Joel K
Joel K
  • Hometalker
  • Saint Paul, MN

Straw Bale Gardening, great in all climates from the Arctic to the Caribbean islands!

Straw Bale Gardening is essentially container gardening, without the cost of a container or the planting mix to fill it. Just buy a bale of straw, go through the "conditioning" process and plant, then water, then harvest, it is about that simple. Get the full details at
No weeding, raised beds make access easier, tomato plants love this method of gardening. Great for potatoes also, no digging! Anything that grows in the soil will do well in the bales also.
Early in the season, make the straw bales into a greenhouse, the "conditioning" of the bale below emits lots of heat during the process which warms the root zone and protects plants on the surface from frost. They love this up in the Arctic Circle in AK and Canada. See more at
Planting annuals in the sides also makes the garden look attractive as well as productive.
Direct seeding into a seedbed of sterile Planting Mix on the surface of the bales. These seedlings grow rapidly due to the extra warmth from the decomposing bale below. Once seeded, cover with the plastic sheeting to protect from critters, frost, hard rain etc. See more information at

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Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • 1388315
    on Apr 5, 2016

    will this also work for squash??

  • Grandmasue10
    on Jun 3, 2016

    In the last step you recommend putting plastic over seedlings. Won't this cook them?

    • Carey
      on Sep 7, 2016

      The plastic over the seeds produces the warmth that causes them to germinate quickly and begin growing. It would be ventilated during the day and closed at night to protect the growing seedlings and removed once all danger of frost is past. In a hot climate, you would have to be careful once they start growing to remove the plastic covering before it gets to hot.

    • Karen Kay Babineaux
      on Dec 20, 2018

      I would think it would create a terrarium effect like putting plastic bottles over seedlings and therefore would aid in the development of sproutings by keeping them moist, but that's just my experience and thoughts.

  • Kim Towsley
    on Apr 22, 2019

    Can you use hay instead of straw ? What is the difference?

Join the conversation

3 of 122 comments
  • Sherrie Slaboda
    on Dec 24, 2018

    Sunny Florida. Renee, you should try straw bale gardening. That's what I want to try but can't find the straw bales.

  • Sherrie Slaboda
    on Apr 24, 2019

    Joel I looked for grass hay and straw bales and still haven't found one that will ship one or two bales at a decent price. I just want to try them as I think the concept is great.

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