Featured Gardens, Posts and News

I am watching my 4 Straw Bales. They are thriving smack dab on my patio! I have rods in my back, so leaning down is out of the question. Joel, Thank you so much for sharing your amazing discovery!

Posted by Doris Lindsey

I just joined brand new to bale gardening,can someone please tell me should I continue to water bales after day 12, will be a week before I plant. thanks

? and thanks

Posted by Doug Baxter

Paul Corcoran Doug, just water them enough to keep the inside of the bales moist. Don't over water to the point where the water starts coming out the bottom of the bale.

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Doug Baxter Thank you Mr. Corcoran, I am covering my bales at night, pretty tightly and the temp. in the morning is the same as when I covered them the evening before ,plants are doing well but is there a way to get them cooking again because I don't feel the heat that was there before? thank you.

Paul Corcoran Hi Doug. If you followed Joel's recommended 12 day conditioning process don't worry about the bales cooling. It's normal for the heat to reduce back down after the conditioning process has completed. It fact, now that you have planted you don't really want them to "cook" again as it will damage or kill your transplants and seedlings. Regarding covering the bales at night, unless you have the threat of frost over night this could cause more harm than good if you forget to remove the plastic in the morning as that could also kill the plants.

OK I'm a newbie. First year, 10 bales. As those of you in the Midwest know we haven't had the best of Springs. Pretty cold and some snow. But after 5 days of cooking the bales, air temperature is 37F, temperature in bales 57F. Anyone in SE WI interested in getting together once a month to exchange information over lunch?

Posted by Gordon Kacala

Photo compliments of Trish Helmer. Her first straw bale garden of the season smiley She put this pin together to stimulate interest and discussion in Straw Bale Gardening!

Joel Karsten Trish that is awesome. I bet that is what you were shopping for at Michael's crafts the other night when you emailed me! Very cute.

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Here is a video of our straw bale garden 2015, Mountain Home,Arkansas

44 straw bales;; tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, bush beans, butternut squash, cucumbers, zuccini 

William Fleming Here is a video of our straw bale garden 2015, Mountain Home,Arkansas 44 straw bales;; tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, bush beans, butternut squash, cucumbers, zuccini,

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MUST SEE - Introduce Straw Bale Gardening to your kid's in this wonderful NEW video!

Straw Bale Gardening is a great way for Mom's and Dad's to foster the gardening spirit in their sons and daughters. Danielle and Finn talk about the wonderful time they have spent with each other this year growing FANTASTIC vegetables and even learning the art of cross pollination right outside their own back door. They plan to expand their garden next year and Finn will have his very own bales to plant whatever he wants to.

Look for "Garden interview with Danielle and Finn from Brooklyn Center, MN" in the Garden Visits section in the side bar on the left.

William Fleming Great video, this a way to teach your kids how to garden the easy way

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Danielle Bethke Thank you! Finn is a great kid. And he truly does know what he's doing in the garden! Already planning for next year.

What do you do with all those cherry tomatoes from your garden?

Try this "Caprese Salad on a stick" appetizer! Look for it in the Recipes menu under Appetizers. It's easy to make and you can also use some of the basil from your garden as well. Cheers!


Becky Paul Our daughter made some of these caprese salad on a stick and preferred drizzling them with Italian salad dressing. Num!

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Its amazing what happens when you don't watch your garden for a week, everything is just exploding, loving the straw bales gardening technique!!

Posted by Mandy

Paul Corcoran Gorgeous! Simply Gorgeous!! I love the color and can truly say I haven't seen a prettier garden. You must be doing everything right. Thanks for this pics!

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William Fleming Nice job Mandy looking good

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Laura J Palmer Mandy- this is the prettiest garden I have laid eyes on! You have done an amazing job. Gives me good ideas for next year :)

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Posted by Laura J Palmer

Laura J Palmer The last picture I posted was from June 23rd... this is July 11th. This is how big everything is and I have to keep tying up these squash vines but they are really heavy... I can really see where I need 2 bale width if I do a u-shape again! Oh... by the way... I am 5'10 " tall... Tomatoes are doing great :)

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Paul Corcoran Wow!! That's an amazing garden Laura! Comparing this to your earlier pictures is awesome. I don't think I have ever seen a garden grow this fast before. That leaf has to be over a foot in width. Wow! Pretty soon you won't be able to walk in there anymore. Simply amazing.

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William Fleming Nice job Laura,, you did a great job on straw bale gardening,keep up the good work,,were abouts do you live

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Laura J Palmer William, I live in St Charles, Missouri. We have had a lot of rain over the past 2 months but I found I still needed to use the soaker hose a few times because the rain was poring off the leaves... lesson learned on that note! Just started getting tomatoes and looks like will have a huge crop from 3 plants :) Very pleased with this type gardening!!!

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July 6,2015, here is a recent photo of our Straw Bale Garden ,we have 44 S/B's doing great,we have already harvested our Red Potatoes, we have had a lot of rain and some warm days but still on cool side and rain,I have cut down on hand watering to 2 to 3 days a week if needed and bales are nice and wet I fertilize once a week with Miracle-Gro plant food with hose end sprayer.

Posted by William Fleming

This is the result of my first year with straw bales.  Everything is growing beautifully and don't tell my neighbor, but my beans and tomatoes are bigger than his and he put his in a couple of weeks before mine.  It really has been interesting putting this together.  Thank you Joel and everyone for the great ideas.

Posted by Candie Stockinger

William Fleming Looking great,

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This is my 3rd year of Straw Bale Gardening.   I have always had excellent plant growth until this year.   For some reason my spinach only grew about 2 inches high and then went to seed.    I have a random plant that grew on the ground and that one is ready to harvest.   Everything else in the bales seems to be growing great.   Any thoughts on the stunted growth of the spinach in the bales?

Posted by Karey A. Borowicz

Paul Corcoran Hi Karey, not sure why the spinach didn't do so well when everything else is growing so great I created a new forum for Growing Spinach and posted your question there. We'll get some thoughts on that as soon as possible with the 4th of July weekend underway. And welcome to the Straw Bale Garden Club!

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We harvested 3 s/b's that had potatoes growing in them here is what we got about 25 lbs from 3 straw bales planted middle of April,2015 and harvested June 27,2015

Posted by William Fleming

Paul Corcoran William, it's a pleasure to have you in the club! Thanks for all you do. To get that many potatoes so early in the season must be wonderful!

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Laura J Palmer William, Those look amazing! Great job :)

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Candie Stockinger Wow...that's really great. I'm going to plant potatoes next year. Guess I'll have to think about storage space. Good job William.

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Posted by Laura J Palmer

Laura J Palmer Here is my sbg from June 3rd to now. Picked my first cucumbers, zucchini/crookneck, and cherry tomatoes today, July 1st. I am hooked and already see that my area is too small!

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Laura J Palmer Should have said... I planted May 25th... The middle pic is June 3rd, and the top picture is June 23rd.

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Paul Corcoran Laura, you have a beautiful setting by the park with the pond there. Wow - what a change in the 20 days between those 2 pictures! Your garden looks GREAT! And looks like you built a nice trellis system too. Very professional looking. I'll bet you are glad you have that with so much more of the season to come :)

William Fleming Very nice Laura,, looks like you did a good job with straw bale gardening

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Posted by Carole A Wilcox

Carole A Wilcox All of my squash are doing great. My peppers, not as good as I would think. Green beans are beyond the zucchini and just starting to climb. Tomato plants are doing great too. I planted May 12, so this is just over 5 weeks. I just harvested my first zucchini today. :)

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Paul Corcoran Your garden looks like it's doing really well. The zucchini looks so healthy! It's always a pleasure to harvest the first fruits of our gardens :) We have some zucchini planted this year too but didn't get our garden planted until June 1. We have one little zucchini on the vine so far but I am sure things will pick up steam from here. Try adding some fertilizer to the peppers as they appear a bit yellow from the picture but it's hard to tell. We have two really big peppers so far and should be able to harvest soon. Cheers!

We harvested our first strawberry yesterday! 


Posted by Becky Paul

Carole A Wilcox So jealous.....I planted strawberry plants in the sides of a few bales and they are not looking very healthy. Not growing well and not producing. I am wondering if I didn't get them planted deep enough into the sides in order to get enough moisture?

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Our garden 5 weeks after planting in MN

Posted by denise turnbull

denise turnbull Our garden 5 weeks after planting in MN

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Paul Corcoran VERRRY nice! Your's is farther along than ours. We didn't get ours planted until June 1 this year. I love the bark chips in between the bales. Very nice garden.

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William Fleming Very nice looking, the wood chips looks very nice brings out the bales and keeps the weeds or grass down

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William Fleming Looks good very nice,keep up the good work

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Trellising is recycled stockade panels and bent t- posts from the family farm.  Saving money where I can.

Posted by Daniel J Johnson

Here is our Straw Bale Garden for June 2015,we have 44 s/b's and our second year doing s/b gardening,This is the only way to garden,Straw Bales are so easy to garden in.

Posted by William Fleming

Kathleen M Caron Beautiful, hope mine looks this good, soooo healthy looking.

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William Fleming The 2 front rows are potatoes,and the back is tomatoes,rt side bush green beans and he have Zucchini,beets, butternut squash,cucumbers,Italian tomatoes,

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Carole A Wilcox Your bales are beautiful! I tried planting potatoes in one bale and all but one rotted. Not sure what I did wrong. I used the whole potato. We use a soaker hose over the 9 bales we have, for 30 min once a day. Thank you for posting your garden pic.

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William Fleming Potatoes do not need a lot of water,if get to much they will rot

Indigo WOW! what part of the country? so big already!

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William Fleming We live in North Central Arkansas,but we have had a lot of rain,too

Candie Stockinger Very, very nice. I wish our growing season was a little longer. My veggies from seed are only 4-5 inches tall. This looks very lush. Looking forward to trying potatoes next year.

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