Friday, March 6, 2015

Straw Bale Gardening ~ Conditioning the Bales

This is part three of my journey into Straw Bale Gardening.  You can read parts one and two here and here.  It is now day 4 of the conditioning process.  Days one and three the bales are sprinkled with a high nitrogen lawn fertilizer, and everyday the bales are watered well.  This jump-starts the composting process that goes on inside of the bales, which in turn creates the warmth and nutrients that cause the garden to flourish.  Since my last blog I have placed the soaker hose on top and pinned it in place down the middle and along the length of the bales. 


Gazillions of tiny drops of water gently slip off of the hose and onto the straw, giving it a complete soaking in about 30 minutes.  I know this, because I also installed a hose end timer so I never forget to water when I am supposed to and for the right amount of time!  Watering has always been my downfall, causing some of my plantings to commit suicide before growing to adulthood...or veggiehood.  I see this timer as my garden saver, and my path to a green thumb - finally!

 Just in case, though, I have taken drastic measures (for me, anyway!) and painted my thumb green...well, at least the nail is green. 

It pains me to admit it, but I goofed.  I know, hard to believe - or is it?  This is ME, after all.  Yep, I can be clutzy, forgetful, too rushed, and so on.  In my excitement to begin conditioning the straw, I zipped over to our local garden center and purchased some lawn fertilizer, concentrating only on the nitrogen content.  Now, here it is, day four and I finally read the fine print.  Much to my horror (okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration) I discovered it is the timed release kind, which still works, but takes longer.  So, today I skipped on over to another big box store and bought what I really needed...just plain ol' lawn food with high nitrogen.  It wasn't too late, as I found out from my friends on facebook at Straw Bale Miracle Garden.  Whew!

So, here we are so far....four days of conditioning, soaker hose is in place, posts and 2 by 4's installed and awaiting wire for the trellis system.  I am on my way!  Next week the bales should be nice and warm and smelling sweet like composting stuff should smell. Uh...perhaps sweet isn't the correct word to use.  They will be smelling and I will know it is time to plant!  Yippee!  Just when the garden centers are getting in their Spring shipments!  I should have a good selection to choose from for my Straw Bale Kitchen garden!  Retail therapy - I can't wait!

Stay tuned!  I'll post more of my progress soon!

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Huge Green Hugs,


  1. Hey Pat::: great looking a very nice blog story,,, love it all, keep up the good work here and keep us all posted what is going on,
    Your friend William Fleming,,,Straw Bale Miracle Garden FB

  2. Thanks for stopping by, William! And, thanks for liking my blog. I have fun writing this stuff, and am certainly having fun building my straw bale garden! I appreciate all of your helpful answers to all of the questions from all of the novices like myself!
    Huge green hugs,


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