Straw Bale Gardening

Why garden with Straw Bales?

• Poor soil
• No space for a garden in full sun site
• No containers or soil to buy – just a cheap source of straw bales
• Accessible
• No kneeling
• Can work sitting down

Tips for Laying out the Bales

• Mostly level
• Configuration
• Strings exposed
• Cut side up
• End posts



• 11 days
• 1,2, 3 – water bales thoroughly
• 4,5,6 – ½ cup urea per bale and water-in thoroughly
• 7,8,9 – ¼ cup urea per bale and water-in thoroughly
• 10,11- water thoroughly
• Check soil temperature – it should be only slightly warm
• Plant


• Seed
• Large seeds and for individual plants (cucurbits, legumes, beets and chard, kale,
kohlrabi, etc.)
• Remove a chunk of straw and fill the hole with potting soil
• Small seeds or to plant in rows
• Put a couple inches of potting soil on top of the bale(s) and Make sure it’s level
• Water carefully so it doesn’t wash away
• Or cut the bottom out of a plastic flat, pin it down onto top of bale, fill with soil and plant

For Transplants
• Remove some straw to make a hole large enough for the root ball.
• Plant seedlings as you would in a bed at the proper/final spacing.



• Watering – drip/soaker hose
• Fertilizing – as for ground beds
• Support – end posts provide uprights to
run wire or string to support vining
crops or tomatoes