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Growing Vegetables in Straw Bales

"Consider the humble bale of straw. Think beyond its reputation as a Halloween decoration and picture it as a productive part of your garden. The concept is simple: As the straw begins to break down, it turns into a rich, compostable planter that's ideal for growing vegetables.

Although the practice of gardening in straw bales dates back to ancient times, I learned of it only a decade ago during a chance encounter with a local straw-bale guru, Kent Rogers.

When my publisher asked me to write about straw-bale gardening, I tested the techniques in my own gardens and was quite impressed with the results.

Benefits of bales

  • The ability to place an instant garden wherever the sun shines

  • A way to avoid poorly draining, hard-to-work or diseased soil

  • A far less laborious gardening experience, eliminating digging and weeding"

Photo Credit: Joan Porter

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