BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Miscellaneous › Gardening › Hay Bale Gardening
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Hay Bale Gardening - Page 3

post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by dianehodges View Post

Does anyone do hay bale gardening?  What are the advantages and disadvantages?  Is it as productive as gardening in the dirt?

Going to get 4 bales today to begin the process  What vegtables do you plant when you use this method?

I tried both straw and hay bales last year.  My pumpkins grew great in the hay bales.  Tomatoes did great as well.  On the plus side: with bale gardening, you avoid the disease issues that can build up in a conventional garden.  Also, insects not as much of an issue.  On the negative side: you have to water diligently EVERY day.  So, if water is plentiful and you have a hose near enough to water without difficulty, and if space is a limiting factor, or if you are physically limited and would do better not getting down to ground level, hay and straw bales may be the way to go.  I had no problem with weeds associated with hay, as the center of the pile heated up to 135 degrees when I was conditioning it. (I placed 5 bales beside each other with plastic under and wrapped around sides to hold in moisture) And, I placed the bales on a small cement patio area, and I covered the top of the bales with several inches of compost.  (mulch would do)  By the time weeds germinate enough to get through the compost/mulch, your intended crop is big enough to shade them out.  Personally, though I prefer straw as mulch in my garden, If doing bale gardening, I would prefer hay as it seemed to be much more fertile.  And, given my water limitations, my preference is to avoid container or bale gardening, and mulch heavily with garden planted crops.  Read "gardening without work' by Ruth Stout.

post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by denasfarm View Post

WOW That's expensive. I was complaining that it was $5 a bale for straw and $7 for Hay here...I buy both. When we lived in TN it was $3 for Hay.

So Once you get a Bale what next? Pour seeds  on top?


You have to prep the bale first. You can use a nitrogen based fertilizer - this will get the bale started. You have to wait until it gets past the 'hot' stage of decomp before you actually plant anything in it. You can either seed the bale once it's ready (but you will have to water it a lot daily or use a soaker hose) or you can plant already started plants in the bale. You can add a bit of dirt or compost (use a trowel to separate spots in the top of the bale or you can even cut areas into it to stick plants into), also, but you don't have to.

I will be using straw bales to build raised beds this year - combining straw bale gardening with square foot gardening. Not sure how it will work out but it will be interesting at least, lol. I may even stick a worm tower in the middle.

YouTube has some great videos on straw bale gardening, prepping the bales, etc. I learned tons there before I tried it . . .

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.

My chickens ~ I've pretty much lost count.

Other Barnyard ~ 1 Paso Fino, 1 Mule, whole bunch of ducks, 1 turkey.

Other ~ 1 spoiled house cat and 3 foster pups/dogs.

 

Reply

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.

My chickens ~ I've pretty much lost count.

Other Barnyard ~ 1 Paso Fino, 1 Mule, whole bunch of ducks, 1 turkey.

Other ~ 1 spoiled house cat and 3 foster pups/dogs.

 

Reply
post #23 of 24

Thanks! I think I will start some in the fall and let them sit over winter to rot a bit.

http://www.denasfarm.com

 

Freedom Rangers, Rhode Island Reds, Barred Rocks, Easter Eggers, Games, Geese, Two Zebu, Two Goats and half doz Dogs!

Reply

http://www.denasfarm.com

 

Freedom Rangers, Rhode Island Reds, Barred Rocks, Easter Eggers, Games, Geese, Two Zebu, Two Goats and half doz Dogs!

Reply
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by denasfarm View Post

Thanks! I think I will start some in the fall and let them sit over winter to rot a bit.


You don't really need to let them sit over the winter - a little Miracle Gro or other fertilizer applied lightly to the top and then watering twice a day for about 2 weeks (10 day minimum) is enough time to prep the bale and get it past the hot stage.

 

Another thing to keep in mind is make sure the bales are tightly baled with twine that is synthetic vs. hemp. The hemp breaks down too fast and you won't get as many years out of the bale.

 

Happy Gardening!

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.

My chickens ~ I've pretty much lost count.

Other Barnyard ~ 1 Paso Fino, 1 Mule, whole bunch of ducks, 1 turkey.

Other ~ 1 spoiled house cat and 3 foster pups/dogs.

 

Reply

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.

My chickens ~ I've pretty much lost count.

Other Barnyard ~ 1 Paso Fino, 1 Mule, whole bunch of ducks, 1 turkey.

Other ~ 1 spoiled house cat and 3 foster pups/dogs.

 

Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Gardening
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Miscellaneous › Gardening › Hay Bale Gardening