Garden planning

Garden Planning – Testing a New Straw Bale Garden

garden planning

Garden planning is on. Planning and preparation is the most important step of gardening! That is step 1, right? Well, last year, we literally had to throw it together very quickly…based on very little prep work! We had just moved to our new place and we knew very little about the land, as far as specifics. What we did know is that there was a great deal of clay in the ground…so, we went with straw bale.

Test – Straw Bale Garden

~Our idea was to try it out and see how it works this year while we were making more long term decisions for the future. What we learned in our endeavor is that the straw bale garden definitely worked out for us with certain crops and it lightened the load with a lot of the typical gardening chores.

garden planning

~Weeding was almost completely eliminated–YEA! I hate weeds but I also hate weeding… so, for that purpose straw bale works for me! Going with straw bale this particular year was also somewhat fortuitous. We ended up having record rain and flooding this year. So many of my friends lost their crops due to flooding, but ours survived.

Trial and Error; Learning and Planning for the Future

~We now know a little more about the lay of our land and have learned a great deal about straw bale gardening as well. We are now making the plans for next spring’s garden and believe me when I tell you that I am going through all the steps of planning and preparation this time.

~We know exactly where we would like to place our garden based on sun exposure, drainage and close proximity to water. Since there is a lot of clay in the ground, it will take a bunch of amending to make the soil worth much. This is something that will have to happen over a few years, it doesn’t happen quickly at all. However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t garden there in the meantime. We will just have to adjust as we go.

It’s a Long Process; Step by Step

garden planning

~Luckily for us, this year’s straw bales are just about complete compost already. Our plan is to break them up and spread them across the garden spot this fall once we have tilled it up so that we can add a little fluff to the hard ground. Our current compost piles will also come in handy there as well.

I am also looking into what I would like to use as a cover crop over the fall and winter as well. There are certain crops that can assist with various problems with the soil. I’ll keep you updated as things come along. Garden planning is an ongoing event!

Since we have learned a little about straw bale gardens, we have a good idea about what we could place in straw bales again in the future. We also know what other crops will go directly into the ground. It is a good thing to spend time on garden planning every single year. We learn more as we go along and that only leads to continued gardening success.

As always, I welcome any comments or questions. If you have any experience in these areas, I would love to learn from you as well!

God bless and see ya next time!


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garden planning

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