Straw Bale Gardening @ the Hacienda
We have strawbale gardened for 2 summers introducing more varieties of heirloom tomatoes, black and fava beans, lettuce, crookneck squash and zucchini. This method of gardening has proven to be a less labor intensive way to garden. It is at a comfortable height for cultivating, virtually weed-free, water saving, and pests are kept to a minimum. We have used much of the leftover vegetation for compost and teas for the trees. I will never garden any other way. It is a joy and a pleasure.
There has been some concern about pesticides used in the straw prior to harvesting. I believe the process of watering and fertilizing the bales prior to planting, known as
conditioning, plus exposure to the sun eliminates any pesticide residue. After planting, I
have noticed good fungus and little pests such as rolly pollies on the bales. A little corn
meal around the plants takes care of the bugs. So if there was any residue left, I imagine I
would not see any insects or fungus growing.
If you happen to see a mass of pale beige substance that resembles dog vomit, have no fear. It is a 'good mold' that is known as dog vomit. If you google that reference, you will find the scientific name. :-)