Have you heard of straw bale gardening? If not, I’m sure you’ll be hearing more and more about it as time goes on. It is growing in popularity as a way to garden without the need of a lot of space, or having to till up the ground. This method of gardening may not be up your alley, but there are lots of gardeners who are now swearing by this method.
Straw bale gardening kind of combines container gardening with raised bed gardening.
Why Consider Straw Bale Gardening?
1. Healthier Vegetables And Better Plants
Growing plants in the straw bales eliminate the need for soil as the only requirement is the straw bale, and perhaps some compost and potting mix. Since you’ve eliminated soil from the equation, you’ve also eliminated the soil borne pests and diseases that can damage the crops when they exceed the manageable level.
Also, keep in mind that, the less pest and diseases and the less pesticide use. This might attract beneficial insects that normally disappear when we use excessive pesticides. It also means that our plants will be healthier and safer to our bodies.
2. Simplifies The Growing Of Plants
By eliminating the soil means there’s no tilling, digging, raking or hoeing. Now you don’t need to break your back doing all the digging and tilling, or using expensive machines to carry out the task either.
Nor do you have to worry about improving the soil, crop rotation cycles or conditioning the soil. You can simply plant in the bales themselves which you can place literary anywhere.
3. No More Weeds
Straw bale gardening eliminates the need for weeding. Weeds don’t thrive well in the straw, and any weed that may appear can easily be removed from the bales. From there on, you’ll spend less time on your bales monitoring the weeds as they barely grow.
Nobody enjoys weeding their gardens, so why would you wish to do that when you could spend that time doing other constructive things or enjoying your leisure time.
Note: We have received comments of some who have had lots of weeds in there straw bales. This is most likely due to the type of straw and not proper conditioning.
4. Self-Composting Growing Containers
When growing in straw, the bales become your actual growing containers. They’re self-decomposing growing containers that slowly decomposes on the inside throughout the growing period.
The decomposition process creates some heat that regulates the internal temperature. Thus creates good condition for roots development.
Straw bale gardening also helps to lessen the impact of sudden cold snaps or any frosts and can extend your growing season.
Therefore, if you are growing cold-lovers in your bales over the winter season, they’ll get favorable growing environment, and there’s a likelihood of getting higher yields. Yeah! The bales enable you to grow crops over the winter.
5. They’re Cheap
Straw is quite cheap as compared soil gardening, and it’s also easier to plant even if for those living in the suburban or city. After it starts disintegrating, you can use it as mulch or dispose the straw in the compost bin or add to the garden soil as compost.
6. Easier And Comfortable Gardening
It also means that you’re going to harvest your crops while standing as you make strolls in the garden. For anyone who doesn’t really enjoy walking around bended on your knees or anyone with a bad back, this is great news.
7. Bumper Yield
If all the other benefits haven’t convinced you enough, this should, considering the increased yield that you’ll get out of this type of gardening.
If all the other farm inputs remaining constant, close to 25% increase in crop yield is guaranteed. The bumper yield is mainly because of the proper root development and good air circulation facilitated by the straw bales.
8. Save Cost Of Raised Beds And Buying Containers
You don’t have to invest in wooden planks or containers when constructing raised beds. Straw bales are a cheaper and a much better option. Although you’ll be forced to get new ones at the beginning of every growing season, they can be put to better use at the end.
9. Suitable For Any Climate Or Zone
In straw bale gardening, you can grow any crop regardless of the zone and climate. This is has been proven in the Arctic Circle where the fall occurs or in the tropical regions. In areas with short growing spells, straw bale gardening extends the season by 1-2 weeks both at the beginning and before the winter period.
10. No Need to Transfer Soil And Compost to Your Beds
Transporting large quantities of compost and soil to your beds in order to grow veggies is both expensive and strenuous. Straw bales are light, and they’re neat, easier to shift, and you can arrange them in your desirable design. You require just a little amount of compost to start growing your plants in straw bales.
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Source: Plant Care Today