Traditional gardeners have to be patient in the Springtime. They can’t plant until the soil warms up, and that always takes longer than you want. Even when air temperatures have risen, the ground stays cold for quite a while. Once Fall arrives, low temperatures at night can harm your plants & ruin the rest of your harvest. So the growing season is often much shorter than you’d like, if you’re planting in the ground.
Straw Bale Gardeners have some serious advantages, because they can not only start their gardens early, but they can keep growing longer, too!
When you condition your bales before planting, the natural decomposition process generates heat. After the 12 day preparation phase, your bales will be warmer than the outside air. (The contrast is even more extreme when compared to your winter-chilled soil.)
Tender young plant roots & seeds need a warm environment in order to grow, so your conditioned bales provide a perfect home, much earlier than would normally be possible in your area.
The typical SBG setup also makes it easy to use inexpensive sheet plastic as temporary greenhouse “tent-covers”, which gives your plants even more protection from cold air in the early Spring. (You can watch a How-To video about this in our Videos Gallery.)
At the end of the growing season, your bales are still generating that same gentle heat because they’re still decomposing into fresh dirt, so your plants can continue to grow much longer than if they were planted in the ground.