Saturday, June 4, 2011

Straw Bale Gardening

This is the beginning of our humble garden and nursery. As you can see the haybales are placed between the trailer and shed. The one side gets some shade and the other sun. This method is called straw bale gardening. Joel Karsten developed this method for people who could not dig because of disability or where the soil is hard rock. It saves time and effort over other raised bed methods. We got the straw bales for free. My only concern with his method was the fierce winds we experience. That is why the plan was altered with the plants enclosed in the box protection.

The first three bales are planted. You condition the straw bales with nitrogen fertilizer and water for 10 days until they decompose. You then dig out a hole in the bale large enough for the potted plant, set it in the hole, fill it in with potting soil, and then mulch it with straw to conserve moisture.

In this case with heavy nevada winds, the plant is set over with a box to protect it from the wind. If this method works, we will build nice wood boxes. This is all an experiment.

Behind where the old truck is has to be enclosed with a wall to stop the heavy winds that blow from the North. The area between the two building will be covered with a frame and clear plastic to make a greenhouse. This old truck which was here on the property and does not run, will end up as a unique chicken coop. There will be two rabbit cages against the right wall. Our goal is to be self sufficient for the most part. Both the chickens and rabbits will be protected by the carport walls. My goal on this property is to be functional and survive with the winds. Wood boxes next year will improve the visual appeal. This is the rustic first steps.
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