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Sun May 25, 2014, 11:43 PM

One of my gardening projects this year - investigating straw bale gardening

I've got 17 bales going - trying out tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash, cukes and melons....going to compare to container and traditional (in the ground) growing - effort, cost, disease incidence, yield, flavor.....using some controls.

What fun! As if I need another gardening project...

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Reply One of my gardening projects this year - investigating straw bale gardening (Original post)
NRaleighLiberal May 2014 OP
elleng May 2014 #1
NRaleighLiberal May 2014 #4
elleng May 2014 #6
NRaleighLiberal May 2014 #8
femmocrat Jun 2014 #12
NRaleighLiberal Jun 2014 #13
femmocrat Jun 2014 #14
uppityperson May 2014 #2
NRaleighLiberal May 2014 #7
uppityperson May 2014 #9
Major Nikon May 2014 #3
NRaleighLiberal May 2014 #5
Curmudgeoness May 2014 #10
NRaleighLiberal Jun 2014 #11
laundry_queen Jun 2014 #15
NRaleighLiberal Jun 2014 #16

Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Sun May 25, 2014, 11:49 PM

1. Straw bales like THIS?



at WV Capitol party, lots of people, and some of us sitting on these!

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Response to elleng (Reply #1)

Sun May 25, 2014, 11:56 PM

4. Yes! You treat them for 12-18 days - adding a Nitrogen source and thoroughly watering...

they start to break down internally - you open up a seam and seat the plant into it - essentially a form of raised bed gardening.

so far, so good!



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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #4)

Sun May 25, 2014, 11:57 PM

6. Sounds interesting,

looks great, and no messing with all that DIRT!!!

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Response to elleng (Reply #6)

Mon May 26, 2014, 12:00 AM

8. As I do it, I am assembling some lists -

advantages/disadvantages/benefits/issues with the various options (bales/containers/dirt gardening).

Then there is hydroponics (as noted elsewhere in this thread)...but I will leave that to others (for the moment, anyway)....

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #4)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 01:52 PM

12. What are those bags that the tomatoes in front ar growing in?

Do you leave them in there or transplant them?

Thanks!

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Response to femmocrat (Reply #12)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 04:23 PM

13. Hi there - they are grow bags, and we use them to develop the Dwarf growing tomatoes...

5 gallon, reusable - I get them from here

http://www.groworganic.com/plastic-nursery-grow-bags-5-gal.html

they are out of the white ones with handles, but the black plastic ones are fine - last for years....even given annual bleaching and detergent cleaning. Perfect for eggplant and peppers as well!

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #13)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 05:15 PM

14. Thank you!

I quickly run out of space... those are great!

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Sun May 25, 2014, 11:50 PM

2. How does this work? Do you use soil in them, fertilizer, compost, ????

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #2)

Sun May 25, 2014, 11:58 PM

7. I am checking out several ways...

and will let you know! (treating some using non-organic materials, organic materials, and some just using water - what fun - lots of data to process once all is said and done!)

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #7)

Mon May 26, 2014, 12:10 AM

9. I tried this with spuds one year but it didn't work, need to try again.

Good luck and it will be fun to see how it develops

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Sun May 25, 2014, 11:53 PM

3. I'm trying out hydroponics for some of the same reasons

I'm not checking yields or trying to compare it with regular soil gardening. Rather I'm just doing it as a learning experience. Ultimately I'd like to have a climate controlled greenhouse and have production going year round.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #3)

Sun May 25, 2014, 11:57 PM

5. great!

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Mon May 26, 2014, 09:17 PM

10. It looks interesting

and I love that you are going at this with a scientific approach. I know you will let us know what happens. I will be waiting to hear the results.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 12:25 AM

11. So far, so good - two weeks in and things are growing well in them!

seeds planted in soilless mix added on the top have germinated



Sweet pepper in a bale



Indeterminate tomatoes in a bale in the driveway - these are Livingston's Favorite and Livingston's Golden Queen, both from the 1880s



Happy eggplant



Dwarf tomatoes in bales

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Wed Jun 4, 2014, 01:08 AM

15. What a great idea

I've heard of using straw for container potatoes, but I suppose you could use it for anything. And then you don't need containers! lol (I hate buying/cleaning/storing containers).

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Original post)

Sun Jun 22, 2014, 09:55 PM

16. OK, it's nearly official - I've been asked by Storey to write a book on straw bale gardening...

hence my dive into trying it out!

So far so good!

I should be signing the contract within a few weeks....text due in December, book probably out next year.

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