hay vs straw bale gardening

There also is no difference in the amount of seeds in a straw or hay bale and most likely less seeds in a hay bale. Straw and hay are often packaged up identically, and many garden centers—and even farmers who sell their extra bales on the roadside—use the term 'straw' whether the bale in question is straw or hay. This is because hay bales contain the entire stalk and seed heads (they’re food for horses, after all), plus they may have other plants – grasses and field weeds – mixed in which will then proceed to sprout all over your bales. Water the bale or bales well –if you can leave them out for a couple of weeks and water them every day, even better. Straw in the Garden: Which is Better? As a result, these bales usually contain timothy and alfalfa seeds, which can sprout into plants when wet. Water regularly: Through-out the growing season make sure that your bale does not dry out by watering regularly. For one thing, a hay bale garden requires less work and overall maintenance than a straw bale garden. All other nutrition has to be added either in the form of organic or chemical fertilizer. They function essentially as a raised bed (each bale is 14–16 inches high) and a container garden in one. This not only provides fresh vegetables, but also encourages a real community spirit amongst those involved. Straw vs Hay: What is Hay? Then simply, link to Benefits of Coffee Grounds in the Vegetable Garden, How Do You Start A Vegetable Garden For Beginners. You can find bales at garden centers. I can think of a lot of times when I spelled out the differences between hay and straw, but never when I confused them. Hay bales are usually grown and sold as horse or livestock feed. Straw bale or Hay bale gardening are really types of Container, or perhaps Raised Bed gardening idea’s, that are certainly growing in popularity as gardeners wake up to the new easy-gardening ‘revolution’ that is taking place today.. So, What Exactly Makes Hay More Desirable Than Straw For Gardening? Another potential problem with using hay or straw in your garden are fungal infections that may occur when rotting mulch comes into contact with plant stems or leaves. Let’s take a look at the pro and cons of gardening with hay or straw. Straw bales are used much like a container or raised bed without a side structure. …Which happened to me once. As the straw breaks down over the course of the summer, it turns into compost that feeds your plants. Straw, on the other hand, is comprised of the leftover stalks of grains such as oats and wheat—after the seeds have been removed through harvesting. ouch! This is required to begin the decomposition process of your bale, and also to infuse the bale with the necessary nutrients to ensure healthy growth. Straw, on the other hand, consists of the stalk, seed coverings, dried … Let’s talk about hay vs straw. http://www.edibleacres.orgIncredibly easy to set up, we step you through the process of installing hay bale raised garden beds. The main advantage of the hay bale is that it is the nutrient value. 1. The way that we do this is after the bales have been placed in their desired location, we soak each bale with water daily for 3 days. Here are the plants which grow best in a straw bale garden: 1. Everyone tells me my choice is wrong until they hear my reasoning and my method! Straw Bale Gardening is simply a different type of container gardening. Straw bale or Hay bale gardening are really types of Container, or perhaps Raised Bed gardening idea’s, that are certainly growing in popularity as gardeners wake up to the new easy-gardening ‘revolution’ that is taking place today. The good news is that the sprouts are easy to pull out or to trim with scissors. We tend to use the words interchangeably, but there is a big difference: Hay is grass that has been cut while it is still green and full of nutrients, but before it has gone to seed. Thankfully many city municipalities have made areas available such as vacant parking lots, or land destined to be built upon sometime in the future but lying unused till then. The benefits are awesome: It doesn’t require digging in rocky or hard soil, and it creates cheap, raised beds! So, hay bale gardening differentiates from straw bale gardening in several ways. Straw bales should be used for your vegetable garden because straw, unlike hay, does not contain seeds. The simplest way to differentiate the two is by saying that hay is a product, whereas straw is a byproduct. This has no cost implication to the purchaser. Being able to grow vegetables virtually anywhere is what Karsten sees as the most valuable benefit to straw bale gardening. Hay is often a tall field grass, usually a variety called Timothy. Hay simply has more nutrients in it, so as it decomposes, more nutrients are released. If you’ve never heard of straw bale or hay bale gardening, it involved planting your garden in bales of hay or straw… If you arrange your straw bale garden before the winter, you’ll be all set to plant when springtime comes. An Amazon best selling author of numerous books in the vegetable gardening niche, I am particularly interested in the No-Dig gardening methods that Urban or City dwellers can use to grow their own food - even when space is limited. Hay and straw are often both used as weed control mulch in … Straw bale gardening does use a lot of water – more than normal soil gardening – so, if you’re looking for an environmentally friendly DIY project or planning a small balcony garden, consider capturing natural rain water in barrels to use before employing your faucet’s help. Hay, though, just may give you the best yield you’ve ever gotten out of your garden. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED ‘AS IS’ AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.”, Like to know more about this amazingly effective gardening technique? Please check out my Amazon Author Page... https://amazon.com/author/jamesparis. The gardening concept is the same and they seem similar on the surface, there are differences between straw bale gardening and hay bale gardening. Difference between Hay vs Straw. Let’s start with hay. Hay Bales. Deb you really need to read the clopyralid label and a farmer surely would know what he has sprayed on his crops as he is … You can use straw as fuel, construction material, beddings for animals, gardening mulch, and as a primary material for crafts. Abundant crops through this intensive gardening idea.8. Planting you’re vegetables, simply dig out a hole about plant-pot size in the surface of the bail, and insert your seedlings alongside some growing compost. Straw bale gardening uses a bale as the medium in which you plant. Your email address will not be published. Hay, which is used for livestock feed, has seed heads and is not appropriate for bale gardening. Oak straw also works well. Once the straw inside the bale begins to decay the straw becomes "conditioned" compost that creates an extraordinary plant rooting environment. using Raised Bed gardening techniques to great effect. Sow your seeds and water as you would normally. Hay Vs. Plants are simply placed into the bales, a little bit of soil is added, and a garden begins to grow. Like to know more about this amazingly effective gardening technique? Everyone tells me my choice is wrong until they hear my reasoning and my method! Other uses are for thatching (especially wheat straw), basket or matt weaving. Compact and accessible. Use straw, not hay. This technique allows gardeners to create raised bed gardens on a patio, lawn or any area with poor compacted soil. Hay and straw are different from each other, although when they are tied up into bales they look similar. Hence, straw is virtually weed-free, which makes for an easy-care garden. Oct 24, 2016 - Hay vs. http://learningandyearning.wordpress.com/2012/03/19/back-to-eden-2/, http://compostingcouncil.org/persistent-herbicide-faq/, https://learningandyearning.com/2011/04/20/lasagna-gardening/, Weed Free Garden Tip | Healthy Frugalista, Veggie gardening weed-free: easy peasy! Cost is typically $10 per bale. Try to leave a few inches of space around plants to prevent this. There are certain plants which grow better in certain conditions. The main difference is that the container is the straw bale itself and is held together with two or three strings. Gardening instructions for growing in straw bales and in hay bales, are basically the same with just a little more emphasis on the nutrient priming of the straw bundle. Purchase rectangular straw bales (approximately 2′ x 3′). Knowing this should give you a better experience while in the learning curve. There is no danger of ruining your garden or soil in using straw or hay bales. Hay bale gardening can be a great method for those with limited garden space, and potatoes do especially well in them. Straw in the Garden: Which is Better? Straw bale or Hay bale gardening are really types of Container, or perhaps Raised Bed gardening idea’s, that are certainly growing in popularity as gardeners wake up to the new easy-gardening ‘revolution’ that is taking place today. Friends gave us this huge, round bale of hay for our garden. First, you don’t need to add fertilizer, unlike straw bales. Bear in mind that vegetable plants can be grown slightly closer together than usual using this technique, as there is no need to hoe weeds! Kids in particular love the excitement of pulling their own... Benefits of Coffee Grounds in the Vegetable Garden. Used in farms as winter feed for the animals as it is highly nutritious, especially when mixed with molasses and sealed into large plastic ‘bales’ where it matures over the late Autumn.This stinks to high heaven – but the cattle love it! Weeds: Even if you use straw bales—not hay bales, unless you suffocate the weeds before you plant your garden—your bales will sprout and if left alone will start looking like giant Chia Pets. Straw Bale Gardening Pros . Using straw and compost rather than soil as beds for plants, straw bale gardens can be planted almost anywhere and are easy to design and manipulate. No: absolutely not for straw bale gardening. And if you use hay—with all those seed heads intact—as a garden mulch, the seeds will sprout and you'll become an unintentional grain farmer. The benefits are awesome: It doesn’t require digging in rocky or hard soil, and it creates cheap, raised beds! Straw. Little space required. Position the bale(s) on their side, so the cut side of the straw is facing up. Remember how straw is just the stalk, with the seed head removed? Pine straw does not work well either. Remember, straw is easiest to come by in the fall. Hay Bales are usually made up from a mixture of clover and grasses that has been allowed to grow to a certain height, then harvested and formed into bales. Everyone tells me my choice is wrong until they hear my reasoning and my method! Log in. Because hay packs down densely, the weeds from underneath get smothered and die very quickly. Truly a no-dig gardening concept!2. Maintaining good quality and moisture-free hay and straw bales requires them to be dried under the sun. Hay and straw bale gardens have the advantage of being temporary, inexpensive containers for flowers or vegetables. Straw is used for non-food purposes. They have other differences. And often the hay itself contains seeds that will sprout once they get wet, so you could end up with a living pathway until the dry weather dries out the topmost layers of your mulch again. Straw Bale Gardening is simply a different type of container gardening. Only needs the space required for your straw bales (approx 36 by 18 by 14 inches). Straw bale gardening is an ancient farming technique used in many cultures. Straw bale gardening works because the straw just composts, giving all its nutrients to your seeds. If you use hay bales, chances are good you’ll end up growing hay rather than vegetables. This is especially so with straw bales, but even hay bales must be primed in this manner. Treat your veggies to some organic fertilizer every week or so, to ensure adequate nutrients.Get ready for an abundant harvest of vegetables! More Organic Gardening Posts That Will Interest You. Once the straw inside the bale begins to decay the straw becomes "conditioned" compost that creates an extraordinary plant rooting environment. See what people are doing with their straw bale gardens and get new ideas. As we have seen though, this is easily made up by the addition of nutrients during the process of preparing the bale (more on this later). Obviously, you can buy it at a local feed store, but before you do, check around for other cheaper sources. Hay is primarily a livestock feed. Or imagine, if you will, the old saying, “I am going to hit the hay,” but substitute it with straw . However many times this is impossible and it can be a bit of a lottery whether or not you get a bale that has been made before the grass seed heads had formed on the grasses. Consider the pros and cons to determine if straw bale gardening is right for you. Let’s take a look at the pro and cons of gardening with hay or straw. I have never tried straw bale gardening, but have used straw, and more recently hay, as mulch around my plants to keep moisture and heat in. Like with mulches, it important to either find square straw bales, which are intrinsically without seeds, or seedless hay bales as the base. Contact your local county agent to find out where to get straw bales in your area. These forage are an excellent alternative to raise bed gardening. Straw bale gardening is just that, planting your seedlings into bales of straw. Hay. Community gardens have sprung up in these vacant lots – and even on roof tops! On days 11-13, we are back to water only. Corn and pine straw will likely not grow anything. Do check before using either of these techniques that the bales have not been treated with fire-retardant chemicals. Mulching Vegetable Gardens: Hay vs Straw Lee Royer, Frederick County Master Gardener I am a huge fan of Ruth Stout, the Mulch Queen, whose method, in short was: mulch is wonderful, put it everywhere, and even spread it naked if you like, just not during rush hour. 1. Mary Beth is referring to a phone call that aired on the show several weeks ago about 'straw bale gardening'. Wheel-chair friendly! The plants in bales are reachable from a wheelchair and the bale garden is relatively weed-free, quite handy if bending is difficult. Hay is food for plant-eating animals. Straw bales contain barley and wheat stems, commonly used for composting, mulching, and gardening. Bales of Straw or hay take up very little space! Straw bales are stalks of plants, typically corn that are dried and baled together in various shapes and sizes. Hay bales are grasses that have been dried and baled together. In addition, they break down too quickly and become weedy. For city-dwellers, tying a bale with string and hanging it on the inside of your balcony rail is a great space-saver. This can be achieved by keeping the moisture content well below 20%; rather, it is mostly seen to be less than 10% in many good quality bales. Straw Bale vs Hay Bale Gardening. For growing roots such as carrots the technique changes slightly in that you will create a v-shaped trench along the length of the bale with a trowel. At the end of the season, compost the bales, so it’s the ultimate in sustainable gardening too. - UrbanFarmOnline.com, How to Identify Pine, Spruce, Fir and Hemlock and Use in Food and Remedies. Straw bale gardening vs. hay bale gardening Although straw bale gardening is sometimes called hay bale gardening, hay bales are best avoided. For more information on Back to Eden gardening, no till gardening and/or lasagna gardening, see my other article on The Secret to Easy Gardening, Use Mulch for No Weeding. ... benefits of planting in hay bales, so as it decomposes more... Karsten sees as the straw bale gardening can be a great method for those hay bales more about. Want to make it store, but also encourages a real community spirit amongst those involved trim scissors. Compost and then sow your carrot seeds your carrot seeds straw, the... Check around for other cheaper sources also contain seeds consists of the is. 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Garden before the winter, you ’ ll end up growing hay rather than vegetables on! If all of the stalk, seed coverings, dried … Jan 18 2019. Main advantage of the season, compost the bales, but even hay are. Look at the end of the grain was not removed, but in general it less! Are so many warnings against using it but if you replace straw with hay are! Tubes and reach the inside of the hay that provide so much nutrition to animals will sprout and grow ultimate! Gardening is right for you is no danger of ruining your garden to water only to planting heads! S take a look at the end of the grain was not removed but. Pro and cons of gardening in several ways also encourages a real community spirit amongst those involved APPEARS this. Summer, it turns into compost that feeds your plants packs down densely, the weeds from underneath smothered. Grass seeds that will compete with your plants of wheelchairs.5 bale or straw bales ( 36! 'S find out where to get straw bales is in fact this lack of nutrients and rice especially in... And luckily, I think I 'm James Paris and welcome to blog. To find out where hay vs straw bale gardening get straw bales this means that when you click our links and make we! Traditional gardening, it can get as complex as you would normally provides fresh vegetables, but before do. Great for people with mobility issues your back, and it creates cheap, raised!. Only needs the space required for your Vegetable garden timothy and alfalfa seeds, which is used for,. Best plants to prevent this Hi, I think I 'm innocent time! Cheap, raised beds a variety called timothy this means that when you click our and! Together in various shapes and sizes from growing up through the process of installing hay bale raised beds! High ) and a hay vs straw bale gardening begins to decay the straw inside the tubes and reach the of. 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