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IAM_HIS's Photo IAM_HIS Posts: 45,320
5/9/14 3:11 A

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JANEYBEE, thank you for your comment.

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JANEYBEE's Photo JANEYBEE Posts: 983
5/9/14 2:04 A

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Mike McGrath talked about this on his radio program a couple of weeks ago and didn't recommend it, partly because of the pesticides but also because there are so many weed seeds brought in with the bales.

Janey

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IAM_HIS's Photo IAM_HIS Posts: 45,320
5/6/14 8:15 A

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Thank you everyone for sharing your knowledge. I am very grateful for what you wrote.

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MEADOWBUTTERFLY's Photo MEADOWBUTTERFLY SparkPoints: (14,210)
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5/6/14 6:57 A

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Never heard of the straw bale garden before, but sounds like it would work great!
As to baling the grass, what we do is mow the yard during the Spring, and pick up dead grass clippings. They go in a big pile at back of yard. Then when we're ready to plant garden, we use the grass as a mulch. It works great for keeping weeds away from the veggies! And it's an all natural mulch, which would help the soil.
Also, throw your coffee grounds, egg shells etc in there. Great for adding nutrients to soil.
The grass doesn't have to be dried like you would hay. Just throw it all in a big pile, and allow time for any weeds to die, before using.

Signed:
Farmer Kay

A body in motion, stays in motion.
A body at rest, stays at rest.


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CBRINKLEY401's Photo CBRINKLEY401 SparkPoints: (85,488)
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5/5/14 11:10 P

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Lasagne gardening is great if you are creating new raised beds. Best to start it in the fall, but you can still do so in the spring if you weren't able to get it done earlier. And you can even put the beds right over sod without it coming up. Just use thick layers of wet newspapers to smother the grass, and put your layers of organic matter on top - grass clippings, leaves, kitchen scraps, shredded paper, even animal manures from cows, sheep, chickens, goats, and horses - though not fresh manure if you are going to plant them right away. You can mix the layers together somewhat if you prefer, or just leave them as is. Top it off with a few inches of good soil or soil/compost mix and plant. I've done that in my large planters to rejuvinate the used soil (emptying the old soil into a wheelbarrow, adding a bit back to the bottom, then alternate layers of leaves and soil - mixing it together somewhat to help it breakdown faster and then packing it down - and using 4" to 6" of soil on the top.
It will settle as the organic matter breaks down, but you just add more layers to it in the fall for the next year.

We've never tried straw bale gardening, as we use those for mulch inbetween the rows, which also helps keep the dirt from splashing onto the plants and enables us to walk in the garden even after it has rained without tracking mud everywhere. If we manage to get enough bales, we may try that next year. We usually get our straw in the fall. Some places that sell it for fall decorations will give the leftovers away after Thanksgiving, and one year we came home with 20 bales or more for free!

-Cathy
Central Standard Time Zone

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DJ4HEALTH's Photo DJ4HEALTH Posts: 43,963
5/5/14 10:02 P

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I saw it on a PBS show that I record and watch later and they were talking about straw bale gardening too. I think it was the farm guy show that had it and he also had a real big barrel with the water dripping down a drip hose to it.

Dorothy

If you tell God no because He won't explain the reason He wants you to do something, you are actually hindering His blessing. But when you say yes to Him, all of heaven opens to pour out His goodness and reward your obedience. What matters more than material blessings are the things He is teaching us in our spirit.
Charles Stanley


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TERRIJ7's Photo TERRIJ7 SparkPoints: (145,763)
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5/5/14 2:29 P

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That's a good article too. I just read something else this morning about lasagna gardening and think it would work as well as the straw bales. Similar ideas--different implementation.

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IAM_HIS's Photo IAM_HIS Posts: 45,320
5/5/14 1:32 P

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I read about this and also lasagna gardening. www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gard
en
ing/lasagna-gardening-zmaz99amztak.aR>spx#axzz30rbNMm8S


Edited by: IAM_HIS at: 5/5/2014 (13:39)
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DJ4HEALTH's Photo DJ4HEALTH Posts: 43,963
4/29/14 12:03 A

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Will have to look into that too.

Dorothy

If you tell God no because He won't explain the reason He wants you to do something, you are actually hindering His blessing. But when you say yes to Him, all of heaven opens to pour out His goodness and reward your obedience. What matters more than material blessings are the things He is teaching us in our spirit.
Charles Stanley


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TERRIJ7's Photo TERRIJ7 SparkPoints: (145,763)
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4/28/14 3:36 P

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If I were starting out with really cr@ppy soil, I would definitely use this method! By continuing to use new bales every year, it would eventually build some excellent natural soil and then you could plant right into the ground if you want.

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ROSES17's Photo ROSES17 Posts: 11,299
4/28/14 11:05 A

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Have read about it but never tried it.

Lottie
Eastern North Carolina


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QUEEN-EYDIE's Photo QUEEN-EYDIE Posts: 10,485
4/28/14 9:39 A

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My old straw bale gardens have broken down and this year we just boxed them in as raised bed gardens, added some more soil and it continues to be low-maintenance!

"Optimism is an act of bravery."

"Choices, not sacrifices."


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GOLDDUSTTWIN's Photo GOLDDUSTTWIN SparkPoints: (79,932)
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4/28/14 8:42 A

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This is shades of Rout Stout's no work gardening...a step further!

)) -::-
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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,343
4/27/14 11:25 P

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Sigh, I wish I had a good answer. The more critical first part is to cut it with a scythy and sun-dry it carefully. I suspect if you google manual hay baling that you'll find something.
Here is one of many videos on hand-baling.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9G3J
Dd
KgcrE


Whether this is worth the effort I have no idea. But interesting to watch for sure.

Birgit

You can talk to God all you want and that's great, but the changes happen when you start listening to him.

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN OTHERS.




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MICHTOTMAN's Photo MICHTOTMAN Posts: 815
4/27/14 11:09 P

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Birgit, Thanks for that input! I hadn't even thought of that and now I've done a lot of research, including (finally!) finding some farmers of organic wheat in our area that will sell me the straw for, believe it or not, about the same price as the non-organic. I have to drive quite a ways to get it, but that's worth it to me. emoticon

Now, my next question in thinking for next year... you mentioned letting grass grow and "harvesting" before seeds develop. We live adjacent to open space, which is plentiful in wild grasses, completely untouched by humans. I know we could wander out and cut some of this grass ourselves, but how, exactly, would you bail it yourself???

The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,343
4/27/14 9:47 P

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Laurenclear,
my only concern was the fact that organic straw is very hard to find and since this is an organic gardening team I thought people might want to be aware of that.
Birgit

You can talk to God all you want and that's great, but the changes happen when you start listening to him.

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN OTHERS.




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LAURENCLEAR's Photo LAURENCLEAR SparkPoints: (6,800)
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4/27/14 8:33 P

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Houndlover1, I have 3 bales of straw that I purchased a month ago from Lowe's hardware store, and poured a bag of mushroom compost over them so it would sink down in for a few weeks. Youtube has some good videos on how to garden in straw bales. For me, I'm hoping to raise sweet potatoes in there. Has anyone had any luck growing plants in the straw yet?

Edited by: LAURENCLEAR at: 4/27/2014 (20:35)
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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,343
4/15/14 12:43 A

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For those who want an alternative to non-organic straw you can let the grass grow taller and cut it before seedheads come on, then dry, like hay, and bale it and use that.

Birgit

You can talk to God all you want and that's great, but the changes happen when you start listening to him.

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN OTHERS.




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DJ4HEALTH's Photo DJ4HEALTH Posts: 43,963
4/15/14 12:00 A

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Saw that on a garden show and it looks very interesting too. Not sure were to get them or if they are organic too. Don't want pesticide in my food any more.

Dorothy

If you tell God no because He won't explain the reason He wants you to do something, you are actually hindering His blessing. But when you say yes to Him, all of heaven opens to pour out His goodness and reward your obedience. What matters more than material blessings are the things He is teaching us in our spirit.
Charles Stanley


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CHANTENAY's Photo CHANTENAY SparkPoints: (18,095)
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4/14/14 11:34 P

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Very interesting.

"Your inner athlete is dying to play!" - Cory Everson

Change doesn't happen without struggle.


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R2COUNTRY's Photo R2COUNTRY SparkPoints: (59,315)
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4/14/14 5:41 P

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I used it for three years, using wheat bales. Great way to go and good for the soil as they go away.

We have been PC way to long. It is time to stand up and become passionately BC (Biblically Correct)


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ANOTHERMOMOF2's Photo ANOTHERMOMOF2 Posts: 4,417
4/14/14 4:57 P

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I've not tried this. I've taken apart the straw bales we used as part of Halloween/Thanksgiving decorations and used it as mulch/weed mat. I may have to try this the next time we get some bales.

Karen

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RUTHEY01's Photo RUTHEY01 SparkPoints: (102,105)
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4/13/14 1:23 P

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I have had a container garden for the past few years. Our soil is the pits! Hubby and I will have to check this out to see if it would work for us. Thanks for the link.

Ruth

"Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy."


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QUEEN-EYDIE's Photo QUEEN-EYDIE Posts: 10,485
4/13/14 11:48 A

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It was amazed at how much produce came from my straw bale gardens. Last year we did 3 configurations of 4 bales each, each forming a square.This year the bales have broken down beautifully so we just mixed in a little extra soil and put frames around them and made raised beds.

"Optimism is an act of bravery."

"Choices, not sacrifices."


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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,343
4/13/14 11:36 A

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This would be prohibitively expensive to do for a garden big enough to feed a family. Organic straw is very hard to come by, even if you can afford it, and the non-organic kind is full of pesticides as the typical crops that straw comes from are very heavily sprayed for many diseases.
We pay 3 dollars for one bale of straw if we get it right after harvest. In many areas it's much more expensive than that.
Birgit

Edited by: HOUNDLOVER1 at: 4/13/2014 (12:22)
You can talk to God all you want and that's great, but the changes happen when you start listening to him.

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN OTHERS.




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QUEEN-EYDIE's Photo QUEEN-EYDIE Posts: 10,485
4/13/14 10:19 A

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I'VE DONE I IT! And it's the best, totally sold on this method and recommend it to everyone. It's an instant garden!

I admit it, I'm a lazy gardener. I want the payoff, but I don't want to fight weeds the whole season long, so I'm always looking for ways to cut back on the work.

Yes, let's talk, but I say do it! It works!

"Optimism is an act of bravery."

"Choices, not sacrifices."


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MICHTOTMAN's Photo MICHTOTMAN Posts: 815
4/13/14 9:17 A

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I cannot believe this... it's the perfect solution for both moving my present garden AND creating a new garden space in an area that is my "low maintenance, zone 3" part of our property ("Your Farm in the City", Lisa Taylor) An elementary school near us does their school garden this way.

modernfarmer.com/2013/07/straw-bale-
ga
rdening/

www.growandmake.com/straw_bale_garde
n


Has anyone tried this yet? If so, what pointers do you have?

The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

NELSON MANDELA


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