Straw bale garden

pathfinder81601(z8SC)May 5, 2013

Has anyone here tried straw bale gardening? I just discovered it online recently and decided to give it a try. It looks a bit messy, but it should look better when the plants spill over the straw. Will post more photos as it grows.

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Be aware that if we have one of those 'No rain for three months' summers you'll be spending a lot of time keeping your straw bale garden happy. A lot of plants really like a lot of air around their roots and they like to dry out between watering, which is why straw bale gardens work so well. But, if we have a wet year, they rot down into compost way too fast. If we have a dry year, you have to water them three times a day.

good luck

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 1:12PM
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Thanks for the heads up and encouragement. I have a drip hose on a timer and a tarp to cover it up. Also, the blessing of the LORD is on me and my garden, so I am expecting good success. Thanks again. Billie

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 4:28PM
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Ralph Whisnant(z7b-8 NC)

I plan to try using some straw bales this year in part because of the difficulty of growing tomatoes in my garden soil. I just got a copy of Joel Karsten's book "Straw Bale Gardens" for $19.99 @ Barnes & Noble.. (His website is

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 11:50PM
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Thanks, ralphw, for your comment. Let us know how things progress with your garden. I live in an area which was once a walnut grove, so the soil here is not the best for tomatoes. I have had pretty good success with other plants, but not tomatoes. I read that tomatoes get off to a good start in the straw bales because they warm up sooner than the soil, so that is good news. Thanks again for sharing! Billie

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 7:34AM
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well duh, now I know why mine did not do well...I did not water three times a day. I watered once a day at 5PM. Only thing that grew was my squash and then the deer ate it. Everything else died. It was a total disaster for me.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 11:40PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

msjay2u Watering once every few days is fine. The amount of time that you water is the problem.

A long slow, deep watering is the key whether using straw bales pots or plain old dirt.

Many people go out with the hose and spray whatever they are growing until they see a little water start to puddle and move on. Or they turn on their soaker hose for 30 minutes every day or so.

You aren't getting the water where it needs to be! It has to slowly soak in so that it gets deep in the medium.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 1:11PM
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