hay vs straw bale gardening

Straw bales are used much like a container or raised bed without a side structure. This will of course vary depending on the actual make-up of your hay, but in general terms because you are using grasses and clover, the hay bale is loaded with nitrogen, potash and potassium and many other nutrients needed to grow strong healthy vegetables. Use straw, not hay. Straw bale gardening is just that, planting your seedlings into bales of straw. If you use alfalfa you will need less fertilizer. The gardening concept is the same and they seem similar on the surface, there are differences between straw bale gardening and hay bale gardening. Everyone tells me my choice is wrong until they hear my reasoning and my method! Hay is primarily a livestock feed. As the straw breaks down over the course of the summer, it turns into compost that feeds your plants. This is required to begin the decomposition process of your bale, and also to infuse the bale with the necessary nutrients to ensure healthy growth. After 14 days or so the bale (which has heated up in the process) should have cooled down, and is now ready to receive your plants. The benefits are awesome: It doesn’t require digging in rocky or hard soil, and it creates cheap, raised beds! Pine straw does not work well either. Contact your local county agent to find out where to get straw bales in your area. And often the hay itself contains seeds that will sprout once they get wet, so you could end up with a living pathway until the dry weather dries out the topmost layers of your mulch again. Thankfully many city municipalities have made areas available such as vacant parking lots, or land destined to be built upon sometime in the future but lying unused till then. Oct 24, 2016 - Hay vs. The good news is that the sprouts are easy to pull out or to trim with scissors. For more information on Back to Eden gardening, no till gardening and/or lasagna gardening, see my other article on The Secret to Easy Gardening, Use Mulch for No Weeding. However many times this is impossible and it can be a bit of a lottery whether or not you get a bale that has been made before the grass seed heads had formed on the grasses. It could... Hi, I'm James Paris and welcome to my blog! They often include dried grasses with lots of seeds. On days 11-13, we are back to water only. Oct 19, 2016 - Hay vs. Bales of Straw or hay take up very little space! But before you go looking for bales of straw or hay for your garden this spring, let’s take a look at the best sources and how to use it. Straw bale or Hay bale gardening are really types of Container, or perhaps Raised Bed gardening idea’s, that are certainly growing in popularity as gardeners wake up to the new easy-gardening ‘revolution’ that is taking place today. Hay simply has more nutrients in it, so as it decomposes, more nutrients are released. For city-dwellers, tying a bale with string and hanging it on the inside of your balcony rail is a great space-saver. Cost is typically $10 per bale. This is often the case with bales that have been previously used for public events, school Halloween displays, Christmas manger scenes etc.The last thing you want is for these chemicals to contaminate your otherwise healthy veggies! Should you have a straw bale garden? I'll give my reasons for and against planting in straw bales. Hay bales are usually grown and sold as horse or livestock feed. They allow the gardener to … Once the straw inside the bale begins to decay the straw becomes "conditioned" compost that creates an extraordinary plant rooting environment. As with traditional gardening, it can get as complex as you want to make it. Your email address will not be published. You are about to embark on a no-fail gardening journey—straw bale gardening. For one thing, a hay bale garden requires less work and overall maintenance than a straw bale garden. If you use hay bales, chances are good you’ll end up growing hay rather than vegetables. Personally I always use organic, which can be easily added in the form of organic tea’s.Once the bale actually starts to compost or break-down over the growing season, this lack of nutrients is partially made up by the decomposition process which will in effect turn your straw bale into usable humus. Like to know more about this amazingly effective gardening technique? Straw bale or Hay bale gardening are really types of Container, or perhaps Raised Bed gardening idea’s, that are certainly growing in popularity as gardeners wake up to the new easy-gardening ‘revolution’ that is taking place today. Everyone tells me my choice is wrong until they hear my reasoning and my method! This has no cost implication to the purchaser. The main difference is that the container is the straw bale itself and is held together with two or three strings. The main advantage of the straw bale is that it offers a ‘blank canvas’ with regard to its make-up, the only nutrient value is in fact carbon. This means that it requires little in the way of fertilizer, at least until the later stages of plant growth or fruiting.The main disadvantage of the hay bale is the fact that it carries a LOT of grass seeds! Slug-free gardening. Sourcing Straw or Hay for Use in the Garden. Used in farms as winter feed for the animals as it is highly nutritious, especially when mixed with molasses and sealed into large plastic ‘bales’ where it matures over the late Autumn.This stinks to high heaven – but the cattle love it! If garden space or physical mobility is limited, straw bales provide an easily accessible growing medium for everything from herbs and lettuces to tomatoes and squash. Hay bales are grasses that have been dried and baled together. Straw Bale vs Hay Bale Gardening. Let’s talk about hay vs straw. Straw bale gardening is essentially container gardening on a natural level. . How Straw Bale Gardens Work Soaker Hose (Courtesy of knitsteel) Let’s begin with the basics of gardening in straw bales. It's economical, easier on your back, and is great for people with mobility issues. Or imagine, if you will, the old saying, “I am going to hit the hay,” but substitute it with straw . Planting you’re vegetables, simply dig out a hole about plant-pot size in the surface of the bail, and insert your seedlings alongside some growing compost. Straw bale gardening - is there a gardening method that sounds easier? Sep 21, 2012 - Google Image Result for http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-WWRf0Rb_ZgY/TzTEJnnoyRI/AAAAAAAAB60/pvLBTKSWGfE/s1600/aug%2B5%2B047.JPG it is sad that people use scare tactics to push their beliefs. Straw bale gardening is an ancient farming technique used in many cultures. Straw bales contain barley and wheat stems, commonly used for composting, mulching, and gardening. bale will cover 100 square feet, according to Texas A&M University. Avoid hay bales, which are often quite a bit cheaper. To plant from seed then simply cover your bale with 2 inches of growing compost, leaving a space about 2 inches around the edge. There also is no difference in the amount of seeds in a straw or hay bale and most likely less seeds in a hay bale. The benefits are awesome: It doesn’t require digging in rocky or hard soil, and it creates cheap, raised beds! No Digging Required. Weed-free gardening (watch out for those hay bales!)3. Then simply, link to Benefits of Coffee Grounds in the Vegetable Garden, How Do You Start A Vegetable Garden For Beginners. View beautiful straw bale garden photos. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. First, you don’t need to add fertilizer, unlike straw bales. Hay is food for plant-eating animals. Hay often contains seeds which sprout when used as mulch, which is why there are so many warnings against using it. Before you set up your bales, lay down landscape fabric to prevent weeds from growing up through the bales. Mary Beth is referring to a phone call that aired on the show several weeks ago about 'straw bale gardening'. Creating a Straw Bale Garden By Melinda Myers - horticulturist and gardening expert May 1, 2017. 1. Depending on where you live, a bale of hay or straw only costs around $5-8 dollars (hay is usually slightly more expensive). Another potential problem with using hay or straw in your garden are fungal infections that may occur when rotting mulch comes into contact with plant stems or leaves. Straw Bale Gardening is simply a different type of container gardening. Oak straw also works well. One 40-lb. Wheel-chair friendly! DISCLOSURE: In order for me to pay my blogging expenses, I may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement and/or link to products mentioned on this blog. There is no danger of ruining your garden or soil in using straw or hay bales. Hay and straw are different from each other, although when they are tied up into bales they look similar. More Organic Gardening Posts That Will Interest You. For an added element of design, place the bale in a metal feeding trough. At the end of the season, compost the bales, so it’s the ultimate in sustainable gardening too. So, What Exactly Makes Hay More Desirable Than Straw For Gardening? Purchase rectangular straw bales (approximately 2′ x 3′). Plants are simply placed into the bales, a little bit of soil is added, and a garden begins to grow. Hay bales for gardening are less popular as they have the whole stalk and seed heads with mucho seeds. . The bottom line to remember is … Hay, which is used for livestock feed, has seed heads and is not appropriate for bale gardening. Please check out my Amazon Author Page... https://amazon.com/author/jamesparis. Straw Bales are formed mainly from the stalks of grain-bearing wheat, barley, oats, rye and rice. The main advantage of the hay bale is that it is the nutrient value. Wheat-straw bales are ideal, though other types such as alfalfa and buckwheat, are reasonable substitutes. A bale of hay and a bale of straw may look similar and may be found together in the same places, but they are very different. At the end of the season, compost the bales, so it’s the ultimate in sustainable gardening too. To kill weed seeds, leave bales of hay or straw outside and allow weeds to sprout and die before using in the garden. In a garden, however, getting the two confused can lead to problems in the future. Hay bales are a bad choice as they are filled with grass seeds that will compete with your plants. To prime your bales, make sure that after choosing a suitable location you lay the bale on its side with the spikey side facing upwards. Well, if you replace straw with hay bales, you’ll end up growing a bale of wheat. No: absolutely not for straw bale gardening. Kids in particular love the excitement of pulling their own... Benefits of Coffee Grounds in the Vegetable Garden. Position the bale(s) on their side, so the cut side of the straw is facing up. Apr 9, 2012 - Search the internet for info on using hay vs. straw as mulch and you'll see statements like these: "I’ve never made the mistake of using hay", or "Straw makes great mulch -- or, for that matter, a great addition to your compost pile; hay does not", and "I inadvertently asked for hay instead of straw … Cheaper than Raised Beds or containers. Hay is made from alfalfa and grasses that still have the seeds attached, and these seeds will turn into weeds when the germinate and sprout. Corn and pine straw will likely not grow anything. Hay is food for plant-eating animals. As for growing plants in hay bales, city dwellers in particular, whilst being continually bombarded by the need to ‘be organic’ and provide fresh chemical-free vegetables for the kids, are opting for this gardening technique as they simply do not have access to the land needed to grow their own vegetables. 2. They function essentially as a raised bed (each bale is 14–16 inches high) and a container garden in one. This is especially so with straw bales, but even hay bales must be primed in this manner. Hay Bales are usually made up from a mixture of clover and grasses that has been allowed to grow to a certain height, then harvested and formed into bales. Maintaining good quality and moisture-free hay and straw bales requires them to be dried under the sun. Straw vs Hay: What is Hay? One of the major benefits of hay bales is the ability to … The height makes it accessible for users of wheelchairs.5. Everyone tells me my choice is wrong until they hear my reasoning and my method! Difference between Hay vs Straw. This is to allow the water to run inside the tubes and reach the inside of the bale. Consider the pros and cons to determine if straw bale gardening is right for you. The best straw bales for a garden are wheat, oats, rye or barley straw. Straw in the Garden: Which is Better? So, hay bale gardening differentiates from straw bale gardening in several ways. Bear in mind that vegetable plants can be grown slightly closer together than usual using this technique, as there is no need to hoe weeds! An Amazon best selling author of numerous books in the vegetable gardening niche, I am particularly interested in the No-Dig gardening methods that Urban or City dwellers can use to grow their own food - even when space is limited. …Which happened to me once. Compact and accessible. Straw, on the other hand, is comprised of the leftover stalks of grains such as oats and wheat—after the seeds have been removed through harvesting. Like with mulches, it important to either find square straw bales, which are intrinsically without seeds, or seedless hay bales as the base. This can be achieved by keeping the moisture content well below 20%; rather, it is mostly seen to be less than 10% in many good quality bales. Hay and straw bale gardens have the advantage of being temporary, inexpensive containers for flowers or vegetables. You can find bales at garden centers. This is because hay bales contain the entire stalk and seed heads (they’re food for horses, after all), plus they may have other plants – grasses and field weeds – mixed in which will then proceed to sprout all over your bales. Straw and hay are often packaged up identically, and many garden centers—and even farmers who sell their extra bales on the roadside—use the term 'straw' whether the bale in question is straw or hay. 2. Hay holds moisture, allowing seeds on top to sprout, which is why some consider hay bale gardening to be such a great thing. If you’re straw-bale-gardening on your porch or deck, cover the sides with screening or wooden slats for a more artistic appeal. But if you’re trying to suppress weeds, do you really want this? Sourcing Straw or Hay for Use in the Garden. Fill this channel in with compost and then sow your carrot seeds. Remember how straw is just the stalk, with the seed head removed? For growing roots such as carrots the technique changes slightly in that you will create a v-shaped trench along the length of the bale with a trowel. Straw and spent hay are both inexpensive and available most everywhere, so they are an easy option for using in abundance to mulch with. Let's find out how to condition a straw bale for gardening! Abundant crops through this intensive gardening idea.8. ouch! When starting a new gardening technique, it’s a good idea to know which plants are going to work best using this technique. Hay is often a tall field grass, usually a variety called Timothy. As we have seen though, this is easily made up by the addition of nutrients during the process of preparing the bale (more on this later). Water the bale or bales well –if you can leave them out for a couple of weeks and water them every day, even better. Water the bale or bales well –if you can leave them out for a couple of weeks and water them every day, even better. These seeds will of course grow alongside your plants and can mean endless pulling out of weeds, otherwise you will end up with a lovely hay bale lawn!Now of course, if you are fortunate enough to find out that the hay was harvested before the grass seeds formed, then that would be ideal. 1. Straw in the Garden: Which is Better? Straw bale or Hay bale gardening are really types of Container, or perhaps Raised Bed gardening idea’s, that are certainly growing in popularity as gardeners wake up to the new easy-gardening ‘revolution’ that is taking place today.. Try to leave a few inches of space around plants to prevent this. Hay is often a tall field grass, usually a variety called Jan 18, 2019 - Hay vs. Hay, though, just may give you the best yield you’ve ever gotten out of your garden. An easy way for me to remember is by the color; hay is green, straw is yellow. This is allowed to dry in the field before baling and is used for bedding farm animals, cows, pigs, horses and sheep etc – and Straw Bale Gardening! And if you use hay—with all those seed heads intact—as a garden mulch, the seeds will sprout and you'll become an unintentional grain farmer. Dec 30, 2014 - Explore Rachel Yott's board "Straw bale gardening" on Pinterest. Straw Bale Gardens. Straw in the Garden: Which is Better? The most important detail is that you don’t have to worry about seeds in hay bales. I am attempting to garden with hay. - UrbanFarmOnline.com, How to Identify Pine, Spruce, Fir and Hemlock and Use in Food and Remedies. Some of the links on this site are affiliate links. Hay. Straw bale gardening does use a lot of water – more than normal soil gardening – so, if you’re looking for an environmentally friendly DIY project or planning a small balcony garden, consider capturing natural rain water in barrels to use before employing your faucet’s help. Truly a no-dig gardening concept!2. Straw. It also has more of a sponge effect than straw does, which means that in heavy rainfalls, it buffers or slows down the amount of rain that soaks into the soil to help prevent erosion and leeching of nutrients. Any problems I have had are not due to my vegetables dying, but rather “volunteers”, as we like to call them, sprouting from viable seeds left … Straw bale gardening uses a bale as the medium in which you plant. If you arrange your straw bale garden before the winter, you’ll be all set to plant when springtime comes. >> Be sure the bales are STRAW and not hay…or you’ll be growing whatever is in that hay along with what you intended to grow.Straw is typically yellow, dry, hollow and not food for animals. Everyone tells me my choice is wrong until they hear my reasoning and my method! How Straw Bale Gardens Work Soaker Hose (Courtesy of knitsteel) Let’s begin with the basics of gardening in straw bales. Let’s take a look at the pro and cons of gardening with hay or straw. Copyright© Planterspost.com 2020 | “CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE COMES FROM AMAZON SERVICES LLC. Little bending over required.4. There are various different types of hay available such as timothy, alfalfa, etc.

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