I haven't noticed anyone saying whether soil should be added on top of the bales after planting. I still have 4 bales that I haven't planted yet, can I start seeds in the bale or do I need to put in transplants, I used Eufalla's tool for starting the holes and filled them with rotted horse manure mixed with topsoil then topped it off with a little more manure. I hate to keep asking what seems like stupid questions but I think I may be hooked on this I actually found out this weekend I could get another 20 or 30 bales if I want them, I'm just not sure where to put them.
Gee Whiz Fremar ... I should have found out where you lived so I could have come by yesterday on my way home from visiting with Digger Gal Sal in Dahlonega! I would have loved meeting you and seeing your Garden too! Sounds like yu will have enough garden to feed an Army and then have plenty to Freeze!
Eufaula you would have more than welcome to stop by, I am a little out of the way for your trip from Diggers, I live about 25 miles due East of Athens, bout halfway between Athens and Elberton. I still haven't figured out how to group pics on here but I do have a few I took Sunday, I generally take time off right after Easter to plant and this weekend was my planting time( the biggest portion) I've had carrots and potatoes growing for a few weeks now and my spinach and brussel sprouts have been in ground since Feb.
I had really hoped to meet you and Digger at the roundup but tis not to be, really a good thing I guess cause I have to cook chicken at our church that Friday night and would have been running on little or no sleep.
OK that was one pic of my lil garden spot, here's one with a little better view.
The two short white "barrels" in the foreground are carrots I mixed two different kind in each. The Black square Pot? to the left and the three white barrels behind them all have pontiac red potatoes.
Then from the right I have a small raised bed 16' or so for my yellow squash, there is a section I haven't planted yet, then I have 8 green bell peppers in a cinderblock raised bed and to the far left I have Better Boy tomatoes 8 of those also. With sunflowers planted between that bed and the fence.
The bed right behind the tom. has cucumbers planted in it and the last thing on the left is a trellis for baby lima's I planted sunday.
The bales are my new experiment with more tomatoes in the far left bale middle 2 empty right now and cucumbers in the 4th also zuccinni in the far right.
There are two more white "barrels" back there also that have wildflowers planted in them.
And if you look real close behind the compost bins you can see my horseshoe pits, I kinda like to combine work and play sometimes.
fremar: for the first two years I didn't use any potting mix or anything on the bales. Just transplanted straight into the bales.
Last 3 years I did use some potting mix to add to the cracks.
It may be a psychological thing. Can't hurt.
As for seeds, you'll need something for them to germinate in, and I don't think a "plain" bale will suffice. A couple inches on top will do and then the plant will just shoot their roots down in the bales.
Kent, been meaning to tell you, the Extension Agent really liked my article on bale gardening. He wants me to do a mock bale garden at the local Farmers' Market. Thanks for all your help, editing and inspiration!
actually I used composted manure and bagged garden soil,punched a hole in the bale dropped a double handful in and dropped the seeds.
I'll let ya'll know in a week or so I guess. If I don't see anything by the end of the month I'll buy some transplants.
not especially eufaulla, when I look at shoe's garden or farmerdill's. This is my 3rd year growing here, I haven't grown a garden in 15 years but with the cost of food and not knowing what is in it I just want to grow food for my family and maybe have enough to share with some friends.
Last year I had some poor crops,only real harvest were cukes, beans, okra and a ton of tomatoes. I still have dried tomatoes from last year;probably enough to last into the fall.
Actually I was talking to my future son in law and we measured to see just how much I had expanded. Last year my garden was about 15'x15' and I have 3 raised beds in another part of my front yard near my well house (the beds were my first attempt at gardening in 15 years).This year the "garden" is 30' deep and 24' wide, I'm still experimenting with placement of beds and compost bins, I have 3 of those and I pick up leaves and grass clippings from several people in Athens throughout the year not to mention I have an endless supply of coffee grounds and tea bags that I add to the bins and directly to the bes.
BTW Today I pulled about 2 dozen of the best carrots I have ever tasted, I've only tasted store bought carrots before and had no idea they could be so tender.
Quilter_gal carrots do GREAT in bales aspecially after they have decomposed, in fact I pulled two out yesterday evening and they were the biggest I've grown yet.
I think my only issue with hay bales is judging the moisture level, I'm having trouble with a couple of tomatoe plants that are in bales. Some people over on the tomatoe forum suggested it might be a problem with the bale, or possibly a deficeincy that is causing the fruit to rot.
My best results are with squash, I have zuchini that are over 4 feet tall and I usually harvest a 3 to 5 gallon bucket every other day.
Here's my harvest on the 21st of June