Frequently Asked Questions… – Straw Bale Gardening

Frequently Asked Questions…

What is a straw bale garden?

A straw bale garden is simply a garden where you grow your vegetables, herbs, and flowers, in straw bales rather than in a traditional garden bed. It could be considered to be a combination of container & raised bed gardening, and it  comes with many additional advantages.

What are the benefits vs having a traditional garden?

The benefits are many, and it’s why the straw bale gardening method is gaining in popularity year on year. Once you’ve tried it yourself, you’ll find it very hard to go back to working a traditional garden bed. For just a few of the benefits check out the article here.

What do I need to get started?

There really isn’t much too it. You’ll need straw bales, some compost and some optional potting mix for planting. You’ll also need a good organic nitrogen rich fertilizer to help condition your bales before planting. Other than that, you might want a decent watering system, some structures to help support plant growth and the right knowledge to ensure you’re successful from day one.

What can I grow in straw bales?

Pretty much anything you would usually grow in a traditional garden can be grown in a straw bale garden. There are only few minor exceptions. For example vegetables like asparagus take 2-3 years before they start producing crowns, so it doesn’t make much sense to plant those in a straw bale – as the straw bale only has a “growing life span” of one to two seasons at the most.

Can I garden in straw bales over winter?

Sure, if you grow winter crops, there’s no reason why it can’t be done in straw bales – in fact, because you’re growing in straw, you’re not going to have to deal with gardening in a lot of mud ;-0. You just want to pay attention to the amount of rainfall and water and possibly implement some frost protection where necessary, but these are the same considerations you would have with a traditional winter garden anyway. If you don’t garden over winter, it’s still a good time to plan your straw bale garden and acquire your straw bales, so you can get setup & be well prepared in time for spring.

Is it cost effective?

It sure is. Straw is usually pretty cheap if you shop around, plus at the end of a growing season, you can just bang it in the compost bin or use it as a mulch on your traditional garden beds. So you’re going to end up saving money – or at least not spending anymore than maintaining a traditional garden – because you’re essentially just investing in next seasons compost in advance (and you’ll know exactly what’s in it).

What’s the best way to get started?

Spend some time checking out the rest of our website for more information and advice. And if you’re ready to get started, be sure to download our book. It’s the fastest path to your success when it comes to setting up and maintaining your own straw bale garden.