Square Bale (not foot) Gardening?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
Went to buy som extra hay for the goats Saturday before the bad weather got here, and stopped and bought at a farm I'd never been to before. Got ta' jabber jawin' with the old timer, and to make a long story short, he asked if I ever gardened in a bale of hay. He told me that his wife starts the tomatoe plants in the greenhouse, then he plants the seedlings, dirt ball and all, into the center of a bale of hay, and the plants grow like the dickens, and he gets yellow tomatoes up near 2 pounds each!
I figure I'm going to try this with 6 or 8 plants and see what happens, but wanted to know if anybody else has heard of / done this? And if so, what were your experiences?
-- Eric in TN (email@example.com), January 07, 2002
cukes and peppers, in old straw works great
-- Stan (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 07, 2002.
Eric, are you talking about an old rotted down bale, or a new one? Seems like an old one would be a moisture sink that would allow really even watering, but I've never heard of this before. Sounds interesting!
-- Jennifer L. (Northern NYS) (email@example.com), January 07, 2002.
A back issue of the Kitchen Gardener has an article about a couple who garden by the ocean and they use this method. In the picture, they had 2 pepper plants and 1 tomato in a bale. I've seen this in another magazine, too. (trying to remember which one...) I think this one was used as an flower planter. It gave me the idea to plant pansies in the hay bale we used as part of our fall display with pumpkins, mums, etc and I was surprised how well it worked. You should dig out a hole from the top side of the bale and then fill with potting soil. You may need to cut the hay with shears. This method should have good water retention since you can soak the whole bale. This would be a good idea for a spot in your yard that has poor soil but needs a focal point.
-- Bren (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 07, 2002.
I experimented with them two years ago on strawberries. I had much better results soaking the bales with vermicompost tea prior to inserting the seedlings. I just didn't like all the leftover mulch to contend with other than that, the technique was effective.
-- Jay Blair in N. AL (email@example.com), January 07, 2002.
That's a trick we use to get early tomatoes only we use bales of straw on three sides and face the opening south. Use old windows on the front opening, and some old glass shower doors or windows on top. Let it get good and warm and then plant the tomatoes with some black plastic on the ground for extra ground warmth. It gets really hot in there so you must watch it daily and have a way to open during the day and close it at night. Last year we had ripe tomatoes on June 20th. Early Girl is a good variety. Oh yeah, we live in southern Ohio.
-- Karen Braun (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 07, 2002.
We use up old bales of hay, grinding them up and rototilling them into the garden every spring.. Then adding about three yards of manure and peat moss to the mixture. About two weeks later, it's ready for the plants. Just about always got large to very large cukes, zuchinni and beets.
-- matt johnson (email@example.com), January 11, 2002.