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      Avatar for BiggerPiggyBankBiggerPiggyBank
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      If your soil is questionable, try “googling” straw-bale gardening. I bought this place a year and a half ago. It had been used for many years as a rental and so, other than the actual homesite, nothing had been developed.

      It is also on a hill. The only way (I thought) that I was going to be able to have a garden this year was to have fill dirt and top soil brought in. The cost for that (at least all in one season) was out of my reach so I did some research on gardening in straw bales.

      I don’t know where I had heard of it but somewhere in the back of my mind I had apparently stored the term.

      Anyway, there is some cost in buying the straw bales. You don’t want to use old hay as you will end up with lots of weeds. There is also the cost of “prepping” the bales with ammoniun nitrate (expect to have to look hard for it; I had to special order it through my local feed store; it’s used in explosives).

      The 50-pound bag cost me $16.00.

      Supposedly, you can get two growing seasons out of a bale of straw. We’ll see. I don’t know if they would survive a soggy winter in the Pacific Northwest, but if they do, and I’ve used only half the bag of a.n.

      so far, it may not work out to be too costly.

      Anyway, my tomato plants look great. They’re flowering and look nice and healthy. I have onions, beans and beets coming up and I will be planting peppers this week.

      I don’t know if zucchini, winter squash, or cucumbers will work in the bales, though, as they may be too spreading. I think I will plant them in raised beds made with cement blocks (95 cents each from Home Depot) but filled with straw.

      Anyway, it’s a suggestion. The sites I went to were all positive. We’ll see how my garden is producing throughout the season!

      Janis

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