. A little less of the ammonium mixture should be used daily for another four days. After a week and a half, a little bit of natural fertilizer can be added to the bales. Then, the plants can be placed directly into the straw.
Straw bale gardening is a great way for gardeners to save money on soil, fertilizer, and even water since most of the water stays in the bale and isn’t wasted. Most importantly, it’s a great way to garden without hurting the back, neck, or knees.