Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Quick and easy gardens

We had some lucerne hay left over from our permablitz the other week – so this is what I have done with it.

I laid down some newspaper and cardboard, put the hay bale down and watered it with seaweed and fish emulsions – then left it for about two weeks, watering the bales every couple of days.


After two weeks I made a little hole in the bales and put my hand in to test the temperature – this is important because the bales get very hot inside initially and you will have to wait for them to cool down.  Last year I measured the inside temperature as about 60oC - almost too hot to touch.

When the inside bale temperature has cooled so that it is luke warm rather than hot I simply dug a small hole in the bale, put in some good soil mix and then planted my seedling directly into the bale.

This year I am going to try basil in with the tomatoes, along with some other herbs like parley and dill and I may even try some lettuce.

Last year was my first year at trying this method of quick gardening - primarily becasue I ran out of room in our garden beds and it was a great success – below are the kids in March this year in front of our bale garden – we had two cherry tomato plants and a pumpkin growing in this single bale.  The bale garden produced the best yielding tomatoes and pumpkin – and rarely needed any additional watering.

The best thing is that when the plants stop producing you can use the well composted bale as mulch on the garden – no waste.

1 comment:

  1. Great idea!

    I love straw bale gardens. I had a large one made from around 8 bales that lasted two years. So quick and easy.

    I hope your leg is better x t.