Straw bale gardening works well in areas with poor soil and drainage problems. It keeps pests from getting at the plants and raises them to knee level for convenience. The straw bales can be used for up to two years before they need to be replaced. Before starting that straw bale garden, you'll need to treat the bales. This process takes a minimum of 10 days and involves lots of water.
Things You'll Need
- Straw bales
- Ammonium nitrate
Purchase your straw bales. Each bale can support up to two plants. Local farmers and your home gardening store are the best places to look.
Soak the bales in water for three days. You can place them in a tub or water repeatedly throughout the day. Keep them wet during this time.
Sprinkle the bales with ammonium nitrate for the next two days. This is not required, especially if you are an organic gardener, but it helps turn the bales into an excellent fertilizer medium. Use half a cup of fertilizer per bale per day. Water the nitrate into the bale.
Sprinkle 1/4 cup of ammonium nitrate into the bales daily for the next two days after. Water the nitrate into the bales. Keep the bales wet.
Add 1 cup of fertilizer to each bale on the 10th day. Water the fertilizer into the bales. This is also optional; if you are an organic gardener, you can use just a little manure or cover the bales with compost after you place your plants.
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