NO DIG GARDENS
straw bale gardens
lasagna garden sheet mulch
been thinking about this a lot lately - STRAW BALE GARDENS
and no dig gardens in general, raised bed gardens with a lot of mulch/compost/straw/cardboard.
this idea is really good one, using bales of straw as both the bottom and the edges of your raised beds, then filling in the center with more compost/mulch then adding only a small amount of topsoil for the very top.
the edges, made by straw bales, could have holes cut into them for more plants, as well as being innoculated with mushroom mycellium.
this composting raised bed would eventually biodegrade and produce a hill of excellent growing soil...as does wood that can be used for raised garden bed edges.
since i started sheet mulching, and making raised beds with lots of cardboard, compost and straw, i am totally convinced this is the best way to garden.
variations are lasagna gardening, simpler sheet mulch with compost layering, these straw bales gardens, and vertical gardens like spiral gardens.
the straw bale idea would work very well as a bottom for a SPIRAL GARDEN.
use them to form the core of a garden in a tall spiral....
a blend of these ideas - cardboard layers, compost, and straw bales and loose straw with vertical and spiral garden designs would give the maxium yields in very small spaces.
using mostly mulch/straw/finished or unfinished compost as the medium and adding soil as you can....with only a small percent of dirt being added - either bag dirt or screend soil that sits on the top layer and is where the plants start off. as they work their way down with the roots, the straw/mulch/compost has become excellent soil while being weed free and fluffly not compacted..
this method makes it easier for beginners. it feeds the plants for years before you plant them, and takes much less time to tend, produces higher yields and better results for MUCH less effort.
it avoids alot of problem and mistakes that happen just by its design....
the compost/mulch has water regulating qualities and yields higher amounts in small spaces (especially vertical gardens- mounds and hills- different levels), warms the soil, and encourages beneficial organisms.
as well as continually supressing weeds with layers of cardboard and waste paper
so dont weed - throw more sh!t on it!
on top of cardboard which will hold back weeds for a year or longer.
another huge advantage is that (especially with the bottom being made of straw bales it can be built very tall and with levels) it raises the garden bed to a nice height, where one can tend and harvest the plants without having to stoop over and saves from back strain.
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THE STRAW BALE GARDEN
is being said to be new but i have known about it for a long time.
though there are some variations on how to do it....
the original method i read of using this was for winter gardening, and partly because of the warmth produced by the straw, it could be used to make a box around plants that you wanted to keep all winter in a harsh cold climate. and storing your food right in the garden where it was planted.
after placing the bales around the plants in a circle or whatever other shape you would pack dry loose straw around the plants, and you would then cover them completely making a blanket of straw. this could preserve the harvest through the winter, they would be fresh when you went and picked them in the middle of winter.
you can also make a hotbed this way, by preparing a bed like this in the middle of winter by the earliest spring you could plant in this bed as it would be considerably warmer in the garden bed and let you plant a lot earlier.
it does depend on how old your straw or compost is, your climate a lot of factors.
ideally you start preparing this bed a couple of months before using it...as in certain climates it would be too hot to plant in until a couple of months later....
ALL of these methods become better and better over time. this bed would be feeding the plants and keeping a nice warmth, for the entire year and would just get better and have more nutrients as time went on.
now this method has been getting some notice, but in a different context.... either a raised bed made entirely of straw using the bales as edging and bottom and filling in the middle with compost and soil.... or planting directly into bales by cutting holes in them and then placing a small amount of dirt with the seedlings.
Straw bale garden bed and poor mans raised beds.