Garden of the Day (Owner Submitted)

The owner writes:

“My garden is outside the city but it’s planted in straw bales, which can very easily be done on a balcony or in a rowhouse yard. Put some sheet plastic under the bales, cover in compost, let them rot for a few weeks, and plant. When you’re done you can pretty easily compost up all the straw.

I forgot to pick a zucchini for a day or so:

Farm haul from the other day:

it’s so easy to urbanize the concept.”

After the jump check out a phenomenal chicken and an odd bonus garden.

“Interestingly, the chickens planted their own garden. This is something we sadly don’t see in DC because chickens aren’t allowed but we had fed them some tomatoes last year and apparently, some of the seeds sprouted this year.”

4 Comment

  • Is that a zuccini or are you just excited to see me? Sorry, somebody had to say it.

    Awesome garden and thanks for the straw bail tip. But where do you get straw bails?

  • 🙂 You should be able to have them ordered from most garden centers (Home Depot, I bet Garden District could get them). Alternatively, any store that sells livestock feed (like Booth Feeds in Lorton/Tysons Corner) usually has them.

    People also put them on Craigslist all the time, especially after Halloween/Thanksgiving. You can then let them rot over the winter – things planted in my oldest bales definitely seemed to do the best.

  • So to plant them, you just plop the seedlings/seeds on top of the bales – and they eventually root all the way down to the compost/rot below? I’d given up the project b/c my soil is too poor, but maybe this would be a good solution for next summer…thanks for any advice you can provide!

  • First, place the bales with the twine going around the bale, cut ends of the straw facing up. The twine should be on the horizontal side of the bale and not touching the ground.

    We let them rot out with compost on top of them (keeping them WET for those few weeks as much as possible). Then we shoved the seedlings down into the bales – tomatoes go as far down as you can get them (almost up to their lowest leaves), peppers and cukes can go in a bit higher. Pile more compost on top and they’ll root down pretty nicely.

    You’ve got to sort of pry the bales open to make an opening – try sticking two rulers or something like that down into the bales and pulling out sideways to make a planting spot for seedlings. Because the bales are bound with twine, they’ll snap back pretty well and hold it in place. Never unknot that twine.

    This is awesome for poor soil, because you don’t need soil.

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