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Strawbale Gardening: Manure to feed bales?

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Forum: Strawbale GardeningReplies: 6, Views: 76
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(Zone 10b)

October 21, 2007
6:53 AM

Post #4106430

Today I collected 4 big sacks of manure from a heap behind the local race track. Unfortunately its very fresh. Ive put some into my compost heap, and some into a big tub of water to make manure tea.

Has anyone tried using manure (or tea) to feed bales? And how fresh is too fresh? If it wasnt so fresh Id consider putting a few shovels of it on top of each bale.

Is it even ok to make tea from fresh poop? I havent made tea before, but though it could be a good way to keep my bale garden fed over the coming summer months. I avoid using chemicals in my garden as much as possible.

Id love to hear about your experiences with this.
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

October 22, 2007
1:58 AM

Post #4108897

Hi again I made the tea this year too. I did start from a very dry manure though. But when I started watering the bales with ( tea) was when every thing finally started growing like I thought it should.
But I soon found that I had way more tea than I needed. So I hauled it to another garden spot and dumped it there and spread it out. Will see what happens nexr year.
I had spread fresh horse manure on my regular garden last fall. So the tea this year was for the strawbales. I'm not sure if it was timing or just what they needed. I do know that the tomatoes really bushed out and I tied them up as high as I could and they still hung back down into the path I had planed as a walk way between the rows of bales.
Kind of lets me know some of the changes I need for next year LOL
(Zone 10b)

October 24, 2007
3:33 AM

Post #4117111

Ive gone and dumped some of this fresh, undiluted "hot" tea on some of my bales, on day 3 of the cooking stage. They are now up to day 7. The bales that got the tea are looking and feeling softer and more decomposed than the others. Or maybe its just my imagination? Will give them ALL another dose, then leave the tea a month or two untill its cooled down. Time to start planting those bales in 2 weeks!

Have been wandering about the tomato height thing with the bales... last year some of my plants got over 3m tall and I couldn't reach to tie them anymore. They were planted at ground level, and Im 1.76m so quite tall for a woman. Now add another half metre of height for the the bale... oh! might be investing in a portable step ladder!

I hear you all mention Miracle Gro alot. I have not seen this product on our shelves. Im guessing its a general type plant food. What is it made of? Chemical or organic in origin?

Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

October 24, 2007
7:18 PM

Post #4119221

Lena; If they grow like mine did, you might want more space between the plants and tie them so far up then start going lateral. Mine went 6ft up then I left them to hang back down. They went clear back down and laid on the ground. Yes that would make it a little too tall for the average person. Possibly a little over twice your reach. My friend used a bush type tomato, so his didn't get that tall. Russ
(Zone 10b)

October 25, 2007
12:51 AM

Post #4120370

Russ: How many did you plant per bale? Ive built my first climbing structure out of bamboo, with plenty of horizontal poles to tie the tall ones down to. And secured the whole thing to the house with twine and fencing nails. This evening we will get more bamboo. The last 50-something poles disappeared so fast in my garden!
I should really wait a week or two to get bamboo, or Ill be out there building cages instead of studying for my up coming exams! I am so distracted by this garden. First exam is on tuesday already, and I still havent worked for it. Dont know why Im studying Finance anyway, should have stuck with horticulture. oh well, third year almost over, just one more to go. Then I can find a job in a nursery and be a gardener with a finance degree :)

Oh, miracle gro, can anyone tell me please?
Hornick, IA
(Zone 4b)

October 25, 2007
12:55 PM

Post #4121633

Lena I planted 3 per bale. Part of my problem I think is that I didn't prune enough of the sucker shoots. That is probably the reason I ran out of room. It even made it hard to get to the tomatoes, as I had to lift the vines and swing them aside to even see some of the tomatoes.
I had the same problem with the Height with the tomatoes I planted in the ground. The spacing wasn't the problem there. I just didn't provide any thing to tie them up higher. And of course I didn't do enough pruning there either. Got a lot of tomatoes though.
I do believe I would have gotten more of the very large tomatoes had I pruned them.
This was my first time using straw bales. So I am blaming myself and lack of experience for all my errors.
Wake Forest, NC

October 26, 2007
1:49 PM

Post #4125302

Lena: here's a link for Miracle Gro:

I love it because it's convenient. I can water and feed at the same time.

Also, it's almost impossible to burn/over feed a plant with Miracle Gro.

I don't have the time or inclination (at this point) to make up my own fertilizer and teas, etc. That's just me.


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