Following that, I purchased his book, Straw Bale Gardens (http://strawbalegardens.com/store/straw-bale-gardening-book-2) and decided to try it. Since my husband and I are retired, it seemed attractive for us to try because it would supposedly be less work, less bending, no weeding and space saving.
We chose to put indoor/outdoor carpeting and chicken wire under the row of bales and had no problem with rodents in our bales. We mulched on either side for the row and had absolutely no weeds. The bales we chose did have sprouts which were no problem but we might use oat straw next year because they aren’t supposed to sprout so much.
It turned out that once set up, it was so easy to maintain. The produce was prime and the season was much longer. In fact, I will space the seeds/plants farther apart next year to have more air flow.
My husband was in charge of constructing the bales and drip lines for watering. We followed the directions in Joel Karsten’s book and it turned out to be a wonderfully surprising success. We found many of the supplies we needed at Wedel’s.
The bales are nearly decomposed now (Nov. 2nd) and will be wonderful compost for next year. We were totally thrilled with the results.
Straw Bale Gardens *Get higher yields, *Never need weeding, *Do not require soil, *Extend growing season by weeks, * Can be conventional or 100% organic (which I chose), *Can go anywhere: even balconies and driveways. This is what Joel Karsten claims and I am a believer. If you have limited space or any physical limitations, this is something you could try with some help setting it up. It’s such a good experience to grow your own produce.
Yes, I’m a farm girl. Happy Gardening.
MSU extension Advanced Master Gardener