I had a half-hearted attempt at straw bale gardening a few years ago, that time I planted some leftover courgettes plants in them and they didn’t do too bad.
This attempt has been inspired by the want to grow a bush tomato, variety Roma, without having the hassle of trying to keep the fruits off the ground.
This method of gardening is not new and is said to have been practised by the ancient Egyptians and Aztecs. It seems very popular in other parts of the world, but not so much in the UK.
The principle is that the straw bale is both the container and the growing medium. Once saturated with water the straw gradually starts to decompose in the centre. With the addition of some soil/compost, the veg is planted into the rotting straw.
It would have been better if I’d started earlier in the season, so the straw had time to really start to rot. But I hope to accelerate the process with the addition of some Sulphate of ammonia fertiliser.
I have the bales arranged around the edge of one of the strip beds, the intention is to plant self-blanching Celery in the centre of the formation, hopefully giving it some extra protection from the wild Yorkshire elements.
If nothing else, I’ll have lots of decomposing straw to add to the compost pile at the end of the season.