Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Straw Bale Garden Update

Transplants in the bale bed

My second round of bales have been ready to plant for a bit, and I finally blended bale readiness with plant readiness and plugged in my stuff over the weekend. Broccoli, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, bok choi, and lettuce. You just poke a hole, and take out some straw if needed for the size of the seedling, and back fill with a little potting soil. I think the plants are looking rather happy. 

The other row of bales, where I planted seeds, are not doing as well. I direct sowed a selection of spring crops: mostly peas, but radishes, carrots, beets, spinach, arugula. The peas have done ok, though the germination was spotty. The spinach seed apparently wasn't any good, because none of them came up. A few beets and carrots, have emerged, and the arugula has also, but it doesn't seem to be growing. I'm not sure if this is the bales, the weather, or the mechanical difficulties with the floating row cover and how the wind can whip that stuff around and maybe bother the seedlings. This method is supposed to allow covering your bale row with greenhouse plastic, but I think our wind is too strong for this. Anyhow, I'm interested to see how all this goes. 

I also stuck a strawberry crown into the side of one of the bales, as an experiment. Our strawberry bed is ready to get torn up, and the crowns need to be thinned anyway, so I'm hopeful that they will love growing in the sides of the bales, and I can grow them all around the edges.

It's been several years since I successfully grew a spring brassica garden, so I'm hopeful and excited to see how this all turns out.

The direct-sow bed, with peas growing

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