Why, you ask... would I be
Well... we like to make our plans early, we gardeners.
For many years, I worked shows in a ticket booth downtown, and one of the things I liked to do after the first of the year was go through my seed catalogs in the lulls between waves of people attending the Boat Show, the Garden Show, etc..
Some of you may remember that I won an Apple I Pad about a year ago, from an online contest.
I did not know how to use it, and it sat until someone explained it to me.
When I got it going, I downloaded something called
Kindle for Ipad.
It is just like the Kindle that is sold, only on my tablet.
One of the books I have bought and read is called
Straw Bale Gardening, by Joel Karsten.
Folks, I'm sold. You see... I can understand how it is possible.
These are the top two bales of the straw fort I made to protect the ducks, who actually sleep in a bed of wet hay and leaves about ten feet away.
You see the grass sprouting from them in the last two weeks?
Well, this article HERE will explain how Mr. Karsten came up with his idea to first make the bales ready, and then to plant in them. It is not as simple as dumping planting medium or chicken house cleanings on top.
If they are prepared carefully, and put within a framework that holds the decomposing bales together (which I plan to do).... they can bear wonderfully.
I follow Mr. Karsten on Facebook as well.
Does this mean I am going to forego planting in my raised beds next season? NO!
I am actually going to run them side by side. I love to experiment and compare different ways of planting, and I intend to condition these bales to get optimum production.
You see in the above picture that Mr. Karsten provides a framework for the bales many times, not just to hold the decomposing straw in, but for the plants on the bales. I want to try both vegetables and flowers, to see what I get from them. Then the decomposed straw will be used on the planting beds when finished for the season, so it's a win-win all around. It's so interesting on Facebook to read the accounts of those who have tried it and loved it, and tried it and failed... I learn something from all of them.
One nursery has actually purchased 1000 bales of straw and is now conditioning them for the next growing season in their greenhouses!
I'm thinking of using six bales as a starting point, and running an experiment on them this coming gardening season.
I have already received Pinetree Garden's Catalog in the mail... I have never bought from them, but had heard of them. I hope to get a spate of catalogs around the holiday season, and will curl up with them and get my orders ready. We still don't have our greenhouse up, but we are going to use the hoophouse again next year, so I'll have ample things with which to experiment. It makes gardening so much more fun!
Is anyone else planning your garden for 2014 yet?
(and thanks to those who gave us advice for Delilah, who is a little calmer this morning. She has exhibited heat symptoms since coming here five weeks ago... we sure wish she would come out of it!)