Things you might want to know...
How Long will my Straw Bale Garden last?
The short answer is 10 - 18 months. In my experience, a straw bale garden can last well over a year. It really depends on how you want your garden to look and how long you want to garden for. After about 6 or 9 months, the bales do start to deteriorate and begin to look a little tired. But if you’re happy with that, use your bales until they just fall over! I have been known to prop up a bale or two with a tomato stake to get a little longer out of my bales.
How much maintenance is involved?
Maintenance is easy! With no weeding required, all you have to do is water once a day in the hot weather, every few days in the warm weather (if there is no rain forecast) and in the cooler weather once or twice a week. Give it a quick feed once a week with the liquid fertiliser provided in your kit and you're done! Our 3 Bale Kit requires only one watering can per week of diluted liquid fertiliser. This takes no longer than a few minutes.
Do you need to add soil?
Straw bale gardens do not need any soil other than what is attached to the roots of your seedling. Adding soil from your garden can introduce soil-borne disease into your bales. This causes your plants trouble that can easily be avoided. When planting out your second round of crops, if there is a small hole from the removed roots, I simply fill it in with BaleGrow compost mix or potting mix (NOT soil from the garden) and start planting again. If this is your second round of BaleGrow and have composted straw from your previous BaleGrow garden, this is perfect for filling holes.
What do I do with the bales once I have finished with the veggie garden?
I love this question! You cut the string and see what is inside. You will find an incredibly decomposed bale of straw that is full of life. This is an amazing food source for your existing garden beds. Another option is to use it as potting mix for your next straw bale garden. This can be used to fill holes when a plant has been removed or when a seedling has just been planted and the roots are exposed. You can use a handful of the old bale to top up the new one. Alternatively, you can simply put it in the green waste bin.
How do I know if I get enough sun?
The best way to know is to see for yourself. If you set a timer on a day when you’re around the house, you can pop out to the yard every few hours to see what the sun is doing. Your garden needs 5 - 8 hours of sun a day to get the best results. If the area you are thinking about has NO sun at all, unfortunately the chance of success is unlikely.
Are insects a problem?
In my experience I have not had a lot of trouble with pest problems in my straw bale garden. In terms of trouble shooting, your plants can be treated just the same at traditional soil gardens.
How big are the bales?
A straw bale is about 1 meter long and when standing on its side for planting it is about 45cm high. A great height to save a sore back!
What do I do when the plants have reached their life span?
This one is easy and exciting. If you pop yourself into your local garden centre you can start your staggered planting. All plants have a different life span, so as one plant finishes production, pull it out and plant something else. I have had a lot of fun with this because every few weeks I plant something new and the whole cycle starts again. But this time you will already have things growing, so you will have some plants harvesting and others finishing up. This staggered planting can go on all year round.
Will you guarantee a successful harvest?
Like with anything, you get out what you put in. If you follow our detailed information booklet, and have your bales positioned with the recommended sun exposure, you will be successful. But you do need to do your part. That means watering a few minutes a day (for a 3 Bale Kit this will take approximately 4 minutes) and a quick feed once a week (approximately 2 minutes). And the results will be amazing.
Can the bales just sit there with nothing in them?
Yes, once your bales have been delivered, you don't have to start the conditioning process until you are ready. The bales can sit out in the elements for as long as you need. Although we do recommend that they are put in place if being left for an extended time. If they become wet due to rain, the bales do become very heavy and difficult to move.
Do I need to feed my garden?
Yes, this is a must for an amazing garden. Your plants, like us, need food to survive. Without the nutrients they require, they won’t grow to their full potential and you will only be disappointed. This only takes a few short minutes and you will be rewarded with a veggie crop your friends and family will envy!