Monday, March 28, 2016

Straw Bale Spring

This has been the warmest March I can remember.  And so I've used the weather to advantage... I bought 26 bales of wheat straw from a local farmer (it was Round-up Ready Wheat; I will look for organic this fall).  I set up bales in the hoop house for straw bale gardening.  That means a layer of weed barrier, a layer of hardware cloth, and then aligning the bales cut side up, with T-posts (I screwed up and bought  5 U-posts, but I'll be using T-posts ransacked from the old garden fencing for everywhere else) every 2-3 bales.  It's 2-3 bales because 2 bales are 6' long and 3 are 9' and that means either cutting down an 8' 2"x4" or finding a 10' and cutting it down.  I have found 5 that are 8' long, and 1 4"x4" that is 10' and 1 1"x6" because what the hell, I might as well use it, too.

ANYWAY, there are 6 bales set up in the hoop house in the process of conditioning (apply fertilizer at specific intervals and wet down the bales daily).  This weekend we (mostly me) got 14 more bales set up in two rows in the outdoor garden.  I will put 3 more bales in the hoop house when I have time to level the ground where El Jefe removed my remaining fig monstrosities.  And the last three will go... somewhere.  Outside for sure, since there won't be anymore room in the hoop house.

I am all excited about experimenting with the straw bale gardening, primarily because if production is the same, and weeding is reduced, my life will be SO MUCH MORE PLEASANT.  Not that I dislike weeding.  I actually enjoy it.  There is just too much garden for me to keep up with it in the time I have available.  And that is true of so much of life...

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