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Strawbale Gardening: adding soil after planting?

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fremar
Comer, GA
(Zone 7b)

April 20, 2009
12:51 PM

Post #6436184

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.
Eufaula
Eatonton, GA
(Zone 8b)

April 20, 2009
5:40 PM

Post #6437391

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!
fremar
Comer, GA
(Zone 7b)

April 20, 2009
7:49 PM

Post #6437977

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.

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fremar
Comer, GA
(Zone 7b)

April 20, 2009
8:03 PM

Post #6438051

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.

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KentNC
Wake Forest, NC

April 20, 2009
10:59 PM

Post #6438959

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.
KentNC
Wake Forest, NC

April 20, 2009
11:57 PM

Post #6439264

fremar: by the way, I want to add that I wouldn't add any soil, since you may introduce soil-borne diseases, but use some sterile potting mix.

postmandug

postmandug
Bardstown, KY
(Zone 6a)

April 21, 2009
12:07 AM

Post #6439327

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!

Doug
fremar
Comer, GA
(Zone 7b)

April 21, 2009
12:08 AM

Post #6439338

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.
Eufaula
Eatonton, GA
(Zone 8b)

April 21, 2009
10:34 AM

Post #6441182

WoW!!! Fremar THAT is some garden!
Hmmmmmmmmmm,.. next road trip...Comer!
fremar
Comer, GA
(Zone 7b)

April 21, 2009
4:45 PM

Post #6442613

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.
KentNC
Wake Forest, NC

April 21, 2009
7:27 PM

Post #6443394

Doug: good deal.

I've been trying to get the NC Sec. of Agriculture and the folks at the NC State Fair to sponsor a bale garden exhibit, but can't seem to get anyone interested.

It would be a show-stopper, for sure, since most of the folks who like these type of exhibits are older and more likely to appreciate bale gardening.
mansiongardener
Raleigh, NC

April 21, 2009
9:54 PM

Post #6443995

Kent,

I'm working on the NC State Fair possibility.

KentNC
Wake Forest, NC

April 22, 2009
1:00 AM

Post #6444871

Fantastic! Hope you can pull it off.

I'll be seeing you, soon, with my camera in hand! :-)

UNLESS, you post some pics first.
digger9083
Dahlonega, GA

May 31, 2009
1:21 AM

Post #6619739

Fremar , maybe we can get together, at least the three of us , in the future. Am looking forward to mini roundup next year . You have loads more garden room than me . Yours looks great ! digger
fremar
Comer, GA
(Zone 7b)

May 31, 2009
3:40 AM

Post #6620357

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
(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

June 26, 2009
7:57 PM

Post #6742289

Fremar, you said in another thread that when you thinned your carrots, you stuck the culls into bales - are those growing well or did they taste good or did you lose them? Curiosity, you know! :)

I'm thinking that when the cucurbits are done, the bales will be just about perfect for some fall plantings. I could do baby carrots, even if I have to grow in dishpans, again.
fremar
Comer, GA
(Zone 7b)

June 26, 2009
9:45 PM

Post #6742668

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

Thumbnail by fremar
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fremar
Comer, GA
(Zone 7b)

June 26, 2009
9:46 PM

Post #6742675

How's this for a zuchini leaf? took that picture last evening.

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fremar
Comer, GA
(Zone 7b)

June 26, 2009
9:52 PM

Post #6742695

these are the zuc's in the foreground, planted from seed the week after Easter and given ALOT of tender loving care.

Thumbnail by fremar
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fremar
Comer, GA
(Zone 7b)

June 26, 2009
9:59 PM

Post #6742721

If you look back to April th 20th this picture isn't exactly the same spot but it is from the same side of the garden (west) Taken 6/25/09

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fremar
Comer, GA
(Zone 7b)

June 26, 2009
10:02 PM

Post #6742734

And possibly my fav shot (from the south side of the garden). Has anyone grown a cucumber called "marketmore" I had awesome results from these in bales.

Thumbnail by fremar
Click the image for an enlarged view.

KentNC
Wake Forest, NC

June 27, 2009
1:45 AM

Post #6743658

Great pics! Keep on rolling!
quilter_gal
(Elizabeth) DFW Area, TX

June 27, 2009
3:46 AM

Post #6744102

Incredible size on those plants! I think mine are looking beautiful at about a foot tall - I'd probably call the newspaper if I had plants that big! :)

And those are some prolific cucumbers, there - what in the world do you do with that many cucumbers? I love the darn things, but I'm afraid those outrun even my taste for fresh cucumbers. ;)

Thank you so much for the info on the carrots - maybe I'll start some indoors and put them out in Sept.

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Other Strawbale Gardening Threads you might be interested in:

SubjectThread StarterRepliesLast Post
Straw bale gardening: no weeding, no hoeing, no tilling KentNC 274 Oct 18, 2009 1:58 AM
Strawbale Gardening (part 7) Jnette 126 Mar 20, 2007 9:51 AM
Straw Bale Gardening LauraK 49 Apr 2, 2008 12:02 AM
Straw Bale Gardening (Part 8) KentNC 114 Apr 2, 2007 5:32 PM
Straw Bale Gardening (Part 9) KentNC 124 Apr 21, 2007 12:39 AM


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