Straw Bale Gardening

Discussion in 'Organic Cultivation' started by ResinRubber, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. ResinRubber

    ResinRubber Civilly disobedient/Mod

    Attended a garden seminar for straw bale gardens and decided to throw some clones out late to see how cannabis responds to the technique. I't'll take a couple weeks to get the bales bio-active and plants in. Pics will follow about a month from now.

    Essentially you create a mini ongoing compost within the bale itself which then aids in breaking down feed nutrients. The spacing of the straw and hollow stems create air space for roots while retaining moisture in a capillary action.

    The developer of the technique (Joel Karsten) was the seminar host and I was able to bend his ear afterward specifically about root zone development. He claims the added airspace can increase an average tomato plant root zone by over 50%. That's enough for me! As any good organic gardener knows, more roots equals more bud.

    Straw bale gardening seems ideal for backyard grows or areas with poor soil quality. Rather than shipping in huge amounts of soil or amendments the bales act as self contained individual planters that are easily relocatable.

    Here's a pic of a regular straw bale garden.

  2. Midnight Garden

    Midnight Garden Excommunicated

    Straw bale gardening is real popular here, it is so popular that you have to search for the bales as they are in short supply.
  3. ResinRubber

    ResinRubber Civilly disobedient/Mod

    All I could think of the entire time was "I can't wait to put a pot plant in one of those!"

    Joel's system doesn't create a dirt pocket like most bale gardens. He creates a living compost within the bale itself using no soil.

  4. rasganjah

    rasganjah True Ganjaman

    I've been wanting to try this since I first read about it. Maybe with next year's garden I will grab a couple bales and give it a try.
  5. AlienBait

    AlienBait Custom User Title

    My wife showed me an article about that. But, like MG said, straw bales are in short supply around here. The horse people are pissed because it is driving up the price for their horses bedding.
  6. Bje4201

    Bje4201 Vegetating

    I like this idea, I'm gonna look into it more. So I heard bone and blood meal for conditioning the bale. I haven't looked yet but is there a formula available that wont cost to obtain? I'm just hopin to save a buck if I can. If I find a formula while researching you mind if I post it up?
  7. ResinRubber

    ResinRubber Civilly disobedient/Mod

    Cheapest thing is blood and bone meal at any place that sells any kind of garden stuff.

    Post up anything you find on the topic. Open thread man.

    You top treat a bale (lying cut ends up) with 2/3 cup bone meal and 1/3 cup blood meal. Saturate the bale with water and wait 12 days while keeping it moist, rewetting if necessary. The bale will heat up internally while composting begins. When the heat dissipates (12-14 days) you gouge a hole and stuff in a plant or seed. From then on it's simply feed or water as needed.
  8. Bje4201

    Bje4201 Vegetating

    Well I stumbled onto this site, pretty informative and simple.

    I also found this vid that makes it seem very worthwhile for people with poor soil such as myself. And when I'm done with them I can compost them down and amend the soil I have. It seems like a winner all around to me, thanks for originally posting res.

  9. ResinRubber

    ResinRubber Civilly disobedient/Mod

    That's the normal way of doing it. The cat who did the seminar went with a process you can start inside of two weeks and uses no soil what so ever except as a top dressing if you want, but it's not necessary. To place a plant or seed you wedge a spot open in the bale then close it back over.

    In soil filled holes he found the root ball sometimes suffered because of too much moisture concentrating near the stem.
  10. Grown in Tx.

    Grown in Tx. Locked and Loaded

    did anyone try this?
  11. Tony Aroma

    Tony Aroma Let's Go - Two Smokes!

    Won't the roots just grow down through the straw and into the ground?

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