I know this isn't what is meant by strawbale gardening, I just thought I'd show what I've done with straw bales. Oops!!dont know how to fix sideways!
Not quite the same thing...
Whatever you are growing in them seems to be happy. It's hard to tell specifically.
It's a long silly story-when we moved out here from CA last fall DH hauled out all the containers and dirt I was using in the garden there. I dumped it all in a pile planning to get gardens dug quickly, which didn't happen. So it was originally just a small raised bed for asparagus, but there was that hard freeze in January and I believed it was killed because the crown was at the surface...then the strawbale idea hit me, and I added another foot+ of dirt and the artichokes, a little later I thought it was spring here in the desert (hah!) and planted Brussels sprouts, cabbage and broccoli seeds. Some potatoes were going to sprouts so in they went. Got some strawberries, in they went. Planted some seeds in pots in march, by late April I hadn't got a real garden done, so in went tomatoes, marigolds, and watermelon! Oh, and there are some chives, and I guess some Jerusalem artichokes from using used soil. Then all of a sudden I got asparagus popping up, and by the time it reached the surface it was an inch in diameter!
I guess the potatoes will be done when it gets hot, with the cole crops, which will make room for the hot weather stuff? I'm taking companion gardening to the limit!
That is a lot of stuff planted in what is not a large area. How did it all work out? Especially in your new yard? Where in CA did you move from. We made that move last year from inland SoCal to NoAZ and I find the winter and wind to be more problematical. We used to have the Santa Ana winds, but for much shorter time periods.
Hi quiltygirl, I've been following your moving adventures a bit- you moved earlier in the summer then I did, I believe-I lived in Anza, up in the San Jacinto mountains east of Temecula. Although I'm at the same elevation here, that's the only thing that's the same!
Most of the seeds I direct sowed didn't come up except the zucchini, and when doesn't zucchini thrive?! But I did get a nice batch of potatoes, and there is one watermelon too.
The winds seemed horrible to me until I realized that most of the plants weren't bothered as much as I was. But then, I lost so many over the winter because of the 'deep freeze' in January that I can't say for sure what killed what. And the humidity, or lack of it, was a surprise too. Now I'm just waiting for days that don't hit the mid nineties by 10:00, so I can go out and make more garden beds. We are running our grey water out in an E shape so that there will be three long raised beds over the arms (legs?) of the E. I guess it's the caliche I find the most challenging right now.
I was impressed by your strawbale success in CA. I'm sure it will work out here too, but maybe with some clay soil thrown in to help hold the moisture in the bales? I finally got a compost pile to work out here using dirt in the mix and black plastic trash bags around it to block the wind.
I keep reminding myself of that wonderful saying about growing plants: the first year they sleep, the next year they creep, and the third year they leap! Can't wait to see what has dug in and starts 'creeping' around here next spring!