Straw Bale Gardening (Part 10)

Wake Forest, NC

Past discussions:

Part 1: http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/584625/
Part 2: http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/590925/
Part 3: http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/598673/
Part 4: http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/614124/
Part 5: http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/631772/
Part 6: http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/680745/
Part 7: http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/694756/
Part 8: http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/703545/
Part 9: http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/708629/

We invite you to put your bale garden on our map at www.frappr.com/strawbalegardeners

Let's continue our discussion.

Kent

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

WOW!! This is the second time I got to be first when Kent started a new part. Thanks Kent, we dial-ups sit here for quite a while waiting and waiting. Gotta send this before someone else does.

Jeanette

Wake Forest, NC

Jeanette: that's because you never sleep! :-)

Anyone heard from alyrics?

She was a regular last year, but I haven't heard from her in a long time.

Kent

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

No Kent, the clock is 2 hours different than we are here. When it says I sent that at 12:43 a.m. it is actually 10:43 p.m. I normally go to bed about 11.

There are several that we had last year that we haven't heard from yet. I keep thinking maybe they just haven't gotten started yet this year? That would be strange.

Jeanette

Wake Forest, NC

1 potato, 2 potato, 3 potato, 4 ...

Anyone remember that from childhood when picking sides etc.?

Here's today's shot of my potato row. They are doing just fine since the first batch was knocked back from our last frost.

Jeanette: 10-4 on the time difference

This next item is a "gas". The info was sent to me by someone who knows I'm into bale gardening. It's from Bottom Line.

World's Best Cure for Constipation and Irregularity

Most people who suffer from constipation rely on fiber laxatives, like Metamucil® and Citrucel®... or chemical laxatives, like Ex-Lax® and Correctol®. But both can be bad for you if taken frequently. Chemical laxatives are habit-forming, and fiber laxatives can inhibit your body's absorption of vitamins and minerals.

However, there's a little-known remedy that's safe, effective, and nonaddictive. It's wheat grass -- the early growth of the wheat plant that sprouts up shortly after planting. Wheat grass is not only an effective laxative, it's also a good source of beta-carotene, vitamin C, calcium, iron, potassium, and several B vitamins. What's more, it increases the level of beneficial bacteria in your intestines.

To find out more about wheat grass, including where to get it, and how much to take, turn to your FREE Special Report, Secrets to a Healthier Retirement. - http://www.bottomlinesecrets.com/

I guess you could kill 2 birds with 1 stone when you're trimming your bales if you just munch on a little bit, too. :-)

Kent



This message was edited Apr 21, 2007 7:28 PM

Thumbnail by KentNC
Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

5 potato, 6 potato, 7 potato more?? Is that the way it goes? It has been a long time since I have heard that one.

Well, I read in today's paper that cow flatulance is the cause of global warming. It had to come from a vegetarian.

Jeanette

Tonasket, WA(Zone 5a)

Jeanette That is too funny.

Kent that is a good looking row of spuds. What do you do in the green area. Do you use Lawn mower and just cut occasionally. We are getting the nearest to rain that we have had for two months, Sort of a shower which I am afraid won't last long. It is quite windy and not pleasant outside, so I was in the gh trying to finish with my transplanting of seedlings.

Hornick, IA(Zone 4b)

Really really big Dino flatuants must have caused the first recorded ice age to melt! :>)

Hornick, IA(Zone 4b)

Kent; I'm still in the thinking stage as far as what to put out. it's still early here. But I think I'll take a chance on some tomatoes. If I put plastic over the dome. and really its a little late for potatoes. But I normaly don't bother with them, as so far they arn't that expenseive. I did plant the sprouts that I broke off one of the potatoes before baking them.
Right now though I'm going to have to rest up, a couple friends and I went mushroom hunting. I think I will probably have leg cramps tonight. Just straight walking would have been good. But in wet soil and timber, sand and weeds. I admit it I'm out of shape. But the hunt was good, so I'll not complain.
Some of my garden work is at a stand still as our daughter needed to borrow my truck. while she is getting her jeep repaired. Think I should have loaned her the car. LOL
I still have more loose straw I want to pickup, for mulch, and such.
Oh well so goes life.

Tuscaloosa, AL(Zone 7b)

Kent: Ever tasted wheatgrass juice? It's a big fad in CA. Why, I don't know. It tastes JUST LIKE GRASS! Yuk!

Are those potatoes the ones you were going to plant in last year's bales? Did you? Or are they planted in something else?

Karen

Saylorsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

Today I began searching the area for appropriate straw bales. I usually get straw bales from one family of vegetable growers but always used them strictly for mulch, not to grow in. Somewhere on these threads I read to avoid bales where the wheat or oats had been sprayed with the herbicide "Growzone". I asked the family today what their straw had been sprayed with after explaining what I needed the bales for. The father became incredibly incensed, started yelling that he wouldn't sell me the bales because he couldn't guarantee that my crops would grow and ranted against "organic" growers with their extermist ways! He refused to give me the name of his sprays! I was dumbfounded. His wife was more rational and understood I was only trying to find out if it was the herbicide you had listed, that other sprays might be OK. Unfortunately I had forgotten the name Growzone. She will ask her son next week what he uses.
Now my question is: Are there any other pesticides or herbicides I should guard against if they were used on my bales?
In the meantime I will ask other strawbale sources and hope they will be more rational about this subject! This will be my first year trying strawbale gardening and I am really excited about the prospect if I can overcome this hurdle!

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Donna, I can't figure out why you are not getting rain. I just talked to my daughter in Federal Way and she said it is raining there. It is raining here. Why do the clouds jump right across you all and get us?

Donna, the Heleborus you sent me is getting more blooms every year. It is so pretty. And my white one is betting huge too. But, I don't know why, but yours drops seeds and starts new ones but the white one doesn't.

Russ, my 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee has $306K miles on it and still running good.

Karen have you tried the wheat grass drink? It sounds terrible.

Gard, you are going to have to tell us your name, but you know, I never thought to ask about the straw I got. It might have weed killers in it and my tomatoes won't grow.

Jeanette

Tuscaloosa, AL(Zone 7b)

Jeanette.

Yes, I have tried wheat grass juice. It IS terrible. I have also tried kava-kava - which tastes just like dirt. I don't recommend either.

Karen

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Unless you drink wheat grass IMMEDIATELY after grinding it does taste like crap, but when it's just juiced it is sweet and tasty.

Hornick, IA(Zone 4b)

Jnette; That just goes to show what regular maintenence can do for dependable transportation.
A while back I had a small town mechanic, tell me no car can go that many miles on the same engine. I just laughed and said, well I know for a fact that this one has.
Although most carburated engines of the 60s and 70s that would be streching it. The advance to throttle body and fuel injection has greatly inhanced that probability. But we won't even get into certian driveing habits.
I wish you much happy motoring. Alas I will not be putting on as many miles now though; That is unless the price of gas comes back down. Or wages and SS goes up sufficently so I can afford to drive more than one extra mile per paycheck.
But look out if transportation didn't depend on a fuel controled by our government.
Oops I'm dreaming again!!!! LOL

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Karen, I don't eat dirt either.

Darius, I'll take your word for it. LOL

Jeanette

This message was edited Apr 22, 2007 6:16 PM

Wake Forest, NC

russ: 10-4 on potatoes being cheap, that's exactly what my mama said, but I just wanted to try to see how they would do. Still there's nothing like a fresh potato boiled up with alot of butter, onions, and salt and pepper.

Karen: haven't tried wheat grass juice, but I did drink some Barley Grass juice sometime back. I believe the brand was BarleyGreen. It's probably great for you, but I quit buying it. I'd rather have my Bojangles Biscuit in the morning!!! :-)

My potato row is planted in the leftover straw from my double row of cukes from last year. Most of the straw went to the mulch pile. I just kept out what I thought looked like enough for the potatoes. I'm very pleased so far.

gardadore: the response you got was a surprise. I can't understand why that joker would go off like that. He must be suffering from "irregularity". Tell him you'll let him have some of your wheat grass to chew on. Maybe it'll help him!

Everyone I've asked simply told me what they put on their crop, and no one I asked put any herbicides on their crop, just some nitrogen fertilizer.

But, do ask.

Kent

This message was edited Apr 22, 2007 7:54 PM

Tuscaloosa, AL(Zone 7b)

darius,

The guy was trying to sell the wheat grass itself, so he had just made it up into juice to show us how good it was. Still tasted like grass to me. Maybe there are different varieties of wheat grass. = - )

Karen

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

Kent said; "Still there's nothing like a fresh potato boiled up with alot of butter, onions, and salt and pepper."
And I dearly love the tiny "new" potatoes, and can never get enough. I suspect very few of my potaotes will get very large, except the russets, which I will try to let mature :)
Margo

Hornick, IA(Zone 4b)

Kent; add about a Tbl spoon of horseradish, and I'll be down for supper :) yummy

Rose Lodge, OR(Zone 8b)

Does anybody need horseradish slips? I'm moving mine so probably could spare a few.

Wake Forest, NC

russ: hadn't thought about putting some horseradish in my potatoes; will give it a try.

Margo: I'm pretty sure I'll be eating my potatoes while they're small, too. Can't wait until they get big.

Well, gotta get my uniform ready for tomorrow and get to bed. Back on day shift.

Oh, by the way, I got to mention this even though it's off topic:

I watched Extreme Makeover tonight and it brought tears to my eyes.

A disabled Army drill sergeant and his family had their house redone.

He was wounded in Iraq and came home paralyzed. Later on the whole family was in a car accident and his son was also paralyzed.

Anyway, it was a touching story, and being a vet myself, it continues to remind me of the sacrifices our brave military men and women and their families continue to make for us.

Kent

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

OOOhhh, Summer... I'd LOVE some horseradish starts!!!

Rose Lodge, OR(Zone 8b)

I'm not good with words about those sorts of things because it's just overwhelming to me as I sit in here typing in health & comfort, so how about I just say "thanks" to you for your service, and not just on behalf of straw suppliers everywhere!

Hornick, IA(Zone 4b)

There not hard to perpetuate are they :)
I've been trying to keep my patch small. At one time I had three rows about 12' long. Done a lot of digging to make it smaller. Have to watch were the excess dirt is distributed. or another patch will be started.
Do you have a good recipe you would share??
Russ

Rose Lodge, OR(Zone 8b)

Gotcha covered, Darius. These are just a root with a leaf at this point in the year, but that's all you'll need. And they are very beautiful plants as well, though the flea or asparagus beetles (are they the same thing?) riddle the leaves later in the summer.

Rose Lodge, OR(Zone 8b)

ponder, i grow mine in tall plastic containers, mostly sand, to keep the roots straight & long and also to contain it. i don't mind it spreading but hate not being able to harvest it easily.

i will, of course, be trying it in straw bales this year!

Hornick, IA(Zone 4b)

Summer

I get a lot of odd shaped roots. Maybe the bucket and sand thing would be a much better idea. I think I have had them now for about 15 to 20 years. keeping the extras mowed don't do too bad. Would a bucket be big enough or more like a half barrel be better?

Saylorsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

Speaking of combining horseradish and potatoes for eating, they are also great garden companions since the horseradish helps deter the Colorado potato beetle! I have read one should plant horseradish in each corner of the potato patch. Maybe this could be done with the straw bales as well if you are growing potatoes!
Kent, I don't know if the gentleman was suffering from "irregularity" or not but he certainly doesn't like anyone who remotely sounds like an organic gardener! I'll be glad to offer him some of my grass if I ever find bales that haven't been sprayed with an herbicide! I'm going to check with a nearby goat farm that sells straw as well as goats!
By the way the wheat grass juice is also very popular in Australia. It is sold at juice bars as a "Power" drink. It's kind of amusing to watch them pull out this tray of grass, clip some off, and then put it in a blender. My DH and I both tried it when we visited there in the fall a year ago. Can't say I felt any great "power" surge but I have tasted worse!
Jeanette, my name is Jessica and I really enjoy this strawbale thread! You all keep my poor addled brain going with all kinds of ideas for setting up the bales, planting them and creating staking and watering systems. The watering will be the hardest part for me unless I set up some kind of "hose stations" to avoid having to drag my hose so far so often! But the results sound worth the effort!
Jessica

Buffalo, WV(Zone 7a)

Kent, I watched also with tissue in hand. So tragic. My dad, brother and husband were all Army. I support our troops and always have no matter what I feel about the leadership, enough said on that. I volunteer with the Army Natl Guard and work with the Family Program. I've been on hand for deployments and returns, tissues needed both times! Kids Camp for kids of the Guard starts June 16th at Camp Dawson here in WV and this will be my first year at Camp. I'm Craft Superviser this year or some such title :~) I am kidless but will be supervising around 200 kids with crafts. I'll probably come back babbling with no hair ;~) lol.

Lana

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

I'm trying to go back thru the threads, but I'm afraid the growing season will be over before I can finish :). Does anyone know where I can find some info on "spacing" the bale residents? I'm trying to figure out plants per bale (eg, I _think_ I remember hearing 2 tomatoes, 4 peppers) but some of my bales are smaller than others. My problem is that I had it all figured out....but somehow I ended up with more plants than I'd thought, and still 9 tomato plants have yet to arrive. Has anyone put it all together? Is there an FAQ section? An "Idiot's Guide"?
Thanks, (the other) Margo, (who swears that plants crawl into her shopping cart and hide until they get home....)

Wake Forest, NC

Lana: appreciate your volunteering for the camp; I know you and the kids will be blessed, and if you come back with short hair, it'll grow back! :-)

Margo: here's what's worked for me re: spacing on a "standard" size bale

3 - 4 peppers/bale
4 sets of okra
3 - 4 tomatoes (4 is crowded, but if you sucker you'll be OK; I'm only doing 3/bale this year)
2 sets of yellow squash or zucchini
2 - 3 sets of cukes (double row works great)

That's all the varieties I've planted so far.

rutholive: forgot to answer a question you had about the grass between my bales.

I just mow it with the lawnmower each time I cut my yard and once in between to keep the garden area looking neat.

Kent

This message was edited Apr 23, 2007 11:18 AM

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Kent, here is a message from Alyrics:

From: alyrics, To: Jnette

Apr 23, 2007
6:10 AM

Hey there
Have thought of you guys too
I dropped off Dave's. Dallied about renewing and then they wouldn't let me back on for the previous member price and I just figured I could spend the $25 somewhere else. Luckily several people are still on Gardenweb and you know - its made me get off the computer and get some other things done. Kids are keeping me busy and all.
Hi to you and especially to Kent also.
I've sent his article to all kinds of people encouraging them to do this.
Would be nice to say hi on the list but maybe you will do that for me!
I do check Daves for a few forums that aren't blocked like NorthEast Gardening Forum.
See you around and happy gardening this summer!
Andrea

Jeanette

This message was edited Apr 23, 2007 10:52 AM

This message was edited Apr 23, 2007 10:53 AM

Rose Lodge, OR(Zone 8b)

My brain is blanking.
Does anybody have a quick answer for any seeds other than lettuce that they might have direct-sown in the bales?

marshville,, NC(Zone 8a)


has anyone tried direct seeding tomatos in the bales?...I have some heirloom seeds & would like to try them in some soil in the bales...how about peppers? cukes? melons?

We have deer problems even with our 3 dogs (12 to 20 in a herd & a couple of single mommys with their fauns) so I took some 2 foot fencing i had laying around & hooked it to the trellis fence in back of the bales & made a"tent" to protect all the babies....they've been safe so far. i'm going to try the Irish Spring on a string trick to see if it helps when the plants get bigger.....anyone have any other ideas?

Foggy

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Summerkid, and anybody else, I am curious how you do your horseradish? Kid, how deep is that sand pail? I have some in a 20 gallon pot like a tree planter. Not sand tho. Then what do you guys do to preserve it? Do you grate it and mix with vinegar, oil, or?? Do you can it? How long does it keep once you grate it? Also, what do you use to grate it with?

I saw some a lady had mixed one time, she had put it in baby food jars. I think she put vinegar in it.

Oh, btw, I have never sowed any seeds directly in the strawbales so can't help you there. How are you guys making holes or space to put the roots of your plants in the straw?

Thanks for your name Jessica.

Foggy, the deer know there is safety in numbers. The most I get at one time is 3 so they do come up and hang around the house but only when my dog is inside barking at them. And, for some reason I have never seen them around my plants on the back side of the house. Weird. Both mule deer and white tails.

Jeanette

SARANAC, NY(Zone 4a)

jeanette: re horseradish; I use only the smaller roots to avoid the pithy centers which give an off taste; peel & cut into 1" pieces, put them into a blender with white vinegar and salt (the latter being optional) blend until I like the consistancy, I like it really fine & if you get the liquid 'just right' the mix will roll in the blender - at the end I add a dollop of maple syrup (simply because that is what my grandmother used to do - I imagine sugar would do as well) then I freeze it in small amounts - It will stay perfectly fresh while frozen & keep forever, give or take a year: Good luck!
ps: when you open the blender, keep your head away, it is powerful! perry

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

Thanks Kent, That's what I was looking for:). I have mostly heirloom tomatoes, so they'll get (hopefully) pretty big, so I'll probably stick to 2-3.( And then, when I have no more room, I'll stick others in between).

I don't have any results on direct seeding yet, but I'm trying green beans, beets, cucumbers, various squashes and melons. It's been 4 whooooole days, and they haven't showed up yet :(.
(the other) Margo

Marshfield, MO(Zone 6a)

Has anybody tried planting trailing plants, like squash, zucchini, watermelons, etc. in the same bales as they planted their upright plants like tomatoes and okra?

Kent, when you mention "sets" of plants, what exactly do you mean by that?

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

WHOOPEEEEE! They Live:). My direct seeded babies are awake. Their little green heads are just up. I'm so proud...So far, we have one variety of cukes, at least one of each kind of squash (summer and winter) and the pumpkin. The melons are still a bit worried, I guess, that it may not stay warm. I told them I have styrofoam hats for everyone now, and they can safely come up into the light.

I kept the trailers apart from the tomatoes, but mostly because I didn't want to spare the space in the tomato bales. Maybe in the fall.....
Margo

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