One of my favorite ways to garden is in bales of straw. It’s easy to do, has little clean-up, and, zero weeds. If you are new to this fun way of growing your vegetables, then this article on what is straw bale gardening will give you an overview.
Gardening 101 that includes growing your veggies and herbs in bales of straw right outside your kitchen door.
Homesteading is becoming an increasingly popular trend in modern-day life, with people looking to be more self-reliant and eco-friendly. One of the biggest challenges for homesteaders living in the city or with physical limitations is finding suitable ways to grow their vegetables, fruits, and herbs. Luckily, there is a simple solution that everyone can try – straw bale gardening.
I started my very first straw bale garden 4 years ago and it quickly became my preferred way to grow our herbs and vegetables. The older I get the more quickly my back begins to ache and using bales allows me to lift my garden up so I am bending over less. But, let’s back up and talk about what straw bale gardening is so you can decide if this unique approach will work for you.
What is straw bale gardening?
Straw bale gardening is a unique way to grow plants by using straw bales as containers for soil and seeds. This method requires minimal space, time, and effort, making it an excellent option for urban homesteaders. The best part might be the fact that there is no weeding allowing you to enjoy gardening without this often annoying chore.
Before you start planting, there are a few things to know about this fun and easy way to garden.
How to Set Up a Straw Bale Garden
Straw bale gardening is a low-maintenance technique that requires minimal effort making it a perfect option for homesteaders with busy schedules or physical limitations. To start a straw bale garden, you’ll need to purchase a few bales of straw and prep the interior by composting it down making it a better medium for growing roots.
You will want to use a recipe of water, fertilizer, and rest for a period of 2 weeks checking the progress to be sure you are on track.
What pests can infest straw bales?
Pests that can infest straw bales include snails, slugs, grubs, and mites. To prevent pests from taking hold in your garden, inspecting straw bales for signs of infestation before planting is important. Additionally, beneficial insects such as ladybugs can help prevent pest populations from becoming overwhelming.
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REASONS WE LOVE GARDENING IN BALES
#1. Easy to Prep
Since the straw bales act as a self-contained gardening system, there is no need to dig or till the soil. The bales provide an ideal bedding for plants to grow, and the straw helps retain moisture, allowing the plants to grow without any fuss.
#2. Saves Space
Straw bale gardening is also an excellent solution for urban homesteaders who have limited space. Since the bales can be vertically arranged, it is possible to grow plants in tight spaces such as balconies, patios, and rooftops. Straw bale gardening can also help homesteaders who don’t have access to traditional garden beds due to soil issues or lack of sunlight.
How often should I water my straw bale garden?
Depending on the climate and plant variety, straw bales should be watered once or twice a day during the hottest times of the year. During cooler months, watering may only be necessary once or twice weekly. It is important to monitor your plants for signs of thirst, such as wilting leaves, and adjust your watering schedule accordingly.
Straw bale gardening can save money on gardening supplies such as mulch, planters, and soil amendments. Straw bales can be found at your local garden center, farm supply store, or feed store, and they are relatively inexpensive compared to traditional raised beds. You only need to purchase seeds, seedlings, and soil to start your garden.
#4. Accessible to All Ages and Abilities
Straw bale gardening is a great option for seniors and those with physical limitations who may have difficulty bending down to tend to a traditional garden. Since the plants are elevated, it is much easier to access and care for them. Additionally, the maintenance required is minimal, so it is an accessible option for those who may have limitations on their physical activities.
#5. Easy cleanup
Straw bale gardening is easy to clean up because the bales can be put directly into your compost area. Be sure to remove the bale twine first, and you are good to go. Easy cleanup is another amazing reason I love this method so much.
Straw bale gardening is a smart solution for urban homesteaders, seniors, and people with physical limitations who want to grow their food. This technique is easy to set up and maintain, saves space, is cost-effective, accessible to all ages, and is eco-friendly. With just a few simple supplies, including straw bales, soil, and seeds, you can start your straw bale garden today.
Whether you are an experienced gardener or just starting, straw bale gardening is a great way to grow fresh, delicious vegetables, fruits, and herbs while enjoying the benefits of being self-reliant and environment-friendly.