This year will be my 3rd summer in Oklahoma. On my homestead plan this is the year of the garden. I have a vision of how my garden will ultimately look, however my budget prevents me from buying the galvanized stock tanks ($70 each x 15) the plan calls for. I am not willing to give up my vision, so I decided to explore some other, less costly options until I then.
- I could grow my garden in bags. Yes, bags. This is a form of container gardening I have considered in the past, but dismiss because I don't like the look very much.
- I could just slap together some wood and form some beds, but then I still have to fill them with soil (costly) and then when I am finished with them I will have to find a way to move all that soil. Not the way I want to spend my energy. Too much labor with too little reward.
- Thirdly, I can use what I have on hand. I have lots of straw bales on hand. Bingo.
|Straw Bale Gardens by Joel Karsten|
Interested? Intrigued? Interested in trying straw bale gardening at your place?
You can read a great article about straw bale gardening written by Mary Yee here that gives a good overview of the process and has anecdotal information from the American Horticultural Society's attempt at a straw bale garden in Virginia.
You should also get a copy of Joel Karsten's book (he is the guy who wrote the book on this process literally) Straw Bale Gardens Complete: Breakthrough Vegetable Gardening Method. This book is the straw bale garden bible!
Currently I use my straw bales to insulate my tiny house against wicked cold winter winds, but soon winter will be over and I will drag the bales out to the open sunny spot where the garden is planned. I have 10 bales at this time and will pick up another 10. I figure 20 bales is a decent sized garden. By the way, 20 bales of straw is just $140. Fertilizer and a couple good size bags of garden soil is all I will need. How budget friendly is that?!!
Bring on Spring cause this gal is ready to grow stuff!