If you’re like a lot of people, you’d like to take up gardening, but think that you can’t because you either don’t have a lot of outdoor space, don’t have enough soil in your outdoor space or the soil that you do have just isn’t suitable for growing the plants you’d like to. It’s true that this is a handicap, but it doesn’t have to keep you from gardening. Straw bale gardening is an alternative which allows anyone with even a little outdoor space to take up this rewarding and healthy pastime.
What Is Straw Bale Gardening?
Straw bale gardening shares features with container gardening and hydroponic gardening in that it involves an alternative to growing plants directly in the soil (as with container gardening) and to soil itself (like hydroponic gardening). Instead, bales of straw are used as the growth medium. Other than allowing gardeners to produce surprisingly high yields in very little space without soil, there are several other advantages that make straw bale gardening an attractive idea.
Straw bales offer excellent drainage – and there’s no need to till or aerate the soil, or to mix in sand or topsoil as would be the case with heavier clay soils. Like container gardening, it’s also a good way to get outdoors and get some exercise in the garden without straining your back from stooping down. The bales keep the plants off of the ground and easy to reach. If you have back pain that’s been keeping you from gardening, this is another reason to consider straw bale gardening.
Dealing with weeds, pests and plant diseases are among the tasks that most gardeners spend a lot of time doing. Straw bales make managing all of these problems much easier. Weeds tend to have a much harder time becoming established in straw (and it’s very easy to pull the few that do). Keeping your plants off the ground also greatly reduces pest problems and fungal disease, which makes this a natural choice for anyone who would prefer to keep their garden organic. Straw also releases nutrients as it breaks down, which provides a kind of natural fertilizer for your garden.
Straw bale gardening is an easier, more efficient and healthier way to garden. If you’ve had trouble getting a garden going in your outdoor space or didn’t think it was possible, give growing your garden in straw a try – you might have a greener thumb than you think!