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

Joel K
by Joel K
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
Frequently asked questions
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  3 questions
  • 1388315 1388315 on Apr 05, 2016
    will this also work for squash??
  • Grandmasue10 Grandmasue10 on Jun 03, 2016
    In the last step you recommend putting plastic over seedlings. Won't this cook them?
  • Kim Towsley Kim Towsley on Apr 22, 2019

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

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2 of 126 comments
  • Christine Loranger Christine Loranger on Mar 24, 2021

    This year will be my 3rd year hay bale gardening. I will never in ground garden again!!! I would suggest placing carpenters mesh under your bales to prevent rodents from eating your plants and root vegetables such as carrots and potatoes as I learned...

    My first year (45 bales) I am certain people thought I was nuts!!! Even I was a little worried. Anyway, my garden was beautiful. Last year(60 bales), it was even better!!! Maybe my newfound confidence helped, lol. Anyway my garden filled our freezers and provided some for another 6 families as well.

  • Pgr86577280 Pgr86577280 on Aug 14, 2023

    Can’t wait to try this method. Thanks for sharing