Sunday, June 7, 2009

Straw bale gardens

After getting some detailed instructions I decided to experiment with some straw bale gardens in order to bypass having to break up any more sod. Even though our front yard was tilled early this Spring the silt soil managed to stitch itself back together into a rock like substance that seems more suitable for a parking lot than growing anything. The exceptions to that are the areas that we covered with 12-16 inches of wood chips, manure, and anything we could steal from our neighbor's garden waste bins three years ago. That soil is now loose, deep, and fertile. It holds water and grows enormous fruitful plants.

You can see instructions for straw bale gardening at our discussion group Pictures can be seen by clicking on the photos at the top of the blog.


  1. you mentioned adding nitrogen to the bale to start or finish fermentation? Why is that?

  2. Initially the bacteria and molds that breakdown the raw ingredients into "compost" need nitrogen to grow. Making compost requires balanced carbon to nitrogen in order to sustain the organisms that break down organic matter. Feeding the straw or hay bales nitrogen converts it from wood into a living "soil" suitable for growing plants.

  3. The straw bales are now getting planted. They're still a little hot, about 100 degrees but not too hot to plant. Go to the album at the top of the page and check it out.