Planting in straw bales

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by sancraft, Aug 24, 2004.

  1. sancraft

    sancraft Well-Known Member

    Jun 7, 2002
    Someone mentioned to me that they had heard of someone planting in strawbales. You are supposed to wet the bales down, wait a couple of days, care out an area and add soil and seeds or transplants. everything else is as usual and the bale will rot down over the growing season. Sounds like it would work well to me. Anyone have any thoughts on it or has anyone ever tried it? I was thinking of putting out some lettuces and spinach for the fall. Since we are staying with my sister, I could still garden and not dig up her yard.
  2. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

    May 20, 2004
    SE Missouri

  3. i used wheat strw bales once to surround a garden bed and created a huge cricket farm so i don't know if it will work any better for you or not i would think it will create a nuisance insect problem. intresting article, thanks for posting the link. one item about the article is that amonium nitrate is no longer available, and if you ask for it they will think you are building bombs, so just go with urea, chicken droppings, or compost.
  4. Dreams30

    Dreams30 Lady Rider

    Dec 12, 2003
    SW Ark
    Thank you both,
    Sancraft thanks for the question
    Cyngbaeld thanks for the answer

    This is something I will definiately try.
  5. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 11, 2002
    Cyngbaeld - Thanks for posting that web site. We will be trying this for sure.
  6. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

    Dec 4, 2002
    I like the idea, but my only concern would be with the possibility of herbicides in the straw bale. My brother used them one year as mulch in his garden, and found that nothing would grow well there. He speculated that herbicides had been used in the field and were residual in his straw bales.
  7. gccrook

    gccrook Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2003
    SC Kansas
    I didn't grow in straw bales, but I used straw bales to create a raised bed for my tomatoes. Just created a rectangular shape about 5 bales by 1 bale, and filled in the center with composted horse manure. Planted my tomatoes, and they did great this year, even with the excessive rain we had. Other tomatoes I planted in my garden directly in the ground had problems with blossom end rot, probably from the ecxessive rains. The bales have almost deteriorated completely now, and at the end of the season, I will just add that to the compost and start over. I was fortunate enough to get straw bales from my cousin, and I know he does not use herbicides in his wheat fields, only fertilizer.
  8. I live in the middle of winter wheat country and can assure you there is very little chance of importing chemicals in the wheat straw here. you may get some weed seed you will almost certainly get some wheat seed but about the only chemical used here for wheat is amonia prior to planting. occasionaly but not often some pesticide in may. harvest is in june. they generaly just try to get it cut before weeds are a problem.creating an insect or rodent habitat is probably the biggest concern.