mom. Organic Gardening. September 04th , 2017.
Straw bale gardening could become a better alternative for home gardeners. This method is preferred by people who have poor soil on their hand or those who meet difficulty to kneel down to work on their garden. The plants are planted atop of the bale and could be staked. You could use either straw bales or hay bales, each has its own benefits. The local availability and price off course differ, but you could use bales from yester year which are less expensive. One thing should kept in mind, to guarantee wholly organic produce, organic seeds should only be planted in herbicide and pesticide free bales.
In straw bale gardening, you could placed organic seeds straight into the bales, with seedlings are more easy to handle. Make a small pocket on the bale and fill it with rich and moist soil. Then plant organic seeds or seedlings or in that hole. Read the detailed steps below to get the best results.
•You could choose either hay or straw bales. Straw possesses less seeds and many prefer it because of this reason. The choice ranges from oats, barley, corn stalks, wheat and rye. Hay bales may possess more seeds, but they give more nutrition to the plants. Also, the bales may already have sufficient nitrogen to grow plants.
•Before you start to plant organic seeds, first you find a spot to place your bales where they will stay there for the next season, and then you start to condition them. The most preferred method of bale conditioning is to soak them for three days. After that, add blood meal, fish oil, or some other organic fertilizer you have for five days. Use only small quantities and don’t stop watering. This will create a continuous heat process that will last for another 2-3 days. After the temperature of the bales have cooled down (a few less than human body temperature) they’re ready to be used for planting. At this stage, you could plant either seedlings or organic seeds into the pockets.
•You could place egg shells, potato peelings, or other organic kitchen compost atop of the bales. They will break down throughout the growing season to feed the juvenile plants.
•Organic seeds and heirloom seeds can be planted in pockets as well as in potting mixture and compost positioned on the top of the bales. Surface planting requires watering more frequently until the roots growth down into the moist areas.
•Tomato plants require stakes support or if not, you can let them to sprawl out on the surface. If you use this method, watch for areas which may get rot.
•Whether you choose hay or straw medium, you might need organic fertilizers. Make sure the bales always well moistened all the way through the growing season.
Organic straw bale gardening will give you a pretty garden. You can use the bale garden as a border around your traditional garden or even as a replacement for it. This will work very well for a garden with limited space or for people who have difficulty to kneel down to work. For these unfortunate people, they could use a lightweight chair to sit on while they weed and tend the plants. The bales will gradually break down and will improve the soil underneath.
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