Straw bale gardening needs nitrogen
by Larry Reed
Straw bale gardening is fun and has several great advantages! But, there are to be found many mixed reviews as to the performance of plants grown in this medium. This is my first try at it. I'm learning as I go. With 24 bales set, I'll brace them up in order to get two years of use.
Along beside my bale garden, I have several regularly potted vegetables and flowers, too. They are the same seedlings and a few clones. Well, there's no comparison. The plants in the soil containers are healthy, lush, and green. The plants in the straw are stunted and yellowish.
Oh, I'v given them all the right amendments, which has helped a little. Finally, I realized that those bales are still composting, and will for some time. This process uses even more nitrogen, competing w/ my veggies. I added nitro-water, then the plants perked up !!!
Another thing very essential is to know if the fields were sprayed with herbicides? Some wheat is full of that stuff!!! Try growing veggies in herbicide laden straw and see what happens... Bummer.