Title: Hay Bale Gardening
Broadcast: 2 April 2016
Presenter: Trevor Cochrane
In this segment Trevor introduces us to Straw Bale Gardening – a different way of growing a vegetable garden. The idea does not only deliver great vegetables, it also improves soil and provides good mulch.
- The idea of this gardening method is to create a retained garden bed using straw bales as the barrier. This allows the chance to create an external boundary, and the internal section can be filled with good soil.
- First, layout a clean open aspect area level ready to be bounded by bales. Old straw bales no longer suited for other pet purposes are best.
- If using fresh bales, open the ties a bit to allow them to expand and absorb moisture, encouraging them to break down. The composting process heats the soil; meaning crops such as tomatoes can be grown in cooler months with great success.
- Fill the inside with soil. Garden soil is fine and half a level is perfect. It makes a great microclimate, and the straw breaking down can be used to fill the levels higher if it smells.
- This method is great for growing strawberries as snails and slugs hate the rough nature of straw, meaning pest damage is limited.
- The straw eventually breaks down into a good mulch that can be moved to a garden bed that will benefit from its addition. They don’t really need to be fed, but adding blood n bone will speed the composting process.