So, call us crazy, but we are attempting something new this year by way of gardening. We had originally decided that there would be NO garden this year, simply because weeds have overtaken the area, and we felt we should take a year to "spray" them away so that next year we could have more success with our garden. However, one day while I was on Facebook, a mini-ad popped up, with a brief description about something called Straw Bale Gardening . . . well, curiosity got the better of me, and, while I didn't buy the book that the ad was wanting me to purchase, I decided to do some on-line research on this phenomenon of straw bale gardening.
The appeal to me was this:
1. Very little weeding involved . . . possibly NO weeding involved. And for those of you who know me, weeding my garden is a problem for me. I don't do it. Therefore, my garden turns into a big garden of weeds instead of vegetables. That is what my garden has basically consisted of for the past two years: weeds. But a garden with no weeds? That immediately grabbed my attention!
2. Less bending down to tend to your garden. I'm not that old. Yet. However, I can see the benefit of this concept as well. Why bend over or down if you don't have to?
3. The use of bales. Back in fall I suggested to my husband that we should make Pepper, our outside dog, a straw bale house for the winter. We required about 25 square, straw bales . . . someone he works with happens to be one of the few farmers around here that produces square bales, so we bought about 25 bales for $25.00. We built Pepper her "house", and guess what? She never used it. Come spring, she decided to start destroying her "house" and now we have straw all over the yard! It's hard to get rid of! She actually only destroyed one bale, so we had lots left to work with. Some have been turned into the backstop for an archery/shooting range . . . the rest have become mine to do with as I please. And, well, I pleased to turn them into a garden.
4. Decomposing bales are apparently going to be good for the garden soil next year. This is great news for us, because our garden's soil isn't the greatest. Now we'll have a way to re-build our existing garden, using the composted bales and try to turn our garden soil into something that might be more productive.
5. Higher yields. Apparently straw bale gardens are fantastic at providing optimum growing conditions, thereby producing higher yields. Of course that is appealing to me as well. But, the jury is still out on that one.
Now, on with my pictures. Before I go on, I must advise that if you really want to try this out for yourself, you should Google the topic first, because as of yet I have no proven results or my own success story. This is just an experiment of sorts.
*I'll talk about the straw potatoes at the end of the post.
STRAW BALE GARDEN