"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Farm to Table > Culinary Gardener
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-08-2009, 11:57 PM   #11
Sous Chef
 
CasperImproved's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Michigan
Posts: 681
I haven't heard anyone mention the use of straw bales in raised bed gardening. I am considering doing this if not this year, maybe next. Here's a couple of URLs:

http://www.beginner-gardening.com/straw-bale-gardening.html

How to Grow a Straw Bale Garden

Accessible Gardening: Straw bale gardening: no weeding, no hoeing, no tilling

Straw Bale Gardening - a knol by Thomas Andrews

Bob
__________________

__________________
If eating tasty stuff is a sin, I am certainly going south.
CasperImproved is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2009, 07:35 AM   #12
Master Chef
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Culpeper, VA
Posts: 5,806
I've been thinking of trying this, since I at the moment do have a fair number of bales of hay & straw that aren't fit to use for my horses. What's nice about it is the fact that the bales eventually compost down & can then be incorporated into the garden soil. I've known several people who've done this successfully, & will say that sites that recommend the ammonium nitrate route should be avoided. There's no reason to bother with that - completely unnecessary. Just part the straw/hay, add a scoop or two of potting soil or compost, & plant or seed.

The infamous Eliot Coleman & his wife Barbara Damrosch also recommend making impromptu cold frames using hay &/or straw bales topped with old salvaged glass doors or windows, but I can't help but feel that would just attract mice/voles/chipmunks, etc., etc. to the warmth + the veggie seedling buffet.
__________________

__________________
BreezyCooking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2009, 10:53 PM   #13
Chef Extraordinaire
 
babetoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: escondido, calif. near san diego
Posts: 14,349
don't even have room for these. doing vegs in pots, went sun for soil, gravel, plants and seeds. anxious to get started. gonna drill holes in pots tomorrow. had to go to dr. today. also trying the up side down tomato planter and got plants for those. we each do what we can i guess
__________________
"life isn't about how to survive the storm but how to dance in the rain"
babetoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2009, 01:20 PM   #14
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Katie H's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: I live in the Heartland of the United States - Western Kentucky
Posts: 15,167
We have trouble here with bunnies eating our goodies and Buck was going to build this for me. Unfortunately he's gone so I guess I won't get my raised bed.
__________________
"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!
Katie H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2009, 06:49 PM   #15
Assistant Cook
 
ashwinsmommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Kent, WA (from Ontario Canada though!)
Posts: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef Munky View Post
Uncle Buck?

Where would one find RR ties? Are they expensive?

Thanks

Munky.
Hi Munky - I haven't had a chance to read the thread yet, but the landlord here dropped off some ties the other day but a good friend of ours said don't use them as they have creosote on them and it is very poisonous!

Tara
__________________
Please check out my "other" job as the Seattle Job writer for the Examiner.com :)
ashwinsmommy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2009, 10:49 PM   #16
Sous Chef
 
CasperImproved's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Michigan
Posts: 681
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie E View Post
We have trouble here with bunnies eating our goodies and Buck was going to build this for me. Unfortunately he's gone so I guess I won't get my raised bed.

Hi Katie - I have ten acres, but don' t have a garden in the traditional sense. I have way too many deer, rabbits, raccoons, ground hogs, crows, etc., to successfully grow a garden unless I'm home 100% of the time. I know. I've tried all the tricks to keep the wildlife out of the veggies, but they are more persistent then I am.

Once there was a raccoon that took a single bite out of each green tomato I was growing (six separate plants, and about 60 fruit at the time). That convinced me that unless I were to become a farmer, that a garden was near impossible to grow in my area.

I did purchase a couple of planters to grow tomatoes in (this year) that will be extremely close to the house, or I would not even bother with those. As it is, the deer are near my sun room (within two foot or so) daily. They are even trying to lick the bird food out of the feeders I have that are around 65" off the ground

The "straw" (not hay) option is an easy way of having a "raised" garden. I'd be willing to bet this would be a project you could excel at. I assume you like your veggies as fresh as I do, which need the dirt rinsed off :-)

I hope you give it a try...

Bob
__________________
If eating tasty stuff is a sin, I am certainly going south.
CasperImproved is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2009, 08:31 AM   #17
Master Chef
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Culpeper, VA
Posts: 5,806
The two biggest problems for some that I foresee in trying the hay/straw bale method are going to be 1) protection & 2) water.

I usually protect most of my crops with floating row covers, & weighting down the edges, as well as the extra amount of material required to cover the bales, might prove difficult.

As far as water, the one common denominator in any treatise on straw-bale gardening is that they require a LOT of water, because the bales naturally drain super well & super fast. Daily or sometimes twice-daily watering can easily be necessary, & if you live in an area that suffers from summer drought, have city water & the possibility of being under water restrictions, you could end up just watching your garden dry up. As far as that go, my water comes from my own very deep well, so the watering doesn't bother me as much as the row cover puzzle.
__________________
BreezyCooking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2009, 04:53 PM   #18
Honey Badger
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,287
Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwinsmommy View Post
Hi Munky - I haven't had a chance to read the thread yet, but the landlord here dropped off some ties the other day but a good friend of ours said don't use them as they have creosote on them and it is very poisonous!

Tara
Thank you.I'll scratch that idea.


Munky.
__________________
If your with me that's great. If not. Get out of my way.
Chef Munky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2009, 04:21 PM   #19
Sous Chef
 
CasperImproved's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Michigan
Posts: 681
Quote:
Originally Posted by BreezyCooking View Post
The two biggest problems for some that I foresee in trying the hay/straw bale method are going to be 1) protection & 2) water.

I usually protect most of my crops with floating row covers, & weighting down the edges, as well as the extra amount of material required to cover the bales, might prove difficult.

As far as water, the one common denominator in any treatise on straw-bale gardening is that they require a LOT of water, because the bales naturally drain super well & super fast. Daily or sometimes twice-daily watering can easily be necessary, & if you live in an area that suffers from summer drought, have city water & the possibility of being under water restrictions, you could end up just watching your garden dry up. As far as that go, my water comes from my own very deep well, so the watering doesn't bother me as much as the row cover puzzle.
Hi BC -

Not sure there are issues that can't be gotten around here.

I obviously don't have experience using the bale methodology in growing a raised bed garden. I was looking into it as a possible way for me to give it the "lazy man's" way of doing it (no hard labor cultivating, etc.) plus, most of the critters that pepper, urine, pie plates, etc., don't discourage, this may confuse them enough I may be able to harvest some of the product before they ruin the plants.

But in the research I have done, I did not see a reference to a problem watering. I believe that once you've watered the bales of *straw* a number of times before planting time, that the composting process is engaged and watering is not the issue it could be otherwise. I can't qualify that with an arid area such as Arizona as all of the writers seem to be in areas that promote growth of plants without watering being an issue. BTW, only straw was recommended.

On the covering of the new plants, couldn't you put a stick/short pole on each corner of the bale(s), and just throw some burlap over them? I did not read of a late frost issue, so I am wondering if the fact they are up and off the ground makes a difference.

In any case, the subject deserves further research. I just didn't have time this season. This year, just doing tomatoes in planters very close to the south side of the house.

Regards,

Bob
__________________
If eating tasty stuff is a sin, I am certainly going south.
CasperImproved is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2009, 04:26 PM   #20
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Katie H's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: I live in the Heartland of the United States - Western Kentucky
Posts: 15,167
I did hay bale gardening last year and didn't have any problem with loss of water. There's a specific way to prepare the bales before planting, which begins their decomposition. I have the instructions but can't post them due to copyright issues but, if you want, PM me and I'll get them to you.
__________________

__________________
"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!
Katie H is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

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

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:11 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.