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Why did we decide on a Straw Bale Garden bed?
It was a case of no choice really. Because of rock we couldn't dig the vegetable garden in to the ground.
We also needed to have the vegetable garden near the back of the house for ease of care and maintenance and of course vegetable picking for meals. As most new home builders or buyers will know, by the time you reach the stage of putting in a vegetable garden there's not a lot of money left to work with. We needed a cheap alternative to buying metal or timber to build garden boxes. Straw appeared to be ideal.
What is the cost of a Straw Bale Garden?
That depends on how big you want the garden to be and how cheaply you can buy the bales. We managed to buy some slightly water damaged bales for $5 each. Water damage didn't matter for what we were using the bales for. Do try to buy tight bales though so that they hold together longer.
How long will a Straw Bale Garden last?
This is our first straw bale garden so we don't really know. Internet research shows that we can expect to get at least eighteen months out of each garden bed before the straw collapses or rots in. The photos above show the bales at six months of use as a garden bed. From mid-summer to mid-winter, 2015.
Are you happy with the results so far?
Very happy. It was almost an instant garden at a period when time and money were in short supply. We have grown carrots, bok choy, silver beet, mini coli flour and mini cabbage, lettuce, rhubarb, parsley, broccoli, beans and potatoes. When the bales do finally rot down they will improve the soil to be used again in our next garden.