Saturday, May 17, 2014
Straw Bale Gardens
The straw bale garden is an interesting idea in that it is a quick raised bed, the straw decomposes and creates heat that helps the ambient temperature of the soil, and it's relatively cheap.
Not a bad idea but there are a few issues. One is that the straw bale honestly is messy. It will shed and not look that attractive especially as it begins to disintegrate. As it disintegrate you have the issue of how to get rid of it without making more mess. One way to help the process is to build something around the bale but keep in mind the oxygen is very important around that bale and watch out for spontaneous combustion which has happened in hay stacks for years.
The other item not discussed much is that just like hydroponics that we discuss in the pages above, where are the soil nutrients? Soil goes through a microbial process that builds the natural elements our bodies need. Just because it grows fast and big does not mean it has the nutrient absorption that is the key reason to raise our own food.
Still; not a bad idea, but soil and nutrients need to be considered as with all raised beds. This brings us to the subject of mid-summer feeding raised bed gardens.
There is a definite drop as the living organisms in the soil start to fail in a raised bed. This is partially to a interlinking of those micro-organisms that can draw nutrients from hundreds of feet away. The main one is Hypha or Hyphae for plural. This is an amazing network that raised beds cut off. This simply means you need to add worm tea a couple of times a year to insure that the soil is feeding you the nutrients you need in your diet.