Winter gardening in straw bale beds
After arranging several straw bale with two on each side and one in between each end, I then put a foot deep layer of composted manure on the bottom. I was really amazed to see just haw quickly all of my winter vegetables such as onion seed, lettuces, carrots, radishes, leek seed, and many other hardier varieties had already begun very nice sprouts. Today, I covered them all with sheets of heavy plastic , held in place with a rope around the plastic that draped down to the sides...both holding down the plastic and holding the bales firmly together. Outside I planted may brassicas that I will cover with manure by Friday. Meanwhile, I have many ground level beds of potatoes of every desrcription, onion plants, and onion and shallot bulb sets covered with a foot of hay and a covering of manure and compost. Friday nights low will hit about 29 in Cartersville, so this will be a real test of both methods. My thought, if this works, is to use the same bale system to build hotbeds of a deep layer af fresh manure and compost covered by a six inch layer of hay and then laying the seedtrays on top prior to covering with plastic. Should be interesting.