Shh, there's a big secret in the gardening world, and that's how easy straw bale gardening is for growing veggies. Gardeners are just learning how easy these gardens are to maintain, and yet they grow large and delicious vegetables to grace your table all summer long.
There are three simple rules to follow once you have your straw bales prepped and planted. They are: water, fertilize and weed. But what may surprise you is how simple each of these steps is compared to traditional gardens.
To keep the decomposition process going all summer long, make certain you keep your straw bales watered. The easiest way is to place a soaker hose on top of the bales when you first plant your veggies. You want to ensure the bales stay damp to keep the temperature inside warm. On days when it rains, you can let Mother Nature do the work for you. You might discover that straw bales take more water than traditional gardens, so don't be surprised if you find yourself running the water more frequently.
The decomposition process will create some nutrients for your plants, however you probably will want to add additional food either weekly or biweekly. Thebest time to do this is while watering so the nutrients can invade the middle of the bales and help with the decomposition process.
The good news about straw bale gardening is that weeds are much less likely to appear. And since the bales are taller, weeding the garden is less painful on the back. Some gardeners opt to "prune" their bale garden weeds instead of pulling them, which can also save a lot of time and energy.
After taking these three steps, you can sit back, relax and watch your garden grow. And the easiest bit of maintenance comes at the end of summer. When the growing season is over, just toss your straw bales and plant stems into your composting pile to create good organic fertilizer for next year's garden.