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Straw Bale Gardening a New Venture for us


I was looking for a Square Metre Gardening book, stumbled upon the Straw Bale Gardening book, and bought that instead. Sometime later I was lucky to buy 5 bales via a local farmer.

Early September – Preparing the plot

17th September – the new arrivals

4th October – After 12 days of watering and fertilising the bales they were ready to receive the plants

7th October – we planted Spring Cabbage, Kale, Garlic, Onions, and Broad Beans.

The job of the fertiliser is to accelerate decomposition, so mushrooms are popping up to show that it’s working

10th November – growing strongly, but I have noticed that a nibble here and there was taken by pigeons, and there was a sign of slugs

15th November – problems solved :-)

Anyone else growing veggies this way? I’d love to hear from you.

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I saw this method used to very good effect at RHS Hyde Hall a few years ago.....peas, brassicas and also strawberry plants.

26 Nov, 2015


Interesting and looks very successful. If you added fertilizer every day did you use it very dilute or normal strength?

27 Nov, 2015


first time i have heard or seen it done. one question though and that is how do you intend to get rid of all that grass and does the yield justify the expense?
not complaining, but i found that over the years my return was small for months of hard graft

27 Nov, 2015



i now grow plants and shop at riverford

27 Nov, 2015


Paulspatch: I haven't been to RHS Hyde Hall (yet), but yes I'm thinking of planting strawberries at the side of the bales early next year.

Steragram: I used Nitrogen-rich (balanced 10-10-10) lawn fertiliser, and for some days I sprinkled 4oz evenly on every bale, and watered in well till granules disappeared; on other days I had to use tepid rain water only. Rainy weather helped too :-)
The purpose was to start the bales 'cooking'. A sign that this was happening were the mushrooms blooming on the outside, bales were kind of 'warmish' when touched, and for one day I could smell a 'sweetish' perfume.

Maisiesdad: about "yield justifying expense" - well, what can I say - I've just spent £80 on a cage to prevent pigeons feasting on the cabbages and kale :-)
However, when you enjoy your hobby, you invest in it. It makes me (and my husband) happy. The cage works and cabbages are growing, and it looks nice in the garden, adding a bit of height at a time when plants go down to 'bed' for the winter.

The garlic and broad beans are doing well, but I can't see any onions seedlings yet.

18 Dec, 2015


Gosh that's a lot of fertilizer - sounds fascinating - I hope you get lots of good produce!

18 Dec, 2015

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