Straw bale gardening is simply gardening using straw bales. Instead of using pots or beds, the straw itself is the container. The reason that this gardening technique has become so popular is because it’s a natural way to garden and much less expensive than traditional gardening.
This type of gardening can be used in any type of soil because the straw bale is what provides the growing environment for whatever it is that you’re planting. It also doesn’t matter if you live in a colder area – you can still successfully use straw bale gardening.
Straw Bales Decompose Over Time
That’s because the straw bales will decompose as time progresses. During this decomposition period, the straw is heating just like with a regular compost pile. This process is what makes straw bale gardening better for growing whatever it is that you planted, even if it’s cold out.
There are many benefits when you use this type of gardening. One of them is that you don’t have to have the right kind of soil during any part of the gardening process. The bale itself is the soil for the plants.
Because of the way the straw bale decomposes, you can start your planting season earlier and extend it beyond traditional gardening seasons. Another benefit is that you can create this kind of garden in any design layout.
Plus, since the straw bales are already put together, you won’t have to create anything for the plants to grow in. It’s the perfect type of gardening for people who have a lot of yard to use as well as for people who live in an apartment.
You can put a straw bale on your porch or patio. You won’t need to spend a lot of back-breaking time weeding soil since the straw is the soil. You do need to make sure that you use the correct kind of straw.
Avoid straw that’s rough or loose because this kind doesn’t compost easily. Don’t use hay bales. This is not straw bale gardening. Choose a grain straw such as wheat or barley.
You can find success with straw bale gardening by making sure that you position your bales for the type of sunlight the plants need. Put the plants that need sunlight in bales that are situated where they’ll receive light.
You can put your bales on brick, concrete or directly on the ground. But if you put the bale on the ground, you’ll need to lay some type of barrier such as gardening fabric but in a pinch, you can also use cardboard.
Because the bales compost, you’ll need to water it often or use a watering system. When the temperature is hot outside, you’ll also have to use more water. If you decide that you want to put the straw bale on any type of wooden structure as the base, you’ll have to use a base for the bale such as outdoor wood. You’ll also need to be sure that the water has a way to escape so it doesn’t destroy the crop or the wood.