'Tis the Season to Season the Straw
When positioning your garden, turn bales on their side (so strings are on the side).
Our garden this year has 24 bales, set up with 6 in the back row, and 3 rows of 2x3 bales. Arranging them together provides additional support as the bales decompose and lose structure.
3 of last year's bales were still holding their shape. Those were left in place to use for a second year!
Once your bales are in place, you must spend 10-14 days "seasoning" the straw. This process jump-starts the straw decomposition, providing a moist, nutrient-rich, warm environment for your seedlings.
Soak the bales with water every day until you see it running out of the bottom of the bale. Rotating every-other day, sprinkle a high nitrogen fertilizer on the bales in the recommended amount for soil application. If using liquid fertilizer, apply at the end of watering to avoid flushing the fertilizer out.
Prior to planting in the bales, apply an all purpose fertilizer.
Waiting for the 2 seasoning weeks to pass provides an excellent opportunity to daydream about your future produce. You can plant almost anything in a bale that you would put in the soil.
We're looking forward to many varieties of tomatoes, peppers, squashes, greens, and more.