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Straw Bale Garden Tips

Home Garden Straw Bale Garden Tips

Want to get started in straw bale gardening? If you want to try something new for your garden then this method is something you should look into! Get straw bale garden tips here.

Straw Bale Garden Tips

A Gardening Method Every Gardener Should Know and Try

I’ve been gardening for a long time now and whenever I can, I try to find new ways to grow it. So when I heard about straw bale gardening, I decided to give it a try. In case you haven’t heard about it, it’s a great gardening idea that transforms your regular straw bale into healthy new soil. It’s great for planting almost anything, gives you added height so you won’t have to bend over as much and can even extend your planting season. If those aren’t enough reasons for you to try this method, it’s also a plus that you’ll have fewer location limitations. Since you’re growing on straw bale, soil isn’t really necessary. So if you want to get started, here’s all you need to know!

Infographic | Straw Bale Garden Tips

You can thank for this guide on how to start straw bale garden.


Straw Bale Garden Tips: Bounty By The Bale

How to Condition a Straw Bale

Day 1

 Watering Straw Bale | Straw Bale Garden Tips

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Sprinkle the top of each bale with 1/2 cup of a high nitrogen fertilizer. Then water the bale.

Day 2

Water the bales again.

Day 3

Add 1/2 cup fertilizer to each bale. Water

Day 4

Water. It should take less water not to get the bales fully saturated.

Day 5

Add 1/2 cup fertilizer to each bale. Water.

Day 6


Day 7-9

Use 1/4 cup of fertilizer each day. Water. The bale should be heating up now.

Day 10

Sprinkle each bale with 1 cup of a balanced fertilizer and water.

Day 11

Leave bales alone.

Day 12

Planting Straw Bale | Straw Bale Garden Tips

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Ready to plant!

Straw Bale Gardening Tips

Get your straw in the fall.

Fixing Hay | Straw Bale Garden Tips

  • Easiest to source straw in the fall.
  • Arrange straw bale garden before winter to be ready to plant in spring.
  • Source straw straight from local farmer so you know how it was grown.

Position your bales correctly

Positioning Straw Bale | Straw Bale Garden Tips

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  • Lay down landscape fabric to prevent weeds from growing through bales.
  • Place bales where you want them before conditioning process (they’ll be much heavier after).
  • Arrange bales side by side in rows with cut sides facing up.
  • Strings that hold bales together should run across the sides (not the planting surface) to help keep bales together during planting season.

Give your straw plenty of nutrients

 Blood Meal | Straw Bale Garden Tips

Blood Meal. image source

  • Choose a fertilizer with a minimum of 5% active nitrogen content.
  • Use blood meal or feather meal to condition the bales organically; it will require about six times as much volume.
  • Look for blood meal at a farm supply store where it will be less expensive.

Virgin Soil

Virgin Soil | Straw Bale Garden Tips

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The inside of the bale transforms into new soil, preventing:


There is no carryover of the disease or fungal spores that often remain in soil from season to season.


Over the winter, many insects stay dormant in existing soil and attack plant roots the following spring.


Conventional soil generally contains thousands of weed seeds. Straw bales do not.

Raised Height

Hay Bale Gardening Raised Height | Straw Bale Garden Tips

  • The physical requirement to maintain a soil garden can become limiting.
  • With the raised height of the bales, there is less of a need to bend over.
  • Once the bales are positioned, the physical part of the straw bale garden is complete.

Extended Planting Season

Straw Bale Temperature | Straw Bale Garden Tips

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  • Rapidly growing and dividing bacteria in the straw heats up the bale.
  • While temperatures are too hot to plant for roughly 12 days, the residual warmth means gardeners can plant earlier in the season.
  • The extra boost of heat can lead to much faster root development, earlier flowering and fruit set, earlier fruit set, and ripened crops weeks before a traditional soil.

Fewer Location Limitations

Straw Bale Garden on Asphalt | Straw Bale Garden Tips

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Straw bale gardens can thrive on asphalt and concrete; which means you can plant in a driveway or on a rooftop.

Straw Holds Moisture

  • Cohesion allows a dry bale of straw to absorb and hold 3 to 5 gallons of water.
  • The moisture trapped in the bale provides a steady supply of water for the tiny developing root hairs.
  • Once fully saturated, the bale won’t hold another drop and cannot be overwatered.
  • Straw bales contain many air spaces between particles and inside stalks, which allows air exchange for roots.

Roots Stay Watered While Leaves Stay Dry

 Tall Trellis | Straw Bale Garden Tips

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A tall trellis encourages vines and climbers to crawl vertically above the bales which results in:

  • Better sun exposure
  • Better air circulation
  • Drier leaves

Do you think it’s something you’re going to try? I think it’s a great way to start your garden a budget! – Share your thoughts in the comments.

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Want more gardening ideas? Try Square Foot Gardening!

Square Foot Gardening



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Self Sufficiency

NYC Adds Nearly 4,000 People Who Never Tested Positive To Coronavirus Death Tolls

New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll Tuesday, bringing coronavirus-related deaths in the city to around 10,000 people.

The city decided to add 3,700 people to its death tolls, who they “presumed” to have died from the virus, according to a report from The New York Times. The additions increased the death toll in the U.S. by 17%, according to the Times report, and included people who were suffering from symptoms of the virus, such as intense coughing and a fever.

The report stated that Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decided over the weekend to change the way the city is counting deaths.

“In the heat of battle, our primary focus has been on saving lives,” de Blasio press secretary Freddi Goldstein told the Times.“As soon as the issue was raised, the mayor immediately moved to release the data.”

The post New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll appeared first on Daily Caller

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Self Sufficiency

How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

The thing about homesteading is you get to create your own ingredient right from scratch! Cheese, yogurt, butter and now sauerkraut, a delightfully sour and crunchy ingredient you can use on your meals — or consume by itself — while on a homestead, or while facing this health crisis!

This homemade sauerkraut is a great meal because it has a long shelf life. You can either make plain sauerkraut or mix it with herbs and spices. In this tutorial let us make Lacto-fermented sauerkraut that preserves all the good probiotics in a jar, good for your guts.

So how to make sauerkraut in a mason jar?

RELATED: How To Make Buttermilk On Your Homestead

Delicious Sauerkraut Recipe Every Homesteader Should Know

Why Make Sauerkraut?


Not only does sauerkraut spoil a long time, but it is also a meal in itself, and it is also easy to make! You don’t need to be an expert cook, all you need to do is follow these simple steps.

So let us get started. Here are the steps in making sauerkraut in a mason jar.


  • 1 head of cabbage or 2 1/2 lbs cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

Tools Needed:

  • knife
  • bowl
  • mason jar
  • smaller jar
  • rubber band

Step 1: Wash & Clean the Tools & Ingredients

Wash all the equipment and utensils you need. Wash your hands too.

You don’t want to mix your sauerkraut with bad bacteria, anything that is going to make you sick.

Next, remove the faded leaves from your cabbage. Cut off the roots and the parts that don’t seem fresh.

Step 2: Cut the Cabbage Into Quarters & Slice Into Strips

Cut your cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Then, slice it into strips.

Step 3: Place in a Bowl & Sprinkle With Salt

Put the stripped cabbage into a bowl. Sprinkle the cabbage with 1 tablespoon of salt.

TIP: Use canning salt or sea salt. Iodized salt will make it taste different and may not ferment the cabbage.

RELATED: Homemade Yogurt Recipe

Step 4: Massage the Cabbage

Massage the cabbage for five minutes or more to get the juice out.

TIP: You’ll know it’s ready when you see a bit of juice at the bottom of the bowl and will look similar to coleslaw.

Step 5: Press Cabbage Into the Mason Jar

Add the cabbage to the mason jar gradually. Press it in hard to allow the juice to come out. Do this every time you add about a handful of cabbage.

IMPORTANT: Food should be covered by the liquid to promote fermentation. Add any excess liquid from the bowl to the jar.

Step 6: Press a Smaller Jar Into the Mason Jar

You want to squeeze every ounce of that juice from the cabbage. To do this place the mason jar in a bowl and get a smaller jar.

Fill it with water or marble to make it heavy. Press it into the bigger mason jar. Allow any juices to rise to the surface.

Step 7: Cover the Jars With Cloth & Tie With Rubber Band

Leave the small jar on. To keep your jars clean from annoying insects and irritating debris, cover your jars with a clean cloth. Then, use a rubber band to tie the cloth and the jars together, putting them in place.

Step 8: Set Aside & Check Daily

Set it aside in a cool dry place, away from direct sunlight. Check the water level daily. It should always be above the cabbage.

Step 9: Taste Your Sauerkraut & Keep at Cool Temperatures

Homemade Sauerkraut Cumin Juniper | How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

After about five days, you can taste your sauerkraut. If the taste is to your liking, tightly cover it with the lid and store in the fridge or cellar.

NOTE: If after five days it’s still not your desired taste, leave it for a few more days. This will allow the fermentation process to continue.

You can now enjoy your sauerkraut in a mason jar. Enjoy its goodness! You can use it as a side dish or mix it with your favorite sandwich.

Things to Remember in Making Sauerkraut

  • Store away from direct sunlight and drafts.
  • Colder weather will make the process longer. Spring is the best time to make them since the warmth helps activate the fermentation.
  • Always make sure that the cabbage is below the water level during the entire fermentation process.
  • If the water level decreases during the fermentation process, you can make a brine and add it.

Let us watch this video from Kristina Seleshanko on how to make delicious Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar!

So there you have it! Making Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar is as easy as slicing the cabbage into strips. Remember that as long it remains unopened, your sauerkraut can last for months. Best of all, you can partner this sauerkraut in many recipes.

What do you think of this homemade recipe? Share your best sauerkraut recipe in the comments section below!

Fellow homesteaders, do you want to help others learn from your journey by becoming one of our original contributors? Write for us!


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Self Sufficiency


Having plants in the house will bring peace to people. Having a little garden with vegetables is even better! You can grow these vegetables in your backyard garden easily as well!

RELATED: Microgreens Growing Guide

In this article:

  1. Tomato
  2. Eggplant
  3. Beet
  4. Spinach
  5. Pea
  6. Carrot
  7. Radish
  8. Cauliflower
  9. Asparagus

Growing veggies in your garden will give you an opportunity to understand what you eat and value it more. Early spring is when most vegetables are being planted. Keep reading to learn about 9 spring vegetables that anyone can grow in their garden!


Tomato is the most popular garden vegetable in the States! There are different varieties to choose from. Tomatoes need to be planted in early spring because they won’t survive a frost.

Because tomatoes are consumed daily, try adding them to your garden! They’re not difficult to grow either.


Eggplants are known to have low-calorie, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Plus, they are delicious! So why not plant them in your garden?

Eggplants shouldn’t be planted too early because they won’t be able to survive a frost. So you could consult an expert in your area before you plant your eggplants.


Beets are known to be a superfood for its various health benefits. They’re easier to grow in the garden, usually around late March or early April.

If the weather is always cool, beets will keep getting bigger and bigger. Once the weather starts to warm up, you’ll need to harvest them, or they’ll go to waste.


Spinach is a delicious early spring veggie, and it’s also very beneficial for health. And it’s not difficult to grow spinach in your garden!

Spinach needs cold weather to grow. Getting spinach to grow is easy, but keeping it growing will require some extra care.


Peas are usually planted in late April. Peas will die in freezing temperatures, but they also won’t survive the heat either. So make sure you plant your peas in early spring.

Peas are widely used in many different ways, and there are different types of peas. The soil you’ll be planting your peas should be suitable for them, so make sure you ask while buying seeds.


There are different types of carrots, but regardless of their size and color, it’s a fact that carrots are both delicious and rich in vitamins.

They’re root vegetables, so with proper sun and watering, they can be picked up as baby carrots as well.


A radish is an excellent option for beginners because it doesn’t require too much care. Radish is easy to harvest.

Radish grows fast, so it’s better to keep an eye on it after a few weeks. Radish usually is grown pest-free, but there’s always the chance of unwanted guests, so watch out for worms. Radish can be eaten raw or can be added to garnish recipes.


Cauliflower isn’t the easiest vegetable to grow at home, but it is very popular.

Cauliflower grows better in colder weather, so before you plant it, consider the climate of your garden. Cauliflower can be eaten raw or cooked, and it is known to be very beneficial for health.


Freshly picked, tender asparagus is very delicious!

Asparagus plants get more productive with each harvest, and mature asparagus harvest can last for months! Make sure you plant them at the correct time, or else they might go to waste.

All the vegetables listed above are great for your healthy diet, and it’s fun to watch them grow. So don’t miss out on the opportunity to grow your own veggies and eat healthy this spring!

So tell us which veggies will you be growing this spring? Tell us in the comments section!




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