Strawbale Gardening - no weeding, no hoeing, no tilling - 4042.com Forums

Go Back   4042.com Forums > Johnston County, NC > Discussion Group

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 04-18-2007, 08:05 AM   #1
Strawbaleman
Senior Member
 
Strawbaleman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: In God's Hands
Posts: 213
Default Strawbale Gardening - no weeding, no hoeing, no tilling

This will be my 7th year Straw Bale Gardening and I've enclosed a link to my most recent article that describes how to get started.

As you can see, I originally started this thread back in 2007. I've updated this 1st page as time goes by.

Straw Bale Garden Basic Instructions: http://www.carolinacountry.com/index...aw-bale-garden

5/18/09 - WRAL-TV story about my bale garden: http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/5163798/

Face Book fans page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Straw-...9423324?ref=nf

Now is the perfect time to purchase those bales and get your garden going.

Strawbale gardening is great for:

1. Those whose health and physical limitations prevent them from doing traditional "dirt" gardening. My daddy has had several strokes and this is the only way he can garden. I can't tell you how many calls and letters I've received from folks who had given up gardening until they read about this method.

2. Those with limited space in their yard.

3. Those with bad soils.

Here's some additional answers to the most common questions I get:

1. If you have a hard time locating some ammonium nitrate, Southern States carries it. It comes in 40-50 lb bags, so go in together with a friend. It only takes 2.25 cups/bale to help prep the bales and a bag holds about 80+ cups. Check with any agri-supply place, too. If you can't find any ammonium nitrate, then you can use BLOOD MEAL that is readily available at Home Depot, Lowes, etc. Use about 1 cup/bale every other day on days 4, 6, and 8.

NOTE: If you put your bales out at least 3 - 4 weeks before it's time to plant, you can eliminate the need to add any type of nitrogen-rich ingredient to the bales. Actually, the earlier you get your bales out and start watering them down, the better. They'll soften up more and be better to work with.

I haven't used any nitrogen in my pre-prep process in the last 3 years.

Only if you want to plant within 2 weeks after getting your bales do I recommend adding anything to the bales to get them prepared. It won't hurt if you do, just probably an unnecessary step.


2. Wheat straw, oat straw, rye straw, and hay will work. PINE STRAW won't work. Ask the seller if they have any straw that is moldy or old. This is can usually be bought at a discount. Ask any landscaper where they got their straw. Locally, Home Depot had bales for around $4.50 at one time. I purchased 65 oat straw bales from a local farmer for $3/bale. Most places that sell mulch usually carries some wheat straw.

3. Your bales will soon sprout which is no problem. When the wheat/oat/rye sprouts get tall enough to grab, just cut them off with a knife. I call it giving my bales a "haircut". Mushrooms will also pop out which is OK. Just knock the caps off if you don't like them.

4. This year I'm putting my bales with the string sides down and I'm using bales with regular twine, not the plastic. Putting your bales either way works fine and I'm finding that with the strings on the ground, the water doesn't run through the bales nearly as fast, and I like that.

5. One of the biggest differences in bale gardening is the watering. As the bales decompose over time, the straw holds more moisture for a longer period. Just don't let your bales dry out.

6. Great gardening site where we have a Strawbale Garden forum: http://davesgarden.com/community/for...strawbale/all/

There's a small fee to access this particular forum, but the price is well worth it.

Have a great and blessed day.

Kent Rogers
Wake Forest, NC

NOTE: I changed my screen name to "Kent" beginning on Post #93, 8/30/2007.

Last edited by Strawbaleman : 04-27-2013 at 09:23 PM. Reason: Updated page
Strawbaleman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2007, 09:54 AM   #2
Strawbaleman
Senior Member
 
Strawbaleman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: In God's Hands
Posts: 213
Default

Whenever I can get authorization from the Administrator I'll post some pics of my garden. They will add alot in addition to the small photos from the article.

Kent
Strawbaleman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2007, 09:58 AM   #3
KDsGrandma
Senior Member
 
KDsGrandma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Clayton
Posts: 10,570
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Strawbaleman View Post
Whenever I can get authorization from the Administrator I'll post some pics of my garden. They will add alot in addition to the small photos from the article.

Kent
You can get an account with photobucket and post pictures that way. I have heard of this gardening method, but have never seen it in practice.

Pat
KDsGrandma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2007, 10:07 AM   #4
ready2cmyKing
Senior Member
 
ready2cmyKing's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Far from home
Posts: 7,821
Default

Never heard of strawbale gardening before... thanks for the info!!
ready2cmyKing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2007, 10:17 AM   #5
Strawbaleman
Senior Member
 
Strawbaleman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: In God's Hands
Posts: 213
Default

Thanks, KDsGrandma, but I'd rather just post straight to the thread like I do at www.davesgarden.com, which is IMHO the best gardening website around. According to the posting rules at the bottom of my page it says I can't post images/attachments until I get permission. I sent a request in and I'm waiting for that to go through.

KR

P.S. - dated 4/23/07 - I subsequently found out that Photobucket is a breeze to use. I love it! Thanks KDsGrandma for initially suggesting it and for the others in the PC Help forum that fine-tuned my questions for me.

Kent

Last edited by Strawbaleman : 04-23-2007 at 10:12 PM.
Strawbaleman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2007, 10:30 AM   #6
Strawbaleman
Senior Member
 
Strawbaleman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: In God's Hands
Posts: 213
Default



My bale garden set up for this year; about 65 bales.

3 rows on the left are for tomatoes. A trellis is alot better than staking.

2 double rows for cukes, yellow squash, and zucchini

The brown single row is my potato row. I'm using some old straw from my double row of cukes last year. The potatoes are coming up nicely.

Kent

Last edited by Strawbaleman : 04-19-2007 at 10:32 AM.
Strawbaleman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2007, 10:34 AM   #7
ready2cmyKing
Senior Member
 
ready2cmyKing's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Far from home
Posts: 7,821
Default

I can't wait to try this! I'll have less than half your number of bales though. Thanks for all the info!
ready2cmyKing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2007, 10:36 AM   #8
Strawbaleman
Senior Member
 
Strawbaleman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: In God's Hands
Posts: 213
Default



Tomatoes

I recommend a 4x4 post, 10 ft long. Put the post 2 ft in the ground. I used concrete reinforcing wire for my trellis. It's 5 ft wide and has 6 inch squares so you can pull through from either side. Dog wire, hog wire, etc will also work.

You'll notice that left pole leaning some. I only had it about 18 inches in the ground. My property is in a low ground area that holds alot of water.

I recommend no more than 4 bales between spans.

Last edited by Strawbaleman : 04-19-2007 at 10:38 AM.
Strawbaleman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2007, 10:40 AM   #9
CrzyForBaseball
Senior Member
 
CrzyForBaseball's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 243
Default

We are doing a small version of this this year in addition to our regular garden. (Still need the big garden for our corn) Thanks for the links... good additional info to add what i had already found.

Last edited by CrzyForBaseball : 04-20-2007 at 06:13 AM.
CrzyForBaseball is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2007, 10:41 AM   #10
Strawbaleman
Senior Member
 
Strawbaleman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: In God's Hands
Posts: 213
Default



Cukes and squash in a double row. The double row gives you a nice little table top for the cukes to run on and then they'll drape over the sides.

I put newspaper around the bales for the cukes to run on to prevent grass from growing up in the vines. I hate a messy looking garden.

You can use landscaping cloth if you prefer.

Put about 3 sets of cukes/bale.

Put 2 sets of squash/bale.
Strawbaleman is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd. 4042.com
4042.com Covers all of Johnston County, NC!

Our areas of interest include Clayton NC, Smithfield NC, Benson NC, Four Oaks NC, and Selma NC.