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Going to experment with different types of gardening.

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Going to experment with different types of gardening.

Postby Northern Freeman » Wed Mar 18, 2015 9:52 am

Anybody out there have poor soil to garden in or limited space. I am going to try the hay bale potatoes this year, sounds like it would save a lot of room in the garden and save on a lot of digging to harvest.
http://gardenmaine.com/2012/05/23/dirt- ... ts-no-hay/
I am also going to try a couple of straw bale raised bed for a few tomato plants and see what they do.
http://modernfarmer.com/2013/07/straw-bale-gardening/
Spring seems like it Is here and I am getting the garden urge. :thumbsup:
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Ol’ Ben Franklin put it best when he said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
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Re: Going to experment with different types of gardening.

Postby IceFire » Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:26 am

I've gardened with BOTH poor soil and/or limited space. One thing I have done with potatoes is to grow them in old plastic garbage cans. I took some old plastic garbage cans that were breaking up around the handles, then poked drainage holes in the bottom and the sides. I put a layer of soil at the bottom to plant the potatoes in, then as the plants grew, filled it in with leaves , grass clippings, straw, etc. Harvesting the potatoes from the cans is REALLY easy, it saves a ton of space, and you can grow potatoes in areas where you would otherwise be unable to grow them.
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Re: Going to experment with different types of gardening.

Postby Stahlrosen » Wed Mar 18, 2015 6:37 pm

Good idea on the cans IceFire. Never knew anyone that actually tried it that way. We live on a rock, a big one, so gardening is a bit challenging..... Nothing is flat, and the only real dirt we have I collect from the horse area by the bucket full and carry them to the garden spot. Otherwise what "soil" is there is some mixture of clay and rock. Not conducive to happy veggies. I end up using a lot of containers.
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Re: Going to experment with different types of gardening.

Postby Northern Freeman » Sat Nov 05, 2016 9:34 am

Ok. I tried my hay bale potatoes this last year, actually two years in a row. The first year I just threw some old taters in a straw bedding pile and checked them in the fall and had some nice potatoes. Surprisingly the next year I found one potato wintered over and grew the next spring, not bad for getting down to -30 during the winter.
This year I built a 4x8 by 4 foot high raised bed with slats on the side so I could snitch taters during the Summer. I started with laying some black plastic covering on the ground to help kill out the grass beneath it, I think that did limit some growth by not allowing ground moisture to get to the plants. I laid out a layer of goat bedding straw, added 10 pounds of seed taters and then trampled down hay from the winter and then added straw and hay mixed with manure during the year. I put it close to the water hydrant so I would remember and to make it easier to water, it did take a lot of water. This fall I just tipped it over and picked up the taters. I got about 2 five gallon buckets of taters out of the bed.

The reason I think the plastic limited the growth is the single potato that wintered over was close to this spot and I got 1/2 of a 5 gallon bucket of taters just from that plant on the bare ground and covered with straw and hay. I also planted the taters about a month late to skip out on the potatoes bugs, which worked. Next year I am going to plant early and cover the planter with window screen to keep the bugs out and see how it goes.

We had a very wet year and most people lost their gardens to rot, but I had a beautiful potato bush growing with no problem. I am also using the taters that wintered over from the first year, already planted in the bed. And see if it happens again.
“The Constitution only gives people the right to ‘pursue’ happiness. You have to catch it yourself!” ~ Benjamin Franklin
Ol’ Ben Franklin put it best when he said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
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Re: Going to experment with different types of gardening.

Postby anita » Sat Nov 05, 2016 10:14 am

I've had potatoes overwinter, although it doesn't get down to -30 here. We might get a little below 0 one or two nights a year. We just ate some volunteer potatoes this week.

The thing that bothers me about straw bale gardening is the potential lack of nutrients. It's the same thing that bothers me about hydroponics. There's all sorts of micronutrients/minerals, etc in soil that may be missing in the straw bale method or hydroponics.

I use raised beds for my gardening with good success. Just reach in and pull out the potatoes, etc. In addition to adding compost every year, I add azomite for minerals and water with a kelp mixture occasionally. (I probably remember once or twice a year. My bad.)
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Re: Going to experment with different types of gardening.

Postby choochoobill3 » Sat Nov 05, 2016 11:35 am

We tried the tomato in the hay bail this year. it worked great
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Re: Going to experment with different types of gardening.

Postby Pedro wyoming » Sun Nov 06, 2016 9:03 am

It never occurred to me that bale cropping was different LOL. I have used straw bales for most of the last five years with great success that had a multitude of benefits. Among them were:

Ease of tending- working at knee level was much easier than at ankle level.

Moisture retention- The bales would soak up vast quantities of water that reduced frequency of watering.

Soil enrichment- After the growing season the bales were incorporated into the soil. I now have organic matter that will promote growth...not just clay that is either mush or porcelain. Yea! :clap:

One last perq that i did not expect was each year i had a volunteer crop of barley from the seeds left in the previous year's bales. 8)

All i did was place the bales, dig a shall cavity for compost in the top and plant the seeds.

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