Back in March I told you about experimenting with growing potatoes in straw bales. If you do a google search you will find numerous sites about strawbale gardening.
To begin, we placed two bales side by side and Kirk made the 4 inch board frames for the top. Next, I made indentations in the top of the bale for each seed, I did not add soil but you could and I will next time. Cover the seed with about 4 inches of potting soil or well composted compost or good garden loam, and water in. I put the wire on because we have deer and my puppy wanted to dig in the soil.
Taken in July.
Here are the bales on the 30th of September. I watered everyday, it was a very hot, dry summer and potatoes are mainly water soooooooooooo. After about 3 months the bales began to sink in the center as it decomposed and I started seeing potatoes, at which time I added more soil and some fertilizer. Adding soil through out the year to make sure the potatoes stayed covered.
The day finally came to find out what was happening inside the bale. We cut the strings and began to dig through. I had no idea how many would be in there, but it was easy to find them. The center of the bale was yucky, but did not smell at all.
Our harvest from 3 seeds potatoes of red and russet potatoes. It weighted about 10 lbs, so I'd say that was a far return. Now I have never had fresh from the ground potatoes before, these are so, so crisp. For dinner, I took the two largest (which were as big as my hand) and did baked potatoes and they were SWEET. We will be doing this again next year. Not only did we get awesome potatoes, but.....................................
We got wonderful material for the compost pile and for the new garden beds that we asembled last weekend.
Here are the new beds, to the right down the driveway is the house, over behind where Kirk is standing is where the bales were. To make these beds, Kirk dug out about 2 feet of the dirt, then brought in some good soil and put it in the hole, then we ringed it with RR ties, one high. Next we added more soil, some wood shavings and the composted hay and covered that with some more soil. If all goes well, we will have some good soil for next year.
As you can see I have alot of work to do in this area, and it will all come in time. We have decided to add on to the house we have now instead of building on this upper area, so now I have the flat space I have been wanting to make some gardens.
With Friday's forecast saying snow, I'd say that will have to wait until next spring.
Until next time.................greenhouse update and future site of house remodel.