Sunday, July 1, 2007

What can you do with hay bales?

After reading an article in The Daily Dirt, gardening news, I was struck by the beauty of this idea. Planting your garden in hay bales. I'm sure you could buy last years bales cheaply from any number of farmers. The thought of a strawberry pyramid built of hay bales is the best thing I could think of...fertilizer, the necessary control of where the vines will re-attach themselves and all that. It could be a real boost to the weeding and care process.

"Hay bale vegetable gardening is a technique that was developed by a vegetable crop specialist at the University of Florida. It may sound odd but vegetable gardening in hay bales really works. Wheat straw bales are better than hay because they tend to have fewer weed seeds than hay bales and alfalfa and mixed grass bales also work well." Heleigh Bostwick, of The Daily Dirt says.

The author of the article recommends if you must use new bales that you soak them for three days in a row, then layer fertilizer over them for 3 or 4 days and let them sit for three more days, then dig a hole in them to put your plants. She says any plant could grow this way with the exception of root crops and tall ones like corn (because they would become top heavy and tip over). Can you see the posibilities - Step gardens where there is not enough horizontal may have to tend them with a step ladder - but at least you could grow produce. I'm seeing pictures of a tower of vegetables...What an amazing idea.

I see a circle of bales with poles in the center where you plant pole beans and train them toward the poles - wouldn't that be a spectacular center for other vegetables such as pumpkins or cucumbers growing below them?

I hope you will try it out. I intend to as my strawberries are out of control in my flower and vegetable garden areas.

Happy Gardening.


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