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straw bale gardening | the Love of Family: How to plant a straw bale garden

Straw bale gardening: I can have the effect of raised beds without spending a fortune! Starting this as soon as the farmers around here harvest their winter wheat.

We planted a a hay bale garden this year. You take a bag of compost per bale of hay. I suggest to top that off with top soil. Water it morning and night for 10 days. Then plant.

Tomato plants flourish in straw bales, and no weeds or weeding! Check out the straw-bale gardening movement that has become one of this summer's hottest gardening trends. (AP Photo/Cool Springs Press, Tracy Walsh/Poser Design)

Once you have your bales placed where you want them, the next step is to soak them thoroughly. You will want to do this about 10 days before beginning to plant anything in them. The bales will heat up when wet, and the heat will potentially harm any seeds or plants. If the weather is warm, you will need to water the bales more than once. After 5 to 7 days, the bales will cool down and you can begin to plant.