Although it is only mid-April here in New Hampshire, it is time to plan for gardening. We generally will not plant until Memorial Day weekend, but it is time to order the seeds, think about where to plant, and what to plant. Additionally, we have to consider how to plant! What? You dig up the soil, put in the seeds or plants in and water and fertilize. Done! Well, not exactly.
If you have followed this page for the past two years you will remember that I am a strong advocate for container gardening, in Earthbox type containers and all of the home made variations. I have done several posts and find it a great way to garden with minimal work. I also have two raised beds and again, the effort is less than working the soil. And, with the use of potting mix rather than loam, the results are better.
But, like most gardening enthusiasts, I am always ready to learn new procedures and techniques. And in this case, it is the use of straw bales to act as the soil and the support for the plants. The bale simply acts like a plant container and with fertilizer and water, the plants grow as they would in a raised bed or a container. But, there are caveats! And, to me it seems like the caveats are considerable. But, rather than rewrite the information, there are two useful links to follow: The first is from West Virginia University that covers the entire process including what crops can be grown here. The second is from The Daily Sentinel of Grand Junction, Colorado, that has a view from an actual experimenter here.
I have time to try one bale but I am still considering the risk/reward possibilities. But, I would appreciate any comments about the concept and potential value to our readers. Time to dig!