If you haven’t heard of straw bale gardening, the concept is quite simple. You plant seeds or root transplants in bales of straw, not hay. Here are a few key features which make it ideal for survival gardening.
- It can be done anywhere.
- Little maintenance is required.
- No need for bending and digging, making it ideal if you have physical limitations.
- It’s ideal if you have poor soil or limited space.
- Straw becomes compost as it breaks down.
- Straw contains fewer seeds than hay, meaning fewer weeds to pull.
- Bales can last up to two seasons.
Put soil on top, open up holes for planting, and fill in with more soil before you plant. Your straw bales become a hybrid of container gardening and square foot gardening.
You’ll want to be sure to water often during the summer. Fertilize, too. However, the more you fertilize, the sooner the bales break down. If they’re too broken down to reuse, put them in with your other compost. You are composting, aren’t you?
Why not start a straw bale survival garden this fall?
Some straw bale gardening resources.
View a TV news report on swapping soil for straw.
Also, here’s one gardener’s video chronicle of straw bale gardening.