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Old 01-19-2009, 08:33 AM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Virginia, USA
Default Strawbale Gardening

This is one options you can choose if you have limited space and want to use no-till gardening methods. Ruth Stout is the "guru" of this method. I suggest getting or borrowing her The Ruth Stout No-Work Garden Book.

There are multiple sites on the web that explain in great detail how to use this particular gardening method.

For example:


The bale is the garden.
Put it on your balcony or path if you want to.Wheat or oat straw is best as it's the stalks left from harvesting grain with very few seed left. Hay bales are less popular as they are made of whole plants with mucho seeds and often other weeds in. Use what you can get locally it may even be lucerne or pea straw bales.
It's a excellent way to get food production in areas with poor soil or limited space. And as the straw breaks down it greatly improves the quality of the soil.

Interesting concept and a practical way to deal with gardening "issues".

Last edited by Cirsium; 08-01-2010 at 12:56 AM. Reason: Repaired link
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:41 AM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Cajun Country, Louisiana, USA

Neat idea!
I usually "set my plants free" and plant them in the ground because the container grown ones aren't doing as well because I'm not remembering to water them once or twice a day in our brutal heat. This one deserves considering. It need more water than usual (con) but the straw/hay would keep the root area cooler (pro). Might need to get a bale and try it.
My yarden and I lean a little to the wild side.
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:34 AM   #3
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You do want to ask for "builder's straw". Hay contains far more weed seeds etc. It's a very interesting way to set up a garden, and I would probably do it, but I have a enough space to sprawl a bit.

I find straw to be one of those things that has multiple uses, besides setting up a new garden bed. I use them to make a simple coldframe, since they are an excellent insulator and just cover with a sheet of plexiglass which I prop with a stick. Real simple to use and you can expand the size if you need to. You can use recycled old windows for this as well. It's super easy way to harden off young seedlings in the early spring. At least in these more temperate zones.
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Old 01-22-2009, 08:39 AM   #4
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Oh, I missed this thread. I'm game.
"In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; we will understand only what we have been taught."
-Baba Dioum, Senegalese ecologist
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Old 01-22-2009, 07:26 PM   #5
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Ruth Stout was a very knowledgable and inspiring person. I think she gifted all gardeners with a great method that's very earth and people friendly way to grow food crops especially. I'm a great admirer of hers.
Lady S

There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling. ~Mirabel Osler

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gardening, strawbale

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