All Things Gardening forum: "STRAW BALE GARDENING" .. likes/dislikes/shares :-)

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Name: Marilynne Stephenson
Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada (Zone 3a)
LOVE to laugh :-)
Region: Canadian Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Dragonflies Hummingbirder
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
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MarilynneS
Feb 14, 2016 11:37 AM CST
Hi everyone ..

I am considering trying to do 'Straw Bale Gardening' this year.

Here's a link ..

http://www.gardeningchannel.com/straw-bale-gardening-101-an-...

It appears to be becoming very popular in some areas, and is certainly looking to be something that would be quite doable .

This thread is going to share what we know (or don't) about the system, so ,please join in and share
Stories, pics or links Thumbs up

Here's hoping we'll have some positive results Smiling

~M~
~M~
Name: Marilynne Stephenson
Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada (Zone 3a)
LOVE to laugh :-)
Region: Canadian Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Dragonflies Hummingbirder
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
Image
MarilynneS
Feb 14, 2016 12:15 PM CST
Found an interesting link .. bout tells the whole story .. although, I do believe there is a another video that goes along with this one ..

~M~

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKbejoV9UZE
~M~
Coatesville IN (Zone 5b)
Daylilies Hummingbirder Lilies Region: Indiana Dog Lover Echinacea
Butterflies Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Claudia
Feb 14, 2016 4:35 PM CST
I thought about trying it. My husband even got me a book on it. But it requires a lot of prepping and getting the straw ready. I just decided it was not for me at this time. Good luck if you try it!
Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them. ~Eeyore
Name: Terri
virginia (Zone 7a)
Beekeeper Region: Virginia Dragonflies
dragonfly53
Feb 15, 2016 12:05 PM CST
I've done it for a number of years but last year the "straw" bales had more seed than not and they all grew large grasses next to my plants. You can't hoe the weeds and and its hard to pull the larger weeds with heavy root systems because it tears the bale which in turn disturbs the root system of the plants.
I think due to it being the latest craze, the suppliers ran out of straw bales and substituted hay, thinking that people wouldn't notice.

Before that, most years my bales stayed together really well and I could use most of them again the following year with another application of a fertilizer. Last year I moved the garden so had to use all new straw bales.
It is certainly easier than amending the soil and I found that they retain water fairly well, except in the hottest days of summer.
They do attract mice and then snakes follow.
I like that you don't have to do much bending to plant, weed or harvest
Life is a rush into the unknown. You can duck down and hope nothing hits you, or you can stand tall, show it your teeth and say "Dish it up, Baby, and don't skimp on the jalapeƱos."
Coatesville IN (Zone 5b)
Daylilies Hummingbirder Lilies Region: Indiana Dog Lover Echinacea
Butterflies Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Claudia
Feb 15, 2016 1:29 PM CST
@dragonfly53 Your last sentence includes all the reasons why I was wanting to try it. I had never thought about mice! We live in a rural area with lots of mice around and snakes. Thank you for mentioning that. Definite con for me.
Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them. ~Eeyore
Name: Marilynne Stephenson
Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada (Zone 3a)
LOVE to laugh :-)
Region: Canadian Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Dragonflies Hummingbirder
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
Image
MarilynneS
Feb 15, 2016 3:44 PM CST
The concern here is going to be DEER/BEARS .. we are thinking of putting them inside the fence as opposed to outside ..
Mice in our area is a fact of life .. cattle farms nearby, so, we get a few in the garage ..
One tried to run up the pant leg of my jeans in the car one day, I about had a cardiac arrest !!!
I still put my sox over the bottoms of my jeans to this day ..

I'll look at it as an adventure I guess Smiling


~M~
~M~
Name: Rosie
HILLSBOROUGH, NC (Zone 7b)
If it sparkles - I'm there!
Region: North Carolina Bookworm
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MISSINGROSIE
Feb 16, 2016 9:20 AM CST
Will Preen work ?

Don't squat with yer spurs on!

People try to turn back their "odometers." Not me. I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved
Name: Rosie
HILLSBOROUGH, NC (Zone 7b)
If it sparkles - I'm there!
Region: North Carolina Bookworm
Image
MISSINGROSIE
Feb 16, 2016 9:21 AM CST
Assuming the veggies are wee plants when planted šŸ˜Š
Don't squat with yer spurs on!

People try to turn back their "odometers." Not me. I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved
Coatesville IN (Zone 5b)
Daylilies Hummingbirder Lilies Region: Indiana Dog Lover Echinacea
Butterflies Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Claudia
Feb 16, 2016 10:00 AM CST
No bears here but we have lots of deer! Mine would have been placed inside my garden area which has a 6 foot fence.
Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them. ~Eeyore
Name: Terri
virginia (Zone 7a)
Beekeeper Region: Virginia Dragonflies
dragonfly53
Feb 16, 2016 10:02 AM CST
Rosie,
Thats a good thought! However, I don't know if I would go to the time and expense. The only thing recommended for the vegetable garden is the weed preventer which only prevents certain weeds from sprouting, it doesn't kill any that have sprouted and I am terrible at weeding.

If someone had time to go out and check the bales every day, pulling the little weeds and applying the treatment once a month, I think that would work. It's corn gluten meal so the health issues would be minimal, you'd have to wear a mask to prevent inhalation.
Life is a rush into the unknown. You can duck down and hope nothing hits you, or you can stand tall, show it your teeth and say "Dish it up, Baby, and don't skimp on the jalapeƱos."
Name: Rosie
HILLSBOROUGH, NC (Zone 7b)
If it sparkles - I'm there!
Region: North Carolina Bookworm
Image
MISSINGROSIE
Feb 16, 2016 10:24 AM CST
Our Costco has Preen in great big tubs and not expensive. That being said...I don't use it like I should. Weeds are the least of my problem with trying to grow JUST A FEW LOUSY veggies in the woods...sun exposure and critters are my issues.....I need a net on 5 sides. I got interested in Marilyn's thread because on my small deck, I do have sun and the deer at least won't come up. I think the mice won't either... So no snakes???

BUT from UNDER that deck in early spring...waves of snakes emerge. One day, I was weeding alongside and there at my fingertips a snake!! I heard my husband yell from a hundred feet or so away.."there is a snake!" HOW could he see it...???? Well, there was one in the grass...between us...then another then another...and out from under the deck there were two more and there was one ON the house..on the verticle wall of the siding! I had nowhere to run. It was like a horror movie. Now if you think big bad hubby John was to the rescue...let me just say..that I saw a cute ONE second glimpse of his quickly retreating backside! Every woman for herself!

So the strawbale may offer promise. Last year's attempt ...a staircase stringer ...with planter boxes surrounded by a fence worked well for the critters but not so hot for the actual veggies which fell over and out...quickly outgrowing the boxes.
Don't squat with yer spurs on!

People try to turn back their "odometers." Not me. I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved
Name: Terri
virginia (Zone 7a)
Beekeeper Region: Virginia Dragonflies
dragonfly53
Feb 16, 2016 3:13 PM CST
Rosie,
Just a thought, the straw bales may discolor your decking as they rot. Have you thought about using ebuckets- theres a thread somewhere on here about that.

Regarding snakes, I have a story. Our deck is about 7 feet off the ground and one year we thought it would be nice to attach a birdhouse to the outside railing in the corner. So we did and had a beautiful set of Bluebirds starting a family. When the babies hatched, it was cute to hear them chirping for food and to watch the parents going back and forth with bugs and worms. I also had a planter on the inside corner rail with a lot of tall and bushy plants which hid the birdhouse from our view.
One day I went out about 11am to water and realized there was no chirping, so I thought the chicks had flown away. I went to water the planter and, looking up at me as I was pouring on the water, was a approximately 12 foot long blacksnake!

I backpedaled as fast as I could, almost killing myself on the deck chairs! I finally fell on my backside and, before putting any other parts of me in contact with anything, checked the planter to see where the snake was. He was just calmly lying in the planter looking at me, probably having a laugh in his little snakey mind.

DH came outside to see what had happened because I think I might have screamed, just a little. He walked over to the snake and noticed that the side of the snakes body was rather lumpy in 3 or 4 places, and surmised that that lumpiness was most likely the result of the snake having a lovely meal of bluebird chicks. Needless to say, the birdhouse was removed to a tree shortly afterwards.
Life is a rush into the unknown. You can duck down and hope nothing hits you, or you can stand tall, show it your teeth and say "Dish it up, Baby, and don't skimp on the jalapeƱos."
Name: Terri
virginia (Zone 7a)
Beekeeper Region: Virginia Dragonflies
dragonfly53
Feb 16, 2016 3:15 PM CST
Found the link for ebuckets:
The thread "Make an eBucket!" in Vegetables and Fruit forum
Life is a rush into the unknown. You can duck down and hope nothing hits you, or you can stand tall, show it your teeth and say "Dish it up, Baby, and don't skimp on the jalapeƱos."
Name: Rosie
HILLSBOROUGH, NC (Zone 7b)
If it sparkles - I'm there!
Region: North Carolina Bookworm
Image
MISSINGROSIE
Feb 16, 2016 8:06 PM CST
dragonfly53 said:Rosie,
Just a thought, the straw bales may discolor your decking as they rot. Have you thought about using ebuckets- theres a thread somewhere on here about that.

Regarding snakes, I have a story. Our deck is about 7 feet off the ground and one year we thought it would be nice to attach a birdhouse to the outside railing in the corner. So we did and had a beautiful set of Bluebirds starting a family. When the babies hatched, it was cute to hear them chirping for food and to watch the parents going back and forth with bugs and worms. I also had a planter on the inside corner rail with a lot of tall and bushy plants which hid the birdhouse from our view.
One day I went out about 11am to water and realized there was no chirping, so I thought the chicks had flown away. I went to water the planter and, looking up at me as I was pouring on the water, was a approximately 12 foot long blacksnake!

I backpedaled as fast as I could, almost killing myself on the deck chairs! I finally fell on my backside and, before putting any other parts of me in contact with anything, checked the planter to see where the snake was. He was just calmly lying in the planter looking at me, probably having a laugh in his little snakey mind.

DH came outside to see what had happened because I think I might have screamed, just a little. He walked over to the snake and noticed that the side of the snakes body was rather lumpy in 3 or 4 places, and surmised that that lumpiness was most likely the result of the snake having a lovely meal of bluebird chicks. Needless to say, the birdhouse was removed to a tree shortly afterwards.


I shouldn't laugh...the baby birds and all....but I have this bad reaction with laughing when people fall ..I can't help it.. And I got this image in my head of you flying backwards...with the bucket...what a sight and a racket!! Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing

When I was much younger..a girl really......father slipped on ice in front of St. Sylvesters and fell RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME... I was horrified.....him in his priestly robes (he scared the hell outta me anyway) I TRIED to pick him up.. I tried...I was laughing so hard ..my skinny arms like limp noodles. He kept slipping and hollering..and his robes were tangling. The old coot was probably soused anyway.. Oh my...I had forgotten that.. Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
Don't squat with yer spurs on!

People try to turn back their "odometers." Not me. I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved
Name: Terri
virginia (Zone 7a)
Beekeeper Region: Virginia Dragonflies
dragonfly53
Feb 17, 2016 12:43 AM CST
It wasn't St Sylvester's on Staten Island was it? If so, I know the priest you are referring to, lol!
Life is a rush into the unknown. You can duck down and hope nothing hits you, or you can stand tall, show it your teeth and say "Dish it up, Baby, and don't skimp on the jalapeƱos."
Name: Marilynne Stephenson
Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada (Zone 3a)
LOVE to laugh :-)
Region: Canadian Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Dragonflies Hummingbirder
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
Image
MarilynneS
Feb 17, 2016 6:16 AM CST
Just shivering thinking about SNAKES .. we don't have many if ANY here, and, if we do, they are Garter Snakes ..
Still and all .. no fan am I of the slither !

The BISHOP at my son's confirmation was 'beebled' .. he kept repeating stuff in his sermon .. loved to FLASH his ring .
One thing about being brought up Catholic and going to Catholic schools etc .. lots of way great memories re Nuns and Priests LoL

Re the straw bales .. I wonder if setting them on a wooden palette on the grass would be best?

~M~
~M~
Name: Rosie
HILLSBOROUGH, NC (Zone 7b)
If it sparkles - I'm there!
Region: North Carolina Bookworm
Image
MISSINGROSIE
Feb 17, 2016 7:41 AM CST
I will check out the e buckets thanks.

Saint Sylvesters was ( still is Iimagine ) in an area unofficially called called City Line by those who lived there ...border of Brooklyn and Queens. I think it may have been on Grant and Liberty Avenues.

Don't squat with yer spurs on!

People try to turn back their "odometers." Not me. I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved
Name: Terri
virginia (Zone 7a)
Beekeeper Region: Virginia Dragonflies
dragonfly53
Feb 17, 2016 10:22 AM CST
Darn, another myth shattered! We always thought that there was only one St Sylvesters in the 5 borough area, so much for being unique, LOL!
Life is a rush into the unknown. You can duck down and hope nothing hits you, or you can stand tall, show it your teeth and say "Dish it up, Baby, and don't skimp on the jalapeƱos."
Name: Rosie
HILLSBOROUGH, NC (Zone 7b)
If it sparkles - I'm there!
Region: North Carolina Bookworm
Image
MISSINGROSIE
Feb 17, 2016 11:13 AM CST
The nuns at our St. Sylvesters were BRUTAL ( most not all ) (maybe it is worse now...in memory??)

My mother ( mistakenly ) told me that the St. Sylvester's nuns' heads were shaved ...a sacrifice...a sign of dedication and goodness. They were BRIDES of the church.

Well, one mean as a rattlesnake nun...would swish past me seated at my little wooden desk...so close...so close....she smelled like dry starch...and as she swayed... I could see a very eL O N G braided ponytail peek out from under the head garments... It had to be down to her well-concealed butt. It would appear...and wink a wink.... I saw it --and I watched it. I just knew she was the devil's spawn! I guess I just had enough of her terrorism...(but you know, she didn't terrorize ME...I was too scared to be bad...) But still, it was terror just waiting for her to notice me....the anticipation... One day she walked past my desk .. And there was that rubber banded blondish braid and ...I don't know what happened. I leapt up and grabbed the damn thing and said ( per my mother ) Ah Ha! I KNEW you couldn't be no real nun! YOU GOT HAIR!!

I don't think she did anything to me ..nor mother superior,.

But.....from my own mother.....whew.... You don't embarrass your mother with the church... Talk about devil woman....her and her wooden spoon.... You know, I can still see that braid in my minds eye. That nun was probably no more than 35.. But you know, they are timeless.
Don't squat with yer spurs on!

People try to turn back their "odometers." Not me. I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved
[Last edited by MISSINGROSIE - Feb 17, 2016 12:22 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1060958 (19)
Name: Terri
virginia (Zone 7a)
Beekeeper Region: Virginia Dragonflies
dragonfly53
Feb 17, 2016 12:07 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing !

Sorry.... ate a lot of brown soap and got my hands whacked with the metal ruler in my time at parochial school, it must have affected my sense of humor more than I thought!
Life is a rush into the unknown. You can duck down and hope nothing hits you, or you can stand tall, show it your teeth and say "Dish it up, Baby, and don't skimp on the jalapeƱos."

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