Friday, April 4, 2014

Join, Welcome, Thank You, Straw Bale Update, Garden







I would like to start my post today by welcoming a new Blogger friend to my blog.   Welcome Judy!

Thank you for joining my blog, please sit back and enjoy the ride.  

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Update Straw Bale Gardening
On day 11, check the temperature of the straw bales.  The temperature needs to be 99 degrees or lower.  Continue to water the bale as normal daily (if you’re not familiar with the entire process go here to read it in my blog post).
I checked the temperature of my straw bales, it was below 99 degrees.  My bales registered at or close to 86 degrees each.




Bulldog Man and I placed T-Posts on the ends of the straw bales.  We ran wire from one T-Post to another.  The first wire was about 12 inches from the top of the straw bale.  The next wire was set 12 inches from the first, and the final 12 additional inches from the second wire.  This wire was setup from two purposes.  The first, as a line to run a piece of plastic to cover the entire straw bale to act as a protector from the cold, and to provide the atmosphere of a green house.  The second, as each plant grows it can be used as a potential trellis for the plants to climb on.


Put T-Posts In
Next, I piled up soil between the drip lines and packed down the soil to prevent it from falling down.  I then gently watered the soil until it formed a nice hill.  
 
Packed Dirt and Ran Wire

 
Add Plastic Over Wire, Move to One Side Like Curtain
Then it was time to plant my seeds. I planted peas in these two straw bales.  After planting the seeds, I again watered the soil hill gently, and then pulled the plastic curtain across the two straw bales securing the ends and sides to make sure to protect the soil hill from the wind.

Planted Seeds and Pulled Plastic Curtain Across Bales, and Secured Ends
 I have my drip lines setup on a timer, to water twice a day for twenty minutes.  Now I can leave this plastic on in the morning, or I can slide the plastic across the wire and tie the plastic up on one end of the straw bales (like a curtain) until later in the evening.
The other straw bales will be planted with actual seedlings over the weekend. 
Today, I also planted some tomatoes and broccoli in a garden box.  I made sure to add tomato towers and bird netting to keep the birds out of the garden box.   As you can see, the bird netting was just balled up and tied temporarily.  Over the weekend, this will be cut back and tied down properly.  

Tomato Plant From Farmers Market (Lemon Boy)

Tomato Plant From Farmers Market (Pineapple)




Broccoli Planted and Bird Netting Need Fixing

I also added a string trellis to one of the large garden beds for something for the green beans to climb on when they pop out of the soil.




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A blogger friend of mine, Micheale over at Sprout ‘n’ Wings Farm asked me about being able to cut my grass now.  I will say this; I’ve cut the grass a total of 3 times since spring came into season.  With the snow gone and the rain here, our grass is growing like weeds.  And our weeds are growing like grass!!!

22 comments:

  1. That is so cool! Looks very efficient!
    We are close to cutting our grass here...this weather has brought it on for sure!

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    Replies
    1. M.E.,

      It is cool, and I hope it's efficient. I can't wait to see how the pea seeds grow using this method. Tomorrow, hubby and I will be planting seedlings next in the remaining straw bales.

      With the snow, and the rain all this moisture has caused the grass to grow like crazy. I hope you don't have a lot to cut!!!

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  2. Suppose to get down to 30 or even 29 tonight here so I am not even thinking about planting anything yet. Another 2 lambs born this evening so only 24 more to go I figure :)

    The bale idea is looking good!!!

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    Replies
    1. PP,

      You're still getting the extreme cold, give it a couple of weeks and you'll be out there planting too. Congratulations another 2 lambs born, they are so darn cute!!! You have your work cut out for you with the remaining 24.

      Thanks, I thought the bale idea was a good idea too. I truly hope it works out great because if it does, next garden season I will probably use all straw bales.

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  3. That's quite a set up, Sandy.
    I bet you will be reaping a lot of beautiful crops!

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    Replies
    1. Kimberly,

      Yes it is, and it's just an experiment this spring. If it does good, next spring I may use all straw bales in the garden.
      I hope there's all kinds of vegetables to harvest :-)

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  4. Sandy,
    I am watching this straw bail concept closely. Looks very interesting and the soaker hoses are probably the trick for healthy plants. How much does a bail of hay cost today? I think potatoes would do well using this straw bail method. I know with my bucket garden watering every other day is required for success.

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    1. Mike,

      This is the first time were doing the straw bale garden. It's an experiment, if it does good I may do my entire garden next season in straw bales. The potatoes would more than like do well. Instead of putting the potato seeds in the soil, I would cut a cone shape hole in the straw then cover with some soil or compost. Yes, the soaker hose makes a world of difference.
      Straw bales here run depending on who and where you purchase them any where from $8.00 to $9.50 a bale. Now you can get bigger bales, they will cost a lot more money.

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  5. Your straw rows looks like chocolate éclairs, sorry, I'm hungry. Lol.

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    1. Senior,

      I can see the bales looking like chocolate eclairs......so don't apologize. Eclairs sound pretty good right about now :-)

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  6. Our grass is weeds! I'm very glad for this update and that it's going so well. My one experience with straw bales was a fail because they weren't really straw and were full of seeds (oat) which established themselves in my garden! That was mulch, however, and this is a much cleverer idea.

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    1. Leigh,

      We have something in common!!! When I went to purchase straw the guy was trying to sale me hay not straw. I told him only straw, he of course finally picked up what I wanted and put it in the truck. I made sure to keep the bales together and didn't take them apart when preparing the bales. Sometimes oat seeds to establish themselves when you least expect it.

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  7. Those are going to be some very, very happy roots! I am sure they will reward you with an abundant harvest. I love this idea!

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    1. Michaele,

      I hope they are happy and do provide with with all kinds of veggies. If everything goes good with this experiment, I'm going to plant just a straw bale garden next year.

      Delete
  8. I shall watch this process with great anticipation. The plants are happy.

    Every thing is so neat it puts me to shame.

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    1. Gail,

      I'm hoping the experiment works out really well because I want to do this process for everything next year. Oh, I think the plants will be very happy.

      It doesn't put you to shame, I've seen your work it's amazing!!!

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  9. Sandy, wow. What a set up! I grew potatoes in hay in a barrel before, they did well, but never tried this. I'll be watching to see how it does for you. Hugs!

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    1. Gammy Tammy,

      Thank you!!! I grew potatoes in straw and tires, they did okay. This year I'm trying potatoes directly in the soil.

      Please continue to watch, I will post up dates :-)
      Hugs,
      Sandy

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    2. Sandy, I have oodles going on right now and am finding it difficult to get everything done in a timely manner now in my old age (55 this year, uugh!), but I promise I won't disappear. I'm still a faithful follower! Big, big hugs to you!!! Tammy

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  10. WOW! I am way behind reading blogs and I need to take some time with yours.... gosh, I wanted to do straw bales this year, but it's not happening. Hopefully, NEXT year! I'm going to read backwards!

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    1. Mary Ann,
      It's okay, you're very busy moving, we all understand :-)
      Maybe next year you can do straw bales and we can compare what grows in the bales.

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  11. sweet Sandy - thanks so much for the update on the straw bales. i can't wait to see how it turns out! we've had such a busy 2 weeks with our fundraiser AND the weather has not been cooperating. so this weekend i will start my tomatoes and peppers in the house, but will start planting coldweather crops out in the greenhouse - i'm super excited!

    keep us all updated on the strawbales as it seems there are many of us who are very interested in your experiment! your friend,
    kymber

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