Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Straw Bale Gardening Update

With this straw bale gardening update I am giving you a full view of our garden arrangement. A couple of years ago, Secret Agent Man divided our garden into quadrants with a walkway. At that time we were thinking maybe a couple of raised beds and two quadrants for regular garden plots. However, this year three sections are being used for straw bales and the one regular section is currently growing sunflowers, sweet potatoes, standard potatoes, lettuce, and corn.






Although this photo makes things look so barren, I can assure you everything is sprouted and on its way. And, yes that is a bottle tree in the middle! If you want to know more about bottle trees you can read about them here and here.






The sprouts have been doing well considering we have had temps in the low to mid 90's each day....with no rain. I have been providing water nightly, but nothing beats a good soaking rain.







The watermelon and pumpkin bales seem to be doing the best.




The only problem I have had is that my tomato seeds did not sprout as expected. They were heirloom varieties, so I searched our area and found some heirloom plants. Now we will have pink, yellow, red, and striped tomatoes.



And yes....I am using these crazy metal, swirly poles to stake my tomatoes. Secret Agent Man thinks that real tomatoes don't grow on things like this. We shall see about that.












What about you? Success or trouble in your garden this go around? Do tell! And don't leave out the gritty parts...you know....worms, snakes, bugs, or Jack Russell Terriers who want to walk across your straw bales......




39 comments:

  1. Looks good. Our garden is runnig a little behind due to the rains this spring. No critter problems yet.

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  2. Those little sprouts are looking good. Your straw bale experiment is fascinating. Here's to getting a good rainstorm soon --- and cute little Jack Russells stay away.

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  3. Yours is the first garden I have seen like this. Look forward to following the progress. Great idea, to have the bottle tree in the middle.

    Thanks for all your visits.

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  4. Very adventurous project; not something I'd do, but I always admire those who do!

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  5. Ironic..I'm posting about my garden today too. But mine is feeling very puny. The wind is atrocious lately and we are in a major drought. There hasn't been measurable rain here in 10 months. I love your swirly posts! Even if they don't grow on them they are sure cute :)

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  6. Groundhogs and raccoons..we've declared war on them.
    My Jack/Beagle mix thinks it's entirely appropriate to stand IN the swiss chard and bark at bugs.
    I think I should have used a bale for my watermelon...they look scrawny!

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  7. Thanks for the update. I am very curious to see how it goes.
    My garden is dying for some rain, even though I water it daily.
    We have had our share of snakes. I think they are looking for water.

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  8. I don't garden but sure enjoy seeing others.

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  9. glad things are still growing for you there. love the set-up of your garden plot with the swirly posts and the bottle tree. very 'labrynth' ish... :)

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  10. Those things are funny, but I thing your husband is right. Tomatoes are capricious...

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  11. Your garden is so neat....I love it. It looks very professional.

    I have tomatoes in big pots and a couple of hot pepper plants in flower bed, but that is the extent of my garden.

    I would really like to try your method. Maybe next year.

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  12. that's one heck of a nice garden!! i am envious — i imagine you don't have to battle squirrels like i do. later this summer i'll post about my 'tomato villa' that i had to build around my garden to keep the little buggers out!

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  13. It's gettin' hot and we could use some rain here. Our garden is limited to the collection of planters THE BOSS has arranged on the patio. For some reason I get the strangest looks, especially from law enforcement types, when I mentioned my wife's pot farm.

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  14. Wow! That's a great looking garden! My garden is giving us a bumper crop of weeds this year... We're so proud..

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  15. Chip - Maybe you need to do a post about your wife's pot farm and clear the air...so to speak! lol

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  16. Yay...I have been waiting for an update on your hay garden..
    I think this is so neat and just look at all the little sprouts...
    Good job. I was convinced that this was something I wanted to try, until you mentioned snakes...Surely there hasn't been many???

    Best of everything with this garden..Can't wait to see the great rewards!

    Shug

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  17. They look like they are shooting up fast :-)

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  18. I like the way that is looking...everything looks so green in your area...beautiful! We have tomatoes ripe now and the cucmbers are tiny...peppers are ripe too...lettuce is sprouting again!

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  19. Looks marvelous!
    I am just about done with crows eating from my strawberry patch!

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  20. Can you tell us a bit more about HOW you planted in hay bales? I can't seem to get my hubby to make the raised beds I want.. maybe this would work for me?

    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  21. Thanks for the update, I'm interested to see how it goes. I think we must've gotten all your rain; here it is so wet my farmer friends still haven't been able to get on their fields to plant. Our plants are nearly all in the greenhouse, where it's at least a little warmer. They look healthy there but this arrangement can't last forever.

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  22. It looks great. Now, my garden WAS doing well but then we had a hail storm and NOT so good anymore!! I hope some of the plants will come back!

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  23. Really beautiful to wake up every morning in so much greenery !

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  24. It hasn't warmed up enough to get any growth on much here. And we are in California! What gives??? Maybe we all flip-flopped one night while sleeping, do you think? We finally have some sun today and so I was out pulling some weeds. It doesn't look like you have any trouble with deer there? No fencing to keep them out? Hmmmm.....they are like dogs here...go where they want, when they want.

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  25. I like looking at other people's gardens. Too much work for vegetables. But I do plant many perennials and some annuals, hoping to have a colorful place with reduced work.

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  26. I'm embarrassed to say I have not put my plants in the ground yet. Has either been too rainy, windy, hot or a combination. Today might be the day. No wind, and a bit cooler.

    I love the twirly posts. However, I'm wondering if they will bear the weight of the plants. Will be interesting to see. :)

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  27. My plants are in the ground but my seeds are not all coming yet which has me worried. I do see corn, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, tomatoes, a tiny bit of lettuce and sweet peas. But the potatoes and carrots are silent so far. I have boring green stakes for the tomatoes but I love your stakes.

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  28. I like the updates. It's kind of like my Monthly photo thing I do to show the movement of the sun through the year. Yours is better. Great idea and am looking forward to the progress of your plantings.

    Before we moved into town to get closer to my work I use to have a 35' x 125' garden (in the yard) and in some yrs. I would use the edge of the plowed field a farmer rented from us for his crops. I'd put 4 rows of sweet corn out that were 200' long or 4 rows almost 500' long. On those yrs. it would be Iowa, Silver Queen, Bi-colored and a variety where the cob was small for quick freezing.

    Keep up the updates.

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  29. It will be interesting to see the results of the swirly poles.
    My garden is ... err ... my garden, it needs a bit of attention at the moment. I was away for most of May and it's wondering where I was !

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  30. Farmchick -- did a bit of straw bale planting with tomato plants last year. I didn't have much luck -- don't think they had enough sun. Good luck with your plants -- they sure looks healthy to me -- barbara

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  31. Nice~ I'm anxious to see how those tomato stakes work!

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  32. My garden has three geraniums and three daisies or maybe two. We just didn't get it planted what with trying to plant 1800 acres of corn and beans. I might fill it with flowers and fall veggies a bit later. I think I'm past the prime growing season, although some farmers are just getting the last of the crops planted around here. Hmmmm maybe there is hope yet!

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  33. Love your garden! I am green with envy wishing that I had one.

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  34. Odd....I can't comment on your Thoughtless Thursday post...."service unavailable"....but I can on this one!
    I saw a bunch of lilies growing wild recently, aren't they pretty?
    I love your new header.

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  35. Your going into this in a big way ;) looking forward to seeing them come on.
    Have a good week
    See Yea George xxx

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  36. Teresa - I have an earlier post about how I started my straw bale garden, but if you google the topic you will find many resources and ideas.

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  37. I'm scrolling down from the top to catch up and loving everything. I really like how you laid out the bales in a cross formation with the paths. It looks excellent. How is it now? It's June 16th today. Bet you have some lush plants. We are neck deep in squash trying to figure out what to do with it all.

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