Do you have rocky soil? Or problems with soil borne diseases? Straw bale gardening might be your answer. It’s a gardening approach that uses a bale of straw as the medium in which you plant. It creates relatively inexpensive raised beds. At the end of the season, you can compost the bales, so it’s the ultimate in sustainable gardening. Ideal for vegetable gardens in New York State and elsewhere, but they can also be used to grow ornamental flowers.
Straw bale gardening is an investment in time and money. But there are some things you need to consider. Join Master Gardener, Tim Kennelty, as he provides tips and tricks learned from years of experience using straw bales in his garden. He walks through the steps needed to ‘condition’ the bales so that they can successfully be used for growing. Watering and fertilizing the bales are fundamental. The location of the straw bales can be moved year to year and since it is basically soil-less gardening, the bales can even be placed on a driveway.
This gardening approach is ideal if you are limited for space or have soil issues. To learn how to get started, this episode of Nature Calls: Conversations of the Hudson Valley might be just what you are looking for!
Host: Jean Thomas
Guest: Tim Kennelty
Photo by: Tim Kennelty
Production Support: Linda Aydlett, Teresa Golden and Annie Scibienski
Straw Bale Gardening Fact Sheet , Straw Bale Gardening, Step-by-Step
Community Horticulture Program Coordinator
(518) 828-3346 ext 106
Last updated May 18, 2023