Thursday, May 20, 2010
Hay Bale Gardening
3- Bore holes into the bales to the depth of about half way into the bale and remove hay.
4 - Scoop out a bit more hay around the sides of the bottom of the hole.
5 - Add potting soil, packing a bit into the extra space created at the bottom. (photo above)
6 - Plant desired plants.
Already in place in my bales are several cucumber plants (photo above), three varieties of peppers (Tam Jalapeno, Sweet Banana, and Italian Roasting - the taller plants in the first photo), and two tomato plants. There are several holes ready for planting. At least one, perhaps two, of them will receive Italian Flat Bean seeds. These are the "bush" variety, and should need no support. "Kentucky Wonder" pole beans will be planted along the fence. I've told my neighbor, the one who has been bringing me all the delicious meals (see previous post,) that she could pick whatever showed up on her side of the fence. Last year, we had the same arrangement when the tomatoes she planted on her side of the fence sent out shoots to my side -- which eventually bore at least a half dozen fine tomatoes. Yum!
In addition to the plants in the bales, Gardening Daughter planted some potatoes inside the "U." The seed potatoes were laid on bare dirt, then covered with about 6" of hay. The idea, as I understand it, is that as the potatoes sprout and leaves begin to emerge from the hay, one just keeps adding hay to the top (not covering the leaves, of course) and the new potatoes grow into the hay. No dirt on the potatoes when you harvest them. We'll see how this works out! I have to laugh a bit; Gardening Daughter is doing her best to turn me into a farmer!
I'll keep you posted as the crops "come in."