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Spent the day mowing and setting up bales for planting our garden this year...

Our soil here is awful, mostly red clay. So we decided to try the straw bale gardening thing... Well, the stuff that passes for straw around here looks like baled up grass. So I'm using alfalfa instead. Everything I've read says it'll work fine. Might take an extra week to condition because it has more leafy material inside the bale and will be a little hotter as it breaks down...

The seeds for the tomatoes, squash and jalapenos are already started and should be ready to transplant by the time the bales are conditioned...

Picking up some strawberry plants at the gardening center in a couple of weeks...

Going to set up a couple more rows next weekend...

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Way too early. You are having a bout of Spring fever.
lol, but I don't blame you. Our Winter sucked, and we both want to move forward into the wonderful Spring and new growth that accompanies it.
Damn! I truly love Spring.
Otherwise, keep the rolls of plastic sheeting and hold-down rocks at the ready.
 

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Way too early. You are having a bout of Spring fever.
lol, but I don't blame you. Our Winter sucked, and we both want to move forward into the wonderful Spring and new growth that accompanies it.
Damn! I truly love Spring.
Otherwise, keep the rolls of plastic sheeting and hold-down rocks at the ready.
I'm about 4 weeks from the planting stage... But I am suffering from spring fever, so I got the bales started about a week early. It takes the bales 3 weeks to season. Seasoning an extra week won't hurt at all....
 

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I plan to try the straw bales myself this year, we have had a bunch of rain here but im holding out just a bit longer on setting up my bales.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

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Going to be awhile before we plant outside. This photo was taken this past Thursday and we have another front moving into the region Monday night. We will start things in our greenhouse sometime in April then plant after the full moon in May.

Im interested in your straw bail method. Can you guys take some pictures as you go and explain the process in this thread? I have awesome soil here but I’m interested in what other people do.
 
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Im interested in your straw bail method. Can you guys take some pictures as you go and explain the process in this thread? I have awesome soil here but I’m interested in what other people do.
It is just growing your plants in de-composing straw or alfalfa... You lay the bales on their sides on top of a weed barrier, soak with water, sprinkle each bale with a 1/2 cup of 29-0-0 or higher fertilizer every other day until seasoned ( 2ish weeks for straw, 3ish weeks for alfalfa ), poke a hole big enough for the new plant and a small amount of soil, plant it and water... Fertilize as normal after that, once a month or so with a 10-10-10 is what I'll use...
 

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The initial start of composting takes up a lot of nitrogen and requires a fertilizer with 29-0-0 or higher. I'm using a lawn fertilizer with 32-0-0...

And NO weed killer in the fertilizer, like a weed and feed... You'll just kill the new plants when you plant them... Using 1/2 cup every other day will end up with a lot of weed killer in each bale... Bad, bad, bad...

After the first few days the bales will start to get warm and even hot after a week or so... Wait until they cool down after 2 or 3 weeks before planting in them...
 

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I laid the bales on their sides in a row of 5 and then secured them together ( probably not needed )...

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Hi Bart,

Thanks for the info and pictures! I’ve never seen this meathod of planting before. I hope you will update this as you go. I’d be interested in following your progress. It’s kind of like composting and growing as
you go.
 
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Hi Bart,

Thanks for the info and pictures! I’ve never seen this meathod of planting before. I hope you will update this as you go. I’d be interested in following your progress. It’s kind of like composting and growing as
you go.
Your welcome, and it is exactly like this...

I picked up a book called "Straw Bale Gardens Complete"... Read it in my Kindle Unlimited first but wanted the real book for the pictures...
 

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It rained all day Sunday so I didn't have to water down the bales...

Yesterday sprinkled 1/2 cup of 32-0-0 on each bale then watered them down...

Tonight I'm just watering them...
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Alternating days of just water then 1/2 cup 30-0-0 per bale and watering for the next 2 to 3 weeks to condition the straw....

Will update on planting day....
 

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Time for an update...

The bales are seasoned and I started planting today... A red bell pepper, a green bell pepper and 14 bare root strawberry sets...

I've got some tomato plants started from seeds sent by member rclint but they are a week or so from transplanting... Also I have a couple of acorn squash started from seeds from last years crop but are also a week or so from transplanting...

I'm going to plant all the tomatoes and squash before I decide if I have any room for more...

I also decided I wanted blackberries, so planted those today too...

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Soooo.. that's how that works, lol! I had never seen it before either, and was kinda' waiting to see what all happened... :D
 
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