Marina Tree and Garden Club

Straw Bale Gardening - a very easy method

Straw Bale

This simple method gets results

Straw Bale 2Straw Bale 3

The Straw Bale Method

Soak your bale with water and fish emulsion every day for a week. Let it get hot and rot a bit - about a week or two. The bale is ready to plant when it is no longer piping hot. Spread a good layer of compost over the top and plant into the bale using seeds or starts. You can dig a hole and fill with compost before planting. Squid guts worked really well buried into the bale before planting tomatoes this year. Fish heads would be good too for heavy feeding crops.

You will need to keep checking moisture levels as the bale will hold more water than soil will (certainly more than sandy soil!). Keep it from drying out with attentive watering. Installing a timed drip works great too.

The advantages are numerous:

Straw Bale tomatoes

Photos: Juli Hofmann


Check out these links that describe straw bale gardening in detail

Greg's Handout from the April 29, 2017 Straw Bale demo at Goodwill Garden

Video clip on Straw bale gardening

University of California "Gardening with Straw Bales"

BBC News "Pee Bales"

or just visit YouTube and type in "Straw Bale Gardening"

It really works!
Even in the coastal summer fog!