Friday, May 20, 2011

Planting the Strawbales

 Before the bales ...


... during ...

... and finally ...
after the bales were planted.

The first thing I did was ...
focus my attention upon the connecting space
each of the bales.

What you see there (above) is the space between two bales.

I wondered what I could do with it, if anything.

Then the brilliant light-bulb flashed an idea in my head.

So ... I got me a stack of napkins ... and ...

... and I covered each "hole" with a napkin,
and then "punched" it in with my fist.

If I had wanted to, I could have punched all the way to the ground.

But I didn't want to punch all the way to the ground.

I just wanted to punch the napkin in just far enough to put 
some kind of thin barrier down to add, and temporarily hold, some soil.

And then I transplanted a few plants 
... actually eight plants, in all ...
that I got at Harps, the local grocery store.

I bought two roma tomatoes, one mild jalapeno, 
and five cantaloupe transplants ...
and three bags of 40lb potting soil.

(I only used two bags for the straw bale garden.)

The plant at the top is the mild jalapeno,
and the plant at the bottom is a cantaloupe.

^^^ Here is a Roma tomato plant. ^^^

Roma, by the way, is the best for salsas.

My opinion, of course ... they are meatier, methinks.

And here is the same Roma with a wine bottle 
for supplemental drinking :)

oh! on a side-note ...
my middle miracle came home from school today,
and told me a girl flat-out asked her, "Is your Mom a boozer?"

My title for that particular blog post was accurate ...
I am giving them plenty to talk about!

Don't know if I should blush, cringe, or giggle ...
but I digress.

Here is another view of the Roma without the bottle 
... I took this snapshot from the other side of the bale.
The "holes" between the bales are created by the tight twining.

The bales actually touch in the middle of the "holes"
and that is where I jam the wine bottles in.

My theory is this ... and, of course, it is just my theory.

The napkin and soil is just a temporary helper/holder.

Once the root system is established, they will grow down 
and then horizontally into the bales.

The inside of the bales should stay moist and warm 
throughout the whole growing season ...
while they slowly decompose.

Perfect environment to keep roots happy.

Anyway, as you know,
if you've been following this blog the past few weeks,
I have twenty bales.

And, so, I have 38 "holes" between those bales.

I utilized eight of those "holes" with my transplants.

So, I had thirty "holes" leftover
that needed me to do "something" with.

So, reaching back into my ingenious mind,
I decided to punch them with my napkin barrier, too,
and add my same cupful of soil, too ...
and then I planted one sweet corn kernel into each spot.

I have no idea if that crazy idea will work, but we'll see.

Remember, I'm still thinking the roots will establish 
and grow horizontally into the bales.

I don't know.

Maybe the corn's roots will grow all the way down to the ground.
Maybe the corn won't grow at all.

Something we will all watch and wait for.

The bales, placed end-to-end, run east to west ...
so the corn stalks (if they grow) 
shouldn't hinder sunlight to the other plants
because the stalks won't be on the south-side of any plants.

Just another theory I'm playing with ... like I said, we'll see.

I have some corn in reserve
should this hair-brained idea flop.

I am not taking any of this too seriously, anyway ...
I see this as another aspect of my adventure, and I am having fun.

Anyway, now I will tell you how I planted the rest of the bales with seed.

If it was a large seed 
(like a bean or a pea or a squash, etc)
I jammed it into the straw bale about an inch.

And then lightly covered it with potting soil.

If it was a medium-sized seed
(like cucumber, okra, grape tomato, radish, etc)
I jammed it into the strawbale about a quarter of an inch.

And then lightly covered it with potting soil.

If it was a tiny seed
(like banana pepper, herbs, jalapeno, spinach, swiss chard, etc)
I literally just sprinkled the seed on top of the bales.

And then lightly covered with potting soil.

But here is the kicker ... I also utilized the SIDES of the bales, too.

On the sides, I poked pumpkin and watermelon seeds.

My theory is 
... if they germinate and sprout ...
the vines will grow out and away from the bales,
and the fruit will grow on the ground.


I don't know.

Just playing with my experiment.

We'll see how it goes, won't we.

Stay tuned.

This is sooo exciting.

And, here is tonight's sunset from my office/porch.

Please excuse the poor quality of all my pictures ...
since I finally resumed blogging after my three month forced break,
I have had to use my cell phone!

Hey, whatever it takes right?


~ ~ ~ ~ ~


  1. Love your blog.


  2. I'm very interested to see how your straw bale garden works out.


  3. Can't wait to see the results of your straw bale garden . . .hope it is a big success!


  4. Thank you, both!

    (( hugs ))

    It's looking good ... can't wait to post my newest pics of it.

  5. I love the way you experiment, not afraid to try new things and new places.

  6. I like the pumpkin and watermelon on the side idea. I have some summer squash in my barrelponic, hoping it will grow down the side.

  7. Oregon County Food Producers' and Artisan Co-Op -

    I love this! I use straw between my rows and as cover, mulch, fertilizer over winter, but I never thought to just plant directly into the bales. Huh, I hope it works. I'll be following!!!


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