had to break down & buy some eggplant...my straight sown all succumbed to die back...everything was started so late it'll be October before i get anything to eat!
After seeing all the great produce & lush gardens i feel like a slacker, but I want to thank you for this form of gardening!
I am actually able to feel like I'm working in the garden again...I can't imagine how delightful it would be to someone in a wheelchair. I never have anything to add to the discussion, but even "lurking" is fun on this thread...bring on the pics and icons!
Well, now I'm waaaaay behind. Haven't even gotten my bales yet although I did get 5 cedar posts 8' tall to hold up cattle panels once I can get someone to dig the holes, or my incision heals enough, whichever comes first.
I lost a lot of seedlings during an 8 day hospital stay so this year may be sparse in production.
WOW Darius, 8 days? That's awful. How are you doing now? It takes a while to get your strength back so take it slow. A surgeon once told me that your body takes at least a year to get over even the smallest surgery.
Darius, if you'd like, I can try to start some suckers for you. I've never done it before, but it can't be THAT hard :). I have lots of different kinds, and would be happy to share them with you. Is there a particular kind/color you like? If I can help, let me know...
Well Kent; I'm not gettin taders yet. But do enjoy the fresh garden salads. Spinach, Swiss Chard, green onions an radishs.
We do have some little maters forming, but I won't count them yet as I usually loose a few of the first ones to blossom end rot.
I set up my horse tank, put about 4 bushel of dry Horse poop in and filled it with water. I'm going to let it steep a little. and then see if I can get the bale garden going better, with the tea! Heh Heh((*-*))
It has a little catching up to do. That is compared to in the dirt. I know it's no till no weed no stoop. but I guess I have done a pretty good job of amending the soil year after year. with grass clippings, saw dust, leaves in the fall, sand,lime,and a lot of horse poop. I even got a 30 gallon garbage can of chicken manure on it this spring, before tilling it under. I'm not giveing up on the bales. I am however going to try harder to stick a little closer to good even watering and using some tea a little sooner. and will probably set up a row cover much earlier.
I do get some weeds comming up in the rows. but the grass clippings over wet news paper does pretty good between the rows. still have to do a lot on my hands and knees. But when I consider the bales, the amonium nitrate, or something comperable, to cook the bales, blood meal. It is kind of a trade off of work for expense. ( just my experience for a first timer so far.)
A question now; do you use a drip system, or soaker hose or the like
running constantly, or how do you do the watering? Thanks in advance.
Part of my problem is I always have a large garden. Hopping to supply us for a year, plus some for shareing with friends and neighbors.
That would take a quite a few bales. Gotta do some more research yet watching what the bales will do for me yet this year.
It wasn't me. But I'm trying to send a hyperlink, that will give you some information. I don't really remember how to do this. so if it don't come through, try google. gardeners.com/Garden-fabric.
Or just type in ,garden row covers. They have a lot of info. on type of material for heat, shade/ and how hot fruits will not set.
edited to add.
I see that it didn't work, but try the google approach to it . There is info there that could help a lot.
Those are beautiful. dbarb are those eggplants? The first picture. I have never seen them grow. I didn't know they were purple while growing up!! I don't know that they don't grow here. I just have never eaten them so never tried growing any. I would have thought they would have had to ripen, grow purple, after getting their size like other things. Tomtoes don't get their color until they are their maximum size. Or about there. Very interesting.
Jeanette wrote;"I would have thought they would have had to ripen, grow purple, after getting their size like other things."
Even the flowers are purple. Well, lavender at least. You've never eaten eggplant? I'm so sorry! You poor thing, so sadly deprived :(. I hope someday you will get to try some. If you're ever in SC. let me know, and we'll fix you right up!
My eggplants almost succumbed to flea beetles, but seem to be rallying now. I even have one fruit set. It's really the only thing I've had much trouble with so far (knocking madly on the desk).I think I'll plant some more, to go with all the zucchini and tomatoes I'm hoping for.
Thanks Margo, wish I was as far along as you are...all I've got are salads so far...my eggplants got dieback so I ran down a couple of already started ones, you can see them in the pic...I've got a really good veggie lasagna that uses the eggplants.
Jeannette, when you drop by Margos...stop here too & bring her back & we'll all picnic...you, too, Deanna...
Gosh, with all the folks in NC & SC & Ga doing the strawbaling why don't you ALL come...LOL
Oh!! Sounds like fun :). And now I know where Marshville is, not far at all. Amazing the things I learn here. I tried to put myself on the "map" but never had any luck. Think I'll try again.
Foggy wrote;"wish I was as far along as you are"
I'm really surprised it's going so well. I had problems getting the tomato plants I wanted, so they all got planted at different times, but maybe that will space the harvest out some. I'm getting more than I'd expected, and I'm crossing fingers and toes that it continues. Every time I hear the forecast for severe thunderstorms and hail, I cringe, and wonder if I could protect anything, and which I'd choose to save. Sigh. Always something to worry about, but if that's the worst I have to deal with, I'm in good shape, I guess :)
Margo & Foggy, your gardens are doing so good. It isn't that I haven't seen or been able to get eggplant. It's just that it looks so much like zucinni when cooked. Slimey. The only thing I use the zucinni for is bread.
I have seen the cooks on the food channel cook them both and maybe you cook them different. Another thing I have never tried, and I really would like to are those things that Kent grows. Can't think of their name. I have heard that if you don't cook them just exactly the right amount of time that they are slimey too.
Just thought of it. Okra. How do you all cook these different things so they aren't slimey?
Jeanette, the only vegetable I refused to eat growing up was eggplant. Now it is one of my favorites and I actually get cravings for it! When cooked, eggplant will be soft and mushy but if you slice it thin, dip it in a seasoned flour/cornmeal mix and sautee it in olive oil until crispy but soft (I don't like undercooked eggplant) inside, they are fabulous. I learned to eat them fried in Greece. You can do the same with zucchini. I also cut both zucchini and eggplant a little thicker, brush them with a seasoned olive oil mix and roast them in the oven. That still might be too mushy for your taste.
I don't know how to avoid the sliminess of okra. I don't eat it except fried. I grow it for my husband and son. They like it cooked in a little water until soft, pour off the water and add butter and seasoning.
The straw bales are coming along nicely. My okra is actually doing better in them than in the EB's. Tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, and melons are happy too! I am grateful for all the input on this thread which helped get me started! I had to replace just one tomato which "cooked" in the one bale (even though it had cooled down, during the heat wave the bale heated up enough the first few inches during the day to destroy the seedling) but its replacement doesn't seem to have any complaints! Adding shade cloth solved potential tomato losses in two other bales.
Jeanette, they are used in Mediterranean cooking...Italian, etc. & are usually fixed with lots of other veggies...so you may never taste the eggplant all by itself...they are luscious because they pick up all the flavors they are cooked with...Italian tomato sauces & cheeses & basil...Yum!
but...like olives, it's probably an acquired taste...
gardadore, I am going to try that with the eggplant. I really will. I love fried green tomatoes Kent, what is House of Autry? You guys have a lot of products in the south and on the east coast that never make it out west. Do you put that on the green tomatoes to fry them? I normally just use an egg wash and seasoned cornmeal and flour.
Foggy, I have heard of people deep frying the okra but I don't know how they prep it.
Beat up some eggs to dip the squash, etc, in and then turn it over in the mix and put that puppy in the frying pan with some Watkins products garlic and parsley grapeseed oil. mmmmmm ... so good.
I have used pancake mix in place of the breader. That adds a little different flavor.j
russ: my bales are dry on top, too, when I get home each day, but are always good and moist inside. I don't spend but about 15 seconds per bale, if that long, watering.
The key for me is to make sure my plants are fed enough.
All: I met a S. Korean family tonight and showed them some pics of my bale garden from this year and last. They said that where they live the ground is very hard and rocky. I told them to send their relatives the info on bale gardening. Maybe we can make an international connection, finally!
Jeanette, glad to hear you would like to try the eggplant. Another cooking hint: eggplant can absorb a lot of oil so to shorten the frying or sauteeing time and have them thoroughly cooked I slice them and pre cook them in the microwave till they are soft but still manageable. I don't put a true batter on mine because it bothers my stomach. Just dip the moist eggplant from the micro into the flour and cornmeal mix until lightly covered, then sautee until crisp and brown. If you can eat true fried foods then Kent's recipe sounds heavenly!
I think I will have very good eggplant this year. The plants are getting quite large with no flea beetle damage - a big change from last year but I have a bottle of Neem K ready to go if needed! They are about equal size in the EB's and bales. I'll have to try some pics soon as this is getting pretty exciting!
Eggplant is a flavor delivery vessel. The only problem is that the natural eggplant flavor can be a bit bitter. The best advice I can give for eggplant is to salt it well with kosher salt and then let it sit on a rack for a while. The salt will draw moisture out of the eggplant and make it porous like a sponge. Then brush all the salt off. At this point whatever marinade you choose will be sucked right up and create the perfect medium for delivering that flavor. A little teriyaki soak and then a quick stir fry is my favorite. Eggplant is also one of the most prolific plants in the garden. Pound for pound an eggplant will out produce a tomato plant. If you have any interest in Italian cuisine eggplant is a must. I think it would do fine even up there in the great white north Jnette.
One of my favorite eggplant dishes is ratatouille (sp?), a combination of eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, garlic onions and peppers. It's really a vegetable stew, and seasoned (at least by me) like spaghetti sauce. But, I really like eggplant fried. Just sliced thick, dipped in egg and bread crumbs, and fried in bacon drippings. Needless to say, I don't do it very often. I've never thought of it, or zucchini, as slimy, but maybe it's just the very soft texture. Okra is truly slimy, but I like it fried and in soup and gumbos. Don't think I've really eaten it by itself, but if I ever get any planted, I will *G*.
A friend of mine who is also bale gardening for the first time this year came to me with a problem this morning and I couldn't answer it for him but knew one of you could...
He has got worms IN his zucchini. They bore a small hole into the fruit and appear to be light green in color and about 3/32 of an inch around and no idea how long. He has noticed it in every Zucchini on the vine.
Any ideas what they are and how to get rid of them?
UPDATE - We think we've figured it out. Apparently its a pickleworm and he's hoping a dose of Sevin will help remedy the problem. These Pickleworms prefer squash but have no problem infesting any of the Cucubits. I'll let you know how the battle progresses.
On another note...a couple of doses of Escar-go and the slug problem seems to be under control...:)
Hello straw bale gardeners!
I've been lurking in fascination for the last couple of days. This seems like such a dandy way to go! I haven't read through all of the threads yet, but I looked at the map and saw only a couple of daring souls down here in Arizona giving this a shot. Any pointers on straw bale gardening in high heat and dry air? I'd love to give it a shot for a crop of fall beans and maybe some broccoli.
Also, way back in the beginning, Strawbaleman posted his general guidelines for agrichemical use. Has anyone put together something similar for organic use? I'm pretty new to organic growing, and still need all the pointers I can get.
I prepped my bales (hay, not straw for me) with nothing but bloodmeal, which is about as organic as you can get. We're hot here in SC, and it's been pretty dry, and I water with a soaker hose daily, unless it rains. Started in April, and this was yesterday's haul. except that I forgot the 4 juliet tomatoes in my pocket...
Wow, Margo, looks great! How many bales did you have producing all those yummies? Thanks for the bloodmeal tip, I'm writing that down so I remember what works for people. Are people finding that there's a reason to go with hay vs. straw? Or is it a question of availability?
I'd definitely be on the once-to-twice daily soaker hose regimen, summer rains are at least 2 weeks off, temps are in the mid hundreds til then, and we won't cool down to the 90's until October. Gotta love the desert Southwest! I'd like to try the plastic wrap, clear so it won't heat the bale up any more than it will already be just do to the weather.
Let's see. The end bale has the cucumbers, about 6 plants, I think. Then green beans, the front a row of bush beans, the back a row of pole beans. The next has Sugar Baby Watermelons, just beginning to set fruit. Then at the end of that bale, at right angles, there are 2 zucchini plants in the next, then two pattypan in the one after that. Another corner, and there are the ones that I haven't harvested from yet, the winter squashes, pumpkins and melons. So, so far the harvest is from a total of 5 bales. The rest of my garden is tomatoes and peppers, a total (so far) of 17 more bales.
I used hay because I have it for my cows *s*. The last bales are rye hay, and more like straw, hard and solid bales. I had real trouble planting in them, even afte they were "ready". The hay decomposed much more quickly, and those bales have pretty much fallen apart. Doesn't seem to bother the resident plants, other than that they are getting closer to the ground, or crawling off the bales.
It's been a lot of fun, and I'm very glad I tried.I hope you enjoy it as much!
Keep us posted, and ask questions, I sure did.
Thanks again, Kent, you've made my garden grow:))
i just got back from town. my neighbor with a trailer took me and i got 30 straw bales, cattle panels, and a few bags of top soil for the plants once they can go in the bales.
BUT FIRST, i need someone to dig 5 holes for 8' cedar posts which will go 18 inches in the ground (no cement so i can move them next year if necessary) and the 2 cattle panels stretched along them, bales on either side. i think i will staple my cattle panels from the top as most things do not need support near the bottom. then i can start on the stuff for my bales to get them ready to plant.
i'm still thinking about another line of posts (16 feet) and more bales several feet away, making a sorta hoop house attached to the top of this first one. IF I can get someone to dig the holes i should have layout photos by mid-week.
darius; If I were there I'de dig them, with my handy little earth quake. It is a small gas powered post hole digger. I would almost bet that a rental shop, like A to Z rentals might just have one. For so many $$$ per day. I don't know this but it would be worth looking into.
Not too hard to opperate lest you hit a root or a rock. Then it might jerk a bit. I had a good use for it as I had to replace the fence across the back of my little acre. Also used it to put up a privacy fence behind the house and patio, where my pond is. At any rate much easier than using a hand auger or the ( ear slaper) that they call a post hole digger.
Darius, you be careful. You just had surgery!! Why didn't you ask at the store where you bought the stuff about help? Quite often they have a bulletin board where you could either find someone or post for help. But you should not be doing that.
cajun; it is the magnesium sulfate. And for convienence it is right on the useage directions on the box. But when you buy epsom salts get it from the pharmacy section it is the same as what they have in the gardening part. but cheaper in the pharmacy section. reason. supply and demand. more people use it for body aches and foot soaks, Good luck . R
Edited to correct magnesium Also I just looked The walgreens brand doesn't have the directions for house plant healt aid. But other brands I have purchased did have.
Good Darius. I wish I could find someone, even a highschool kid, to do my work. However, my daughter and grandson came over for 4 days this week from Seattle and it was so nice having someone to help me. But, I am so far away from other people that they don't like to come this far. I suppose because of the time and gas. I would even be willing to pay for the gas.
Cajun, Also, I think it adjusts the ph. Roses and tomatoes love it. Also, dig a hole for a banana peel for your roses. BUT, I use Epsom Salts for everything. I just put it in the water when I make the rounds.
The cherries are coming in waves now. Instead of letting the birds take their usual 15% right off the top I used a supersaver to vacuum pack and freeze several quarts. Has anyone had experience with vacuum packing their produce?
I hate to admit it but I have a vacuum packer I have never used but I guess this year I will.Your tomatoes look great. I have never been one to eat cherry tomatoes but I imagine picking and eating them fresh the taste is different than in the store. Next year I plan to increase greatly so what variety do you recommend and I will try some. Deanna
These are Supersweet 100s. They are mildly acidic and very sweet. They are also incredibly productive. I've even used them to make marinara. I wouldn't cook with them unless you don't mind the seeds though. Here's a shot with my cherry bale on the right. They are half a foot short of grabbing the phone line coming into the house.
Nice plants Dbarb. Do you freeze your tomatoes first? I used to when they came on, now I was using the large ones. I would freeze them on a cookie sheet and then just put them in zip lock bags. That was before I got my foodsaver. I could use them for everything except salads. They were not like fresh.
I meant to ask you what you are using for supports for your tomatoes? Whatever it is they certainly stand right up there. Very nice.
Can't believe you don't use your vacuum packer Deanna. They are a necessity. Also, the Sweet Millions are very good cherry tomatoes. Very sweet. That is if they get a lot of sun.
My Seal-a-Meal is getting a workout with the zucchini and pattyPan, and I will freeze some tomatoes as well, when there are more than I can eat (if that's possible:). I'm also freezing zucchini breads and cakes. I freeze everything before sealing, to keep them in better shape, literally. I would be lost without it, although I like the Foodsavers better than the Seal-a-Meal. I'd like to try canning my cherry tomatoes, since I'll have so many different colors, and I'd like to look at them *G*. I also want to can because I have tto much experience with power going out, and trying to keep freezers going...
Last year I just put my excess cherry tomatoes in a ziplock bag and threw them in the freezer. Yesterday I just threw the frozen tomatoes in the pot roast in the slow cooker. Tasted great. Since last fall I bought a food saver and and now use it for homemade soups, sauces and meats. Freezing soups and sauces in a plastic container and then putting the block into the food saver bags works great. It's a whole lot easier to store and cook, and lasts longer.
My bales are starting to produce cukes. My raised beds are producing lettuce and snow pea pods. I have lots of green tomatoes (nothing ripening yet) and the cantaloupe and melons are flowering but no fruit set yet. I am delighted by the bale system and will increase the numbers next year and use the raised beds for garlic and asparagus. I plan on knee replacement over the winter and need crops I can tend from a standing position.
Sandie your snow pea pods look great.I did not grow any because I. heard they did not like the heat. And Jnette feel bad now seeing how everyone uses their vacuum sealer and I have all the extra parts too. To suck the air out of jars etc. Will use it for the veges now. Deanna
Kent wrote;" I'm having a blast with my trombocino zucchini!"
Okay. That does it. I just found that I ordered seeds for those twice, and yet never planted it. I actually have an empty bale that I never planted, 'cuz I was afraid it would shade out my peppers, but if I can train this up as Kent has, The peppers will be fine, and it will have about 15 feet to run above the tomatoes. *G*. And I thought I was done 'til fall...
Oh, and Kent? Best get that recipe up, I have a feeling that anything new to do with zucchini is going to be very much in demand. I even made Chocolate Zucchini Cake :):)
Margo (who is also wondering what other seeds could be trained up that empty panel...hmmmm.)
I called it a "casserole" for some reason, but this great dish is called:
2 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup fine drybread crumbs (you can use Pepperidge Farms herb stuffing mix)
2 medium onions, minced
1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced or chopped
1 14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 tsp oregano
Dash of tabasco
8 eggs, beaten
1 and 1/2 lbs sharp chedder cheese, shredded
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 tsp salt
Mix all ingredients. Bake in 2 greased quiche dishes in preheated 350 oven for 30 minutes. (My wife baked it in 1 large glass dish.)
(I cut out a square and made a sandwich with 2 pieces of sourdough bread! It was so good!!)
alhough it is very late in the season, i finally have my first straw bale row up.
the posts are cedar and although they do not show in the photo, cattle panels run from the tops of the posts down. on one side, i plan tomatoes, and maybe beans or whatever on whatever on other side. i may need to add a small bottom layer of something for beans to climb until they reach the cattle panels.
i have several extra bales which will form a cube for winter squash or other vining plants at one end.
Your grass is so green I am envious. We have gotten a couple of rains the last few days but not nearly what we need. My bale garden is so pitiful I am ashamed to take pictures of it. Both my yellow squash died. One of my bell peppers died but I replaced it. I have lost 1 tomato plant. The others are doing just okay. They have really perked up after the last couple of rains. I water them but the city water just doesn't do the trick. I have empty bales but no energy to put anything in them. The heat zaps me by the time I finish working with the horses. It was 98 here today.
How tall is the cattle panel? I put up dog wire for my beans -- eight feet high -- unfortunately, I forgot I'm not eight feet tall! So, I have to get the kitchen step-stool to pick the beans. LOL. Next year, shorter dog wire.
I've got one mound in the yard that's about 2-l/2 Feet high,
and there is one lonely Butternut squash plant growing there.
Right now, there are about 10 squash, ranging in size from
about 8 inches to 4 inches or so. My dogs pulled the tomato
plants out of their pots and the poor things shriveled up and
died in the hot sun before I saw the damage. Oh, well.
I'm hoping for a veggie garden next year - all this rain has
made it impossible to do any work in the garden, and it's
gonna rain for the next 7 to 9 days. I'm gonna lose my
karen, cattle panels are 52" x 16'. the height was chosen more for interderminate tomatoes, if i get beans that tall too, i will have to use my short ladder. i really don't expect much summer produce this year due to a late start but should make good use of my bales for fall crops.
my next cattle panels will run from the top of this row in an arch down to the ground, like half a hoop house, which i can cover with shade cloth or whatever. maybe extend the growing season spring and fall just a bit.
Darius -- Congratulations on getting the poles and panels set up. You're way ahead of me in thinking about Fall planting. The drought here has me firmly concentrated on now. Everything here needs watering, some daily. This was our year for a major landscaping push which means all the plants were ordered before we knew it was going to be so dry. Now the focus is on trying to get all the new plants through their first year and established. Most everything planted more than a year ago is holding its own, but some of the new stuff is in serious distress. Lord, I wish we had an underground watering system. On the bales I went to a soaker hose; hope that helps conserve some water. I sure am more in touch with what is happening day to day with the weather since we started gardening!
Please take some pictures of the half hoop house when it is built. It sounds interesting.
Kent -- That is one monster zucchini! Thanks for the yardstick picture -- I was trying to remember the dimensions of the grid in cattle panels and figure it out that way. You are going to be eating zucchini forever!
Anyone -- What are Fall crops for this area (7b, rain forest climate)? If I pre-started broccolli and cauliflower indoors would they have time to make it before freeze (late Oct)?
sandie, i hope to start fall crops in 2-3 weeks or so. most will be seeds in the bales although i may change miy mind and start seeds in seedling trays, like my butternut squash. i want rainbow chard, kale, mustard greens, and many others i cannot remember at the moment.
Ok I have read all threads today and my heart is racing so hard. I want to try this, though kind of late. I will try a bale or two and see, if it works, in the late fall I will get more bales and start decomposing them for late winter, where we can plant usually or possibly very early spring.
1. can you plant seeds in them and have them succesfully germanate?
2. Do annuals work as well as veggies? I saw summer`s flowers but in general? flowers and all plants have different watering needs so how does this accomodate for that?
3. Havs anyone tried year round plants like trees and at the end of the season transplanted them succesfully in the ground?
4. Do you change the fact that the bales be kept moist at all in any time during the season? Do you water less after they sprout?
If some of this seems repetivie it may be but so you understand my concerns. I live in the high desert where the soil is clay, alkaline, heat winds and very low winter temps. so this is a big thing if it works for me.
Hell11, If I were in zone 8, I would try a couple NOW. Personally, I would not decompose one year for the next. I used 2 bales I had left over from last year and definiely prefer the new bales.
1. Yes, I started cukes and melons from seed. Also bole Blue Lake Beans.
2. Why do you think there would be a difference between annuals and vegies. Both the same aren't they?
3. Doubt anyone has tried what you are asking but I do not know why it wouldn't turn into mulch for the tree the second year. I would start them in the bales right where you want them to end up.
4. Sorry, you lost me on this one.
I would think this would work for you. I don't know why it would be any different than the way you would plant anything.
I am sure others might think differently than I. Hope they can help.
PERRY, I have gone back thru almost all of the parts of this thread and cannot find where you gave the address for the nutrients for the fertilizer. My sister cannot believe the difference in her tomatoes in just days using the fertilizer I gave her.
I not only can't find the address information, but, I thought I got 2 "sleeves" of the nutrients. I cannot find the second one. PLUS, I cannot remember how much I paid for them.
jnette thanks. I am excited to try and so is my dh. what I meant to say in #4 is do you water the bales the same amount during the whole growing season or does it change to less water after the plant is established.
My seed planted bush beans, TriColor, in the bale, sprouted nicely the second time around . Think I didn't keep moist enough first time. I am hoping the dratted evil bunnies do not learn that beans are growing on the bale. I know it is late but I am going to try planting just a few peas. The bunnies, my dog, and the guineas all conspired against me and I will not get any peas. This time I am going to plant just a few seeds inside my Blackberry bird netting covered framework. There is also chicken wire up for two feet. Wish I had thought to plant them there earlier.
Hell -- I sprinkled a little bagged top soil on one bale and seeded Cold Set tomatoes and they came up just fine and are almost as tall as the seedlings I planted at the same time.
No experience with annuals and I don't think anyone has tried starting trees, although that is an intriguing thought.
Watered the same way as the seedlings. No 'maters on them yet but there are on seedlings. We are having a drought here; at first I was using a sprinkler system for about an hour or so a day. As I realized it was a drought I reduced the sprinkler use to every other day (I'm on a well and nervous about running it dry). I then went to watering plants directly as they needed it and am now on a soaker hose an hour or so every other day. Almost everything is doing fine. The Legend tomato is not doing as well and is needing babying.
Other plants in bales are melons, cantaloupe, cukes and 5 different kinds of maters.
Thinking about planting broccoli and cauliflower after my early tomatoes finish producing to see if they can produce before winter.
Welcome aboard this addictive thread.
I see that it is. I too have a desert rabbit problem so I may put mine two bales high if they are reaching the single ones or chicken wireing an enclosure. We have pheasants too, they may jump up there too.
What about Alfalafa straw bales? I think that is all we have around here?
Well we have hay but I thought it was the forsaken unnutricious part of the plant. I do not know what kind of straw ours is then. Isn`t straw from all of those grain plants, the parts left over and not used by humans for food? explain because i do not know? Should I use straw or what? I saw some people talking about different types to use and not to use.
I used hay last year and this year. I also used straw last year and the hay beat the straw hands down. The straw had mold. The hay didn't. I have 13 bales sitting 15 feet from my front door and there is no odor at all. I much prefer the hay.
Orchard grass and Timothy mixture. I don't feed Alfalfa for 2 reasons. 1) The reason for feeding hay is to fill them up and to get the second gut working. It is supposed to mimic grazing. You can't feed large amounts of Alfalfa because of the high protein content. Founder is a very ugly problem I can do without. 2) I am scared of my horses getting blister beetles in the Alfalfa. They are lethal even in small amounts.
I hope we keep getting these rains like the last couple of days. We are still way behind. It is not looking good for our second cuttings of hay. The first cuttings were not as good as they should have been.
Kent So it is called hay/grass and not just hay? This is my first year and the bales I am using a nursery gave me for free. so I am trying to plan now for next year and see what the nuseries around here have and prices.They all seem to run 4to 5 dollars.I know there must be some farmers around fayetteville and raeford that must have it but did not know where. Looked in phone book and only 1 for hay. Any suggestions appreciated. Deanna
deanna, you will find little or no hay amywhere this year due to the drought. farmers are advertising all over to get enough tonnage to get their cows/horses through the coming winter, and are offering a premium payment for it.
you might ask about spoiled hay, which cannot be fed, but certainly can be used for bale gardening.
I too prefer alfalfa hay bales. I am a rank beginners in bale gardening, but have used baled hay for many years. Use it for litter in my chicken house, the chickens like the alfalfa leaves to eat. Old hay is very good for mulching and I have never noticed any bad odors.
I am only trying for this first time with bale gardening, 3 bales, 2 are straw and one is alfalfa. I planted beans in two of them, 1 each kind. My bales are in a row placed on several thicknesses of newspaper, and mostly watered with a soaker hose. Cannot keep the straw bales moist enough. The bean seeds in the alfalfa came up very good and are growing nicely. I even replanted bean seeds in the straw bale and still have no plants, same conditions for all.
Really nice rain this morning for a couple of hours, which will help everything.
Boy I created a rouchus already here. lol Are you all more confused or better off? I am thinking that straw here in the desert may not hold enough water either. Our straw here is $8.44 a bale, I have been using it in my slow lasagna garden since winter. Just added some Nitrogen accelerant to it and flooded it yesterday. I need more stuff though, more layers too.
Ouch!! And I thought $4.15 a bale was expensive. There are several feed stores in the Sylmar/San Fernando area which I am familiar with. Have you tried them? Maybe Bakersfield would be closer for you. I know gas is too high to make a special trip, but if you had to go there for something else anyway . . .
You can stretch the use of the straw bales, though. Plant in them the first year, and then use them for mulch/compost the second year. Kent used them the 2nd year to plant potatoes. I'm thinking that may be a good way to get three years out of them: plant veggies first year, potatoes second year, and mulch/compost third year.
Hi all! I have been trying to read all parts of this thread and have a couple of questions:
1) How many of the folks who I read about their 2006 bale garden are doing another this year?
2) Any conclusion that organic produces as good, better or worse results than the non-organic method?
3) Did the onion and potato crops produce well at harvest?
I am selling my house and will probably be renting here in FL and want to try this at our rental this fall. I like organic gardening so am curious to see how things went (didn't get past part 4 yet!) Exciting stuff, Strawbaleman!
I had a garden last year and am trying it again this year. I had great results last year with my tomatoes and squash. The slugs got my peppers but I haven't had any problem with them thus far this year. I haven't done great this year. We had late freezes that put me behind and we've been in a drought. We've had rains a few times in the last week and it has perked up. I've been watering with the hose but city water does not compare to the rain. I can't comment on the organic stuff. I used sevin dust for the bugs. I only fertilized once with a commercial mix. The rest of the season I used a smear of rabbit dung and it worked great. Have fun with your fall crop. You'll get hooked like the rest of us! LOL
Thanks Cajun! I was battling the slugs with you just earlier today whilst I was reading LOL! I have property in Greensburg, KY that I will get to move to one of these days so I have been particularly interested in your experiences being a fellow 'tuckian!
Where in Ky is Greensburg located? We are in Martin county in extreme eastern Ky. We are in the mountains smack in the middle of the coal fields. We love it here though there are many things I miss about the bayou.
It is about an hour south and a little east of L'ville, in south central KY. I am a native Floridian suburb girl who has always longed for the country. We bought 17 acres on a large creek that feeds in to Green River and it also has another little creek with waterfall. The large creek is way down hill from where we will build so no flood worries. I can hardly wait! We did plant a couple of apple trees a nectarine and some raspberries when we were there in the spring!
I would LOVE to see pics of your place. Sounds like a little bit of heaven on earth. I dream of having a farm here in the mountains with a stream and a couple of springs. I know it is a tall order but I refuse to let go of it. Right now I live on a street corner in town. I presently have 3 dogs in a kennel, 1 box turtle, 15 chickens and a possum in the house. I have 6 horses on 2 different farms which puts me on the road a lot so I really need a farm. LOL Would love to have a cow for milk and meat, a sow to raise feeder pigs and meat and some rabbits for meat. If my farm was big enough to cut and sell hay from, it would really put me in business. A couple hundred acres on a strip job would be just the ticket. I don't want much, do I?