How You Might Try Straw Bale Vegetable Growing

by John Mason

Straw Bale Gardening has been used by gardeners for a long time; and yet many gardeners (both professional and amateur) are not familiar with the technique.

Put simply, it involves planting plants into a straw bale. The straw is open (so roots are drained and aerated), and as it decomposes, it can release nutrients which the plant can use. Being organic material, it is well insulated (so roots don't tend to get too hot, or cold); and it holds moisture well (so the roots have less chance of drying out).

The technique isn't always 100% straight forward though. There may be a lot of nutrients in the straw, nutrition levels in the straw bale can be volatile (ie. changing) affected by climatic conditions and the rate at which the straw is decomposing.

If you understand the underpinning science and manage your straw bale garden though; the results can be great.

See what I did recently

Step 1 - Make a hole in the top of the bale

Step 2  Put some soil into the hole

Step 3  Plant a Squash Seeding in the hole

Step 4  Make sure the plant and the bale are soaked with water

I was harvesting button squash in not much more than a month after planting.

Rocket seed germinating a week after sowing into the top of a straw bale.

Been seedling emerging in a straw bale.

Lettuces developing in a straw bale