Straw bale gardening - how long to soak straw

by JANET
(LANCASTER NY)

I'm just starting with a straw bale garden. Do I soak the straw for five days, or one day, then let it sit for 5 days?
How do i know if it's ready? It's last year's straw but it's been kept dry in a barn.

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Jun 23, 2010
Soaking straw bale before planting
by: Megan

Straw bales need to be soaked for at least 5 days. Start off with a really thorough watering and each day make sure that the straw hasn't dried out and keeps really damp by adding more water.

Depending on the weather the bales will begin to cook and somewhere around day 5-10 will reach peak heat and from then on slowly cool down.

Keep the bales damp each day and when you can comfortably put your hand into the bale (make a space with something sharp such as a trowel first), then you can plant or sow seeds. The straw bale page has been updated with all the information you need, have a look at Straw Bale Gardening

Jan 04, 2011
Straw bale gardening
by: Ellen

Is it possible just to cut open the bale add the compost and soil and then start planting? Then water it would this work? How many plants can you plant in each bale? I was going two place them side by side and plant four tomatoes in each bale or four pepper plants in each one. I have ten bales to work with and lots of seeds to plant.

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