My sister and club member, Judy Klemm always had a HUGE garden. But as the years went by and the work involved became too time consuming, she got rid of all but her rhubarb bed. And then our club hosted a Zoom event by Joel Karsten on Straw Bale Gardening! Judy and I are neighbors at the lake and we decided we should give it a try. We bought ten straw bales at our local green house... and paid too much!
Tip number 1, buy directly from a farmer for at least half the price we paid.
Judy set her 5 bales out in the open, right by her rhubarb, while I put mine between the rows of my fenced raspberry bed. I was thinking my spot would provide deer protection; we will see if that actually matters. Judy picked a spot with easy access to all sides of her bales and that is definitely a benefit.
Tip number 2 is to join, for free,the Straw Bale Garden club at: https://www/strawbalegardenclub.com. For the next 12 days, we faithfully watched and followed the step- by-step video directions on watering and fertilizing to condition the bales. At day 15, we finally planted! For potted plants, we tugged out enough straw to create a hole and placed the plant in the hole. For small seeds, we put a layer of potting soil on top and planted the seeds. You can see below that Judy's cucumbers are sprouting. For larger seeds, like bean, we were able to just poke them down into the straw. We keep watching videos from the StrawBale Garden Club for ideas and suggestions and are eager to see how our gardens progress. We will post pictures on our LAGC FB page from time to time!