Hay bale gardening

Potatoes growing in a hay bale

I have read a lot about gardening in straw bales….  But since I had a bunch of old hay bales, I decided to try hay bale gardening instead.

Right now, I am growing a cucumber plant, strawberries and potatoes in 4 hay bales.  I like the bales, because I don't have to dig in the dirt, or bend down to the ground to plant and water.  I have my bales stacked 2 bales high, so the plants are just above my waist.  How convenient to water and fertilize.

To start, cut a hole in the bale and add some potting soil and your plant.  Then water.  oooh, that's sooo easy.

I try to fertilize about once a week with a weak fish fertilizer solution. Since I live in a hot dry climate - SW Idaho, I water every day when the temperature hits above 80 degrees.  My plants have been growing in the hay bales since April and so far, they look good.  I am going to be netting the strawberries, though to keep the birds out.  Right now, the potatoes are in bloom.

I am looking forward to finding good sized clean potatoes in the bale in a couple of months.  No more accidentally  stabbing the potatoes with a fork while I am searching in the earth.  No more dirt caked potatoes.   I plan on just reaching into the bale and cutting off a clean potato as I need them.

Strawberry

Strawberry plant in a hay bale.