I still get a mushroom or 30 in my straw-bale gardens from time to time, but overall, I am really pleased with how they are growing. The four tomato plants I put in two of the bales are getting tall and sturdy. The zinnia seeds I spread across another two bales have all germinated and are putting out leaves, and the potatoes planted in the last bale are growing so tall I’m trying to figure out a way to add more soil around them, so I can get more potatoes.
It probably helps that the bales are watered every day (or at least every other) and that, per the instructions, I poured a weak solution of diluted fish emulsion over all the bales for fertilizer a couple of weeks ago. While I’m not thrilled by the appearance of the bales (and, just to tease you a bit, there will be a great article on how to improve their appearance in the July/August issue of Northern Gardener), I love their productivity. The rabbits haven’t figured out how to get up on them, either. So, go bales!
How are your straw-bale gardens growing?
Cliff in NH says
instead of straw bales, I used 1″ square plastic fencing 40inches x 25 feet, both with and without landscape cloth liners
5’5″ of fence for 2 20 inch high “barrels” half good fill dirt/compost and half pre fertilized garden soil (1 2cu ft bag each)
the tomatoes planted in these are doing great! everything else ig going into the same style pots – raised beds – whatever, only for the vegis they only get 1/3 of 40inches each. so, 15 pots instead of 10 per 25 ft roll of fencing
tip: join/make the ‘barrels’ by weaving a stake through every other hole in the fence
Love to hear your Straw bales are doing good!!! Mine are also doing quite well 🙂 I have 4 tomato plants with green tomatoes (and one turning red). I have 9 green bean plants, 6 cucumber and 4 green bell pepper plants and they are all producing (still early but getting very close to all those great fresh veggies!) I have to say this was my first year of straw bale gardening but I love it. I don’t have problems with rabbits, etc (only spiders!) I have even convinced the non-believers who made fun of me in the spring. haha. Happy gardening!
Mary Schier says
Beth — Thanks for letting me know how your bales are doing. I need to update folks again, as the bales are mostly doing great. I will probably continue using this method for veggies, too.