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Straw Bale Gardens.


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#21 PsyBearknot

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 12:25 PM

So hay bales work as well you just have to be concerned about weeds ?


The first year it was Wheat Straw bales
Last year it was Oat Straw bales
This year it is Barley Straw bales
The bales I bought were a touch on the expensive side at $7.40/bale - but it's certified organic (if that helps any).

You are correct in wanting straw. Hay still contains the seed-heads with seeds intact.
Any type of straw bale gardening will introduce some new characters into your habitat. Clover seems to be a common contaminant - along with the occasional grass-burr.
At this point anything will look better then the dirt patch that is the back yard!

Edited by PsyBearknot, 01 April 2016 - 12:26 PM.

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#22 PsyBearknot

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 06:20 PM

Straw bales being delivered today!

WOOT! WOOT!


Straw bales being delivered today!

WOOT! WOOT!


image.jpeg

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#23 pharmer

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 06:25 PM

damn! hope you got the truck load discount



#24 PsyBearknot

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 11:10 PM

No but the reaction of the upstairs neighbors gasp "OH?!?" in wonder and horror when she saw the straw wall was worth the lack of discount. I left it for the evening just to confuse the neighborhood.

Old man next door walked out...laughed...and said keep on keeping on..

There is just something about living in the city!
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#25 prof_it_e

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Posted 02 April 2016 - 04:04 AM

Gees... you not messing around..!



#26 PsyBearknot

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Posted 02 April 2016 - 07:54 AM

Next steps?

So I know I need to condition these bales.
I won't pick up the conditioning ingredients till next Friday and I'll start the process then.

Should I start to soak these bales down and maybe cover em with some plastic now? Still getting some 40-50 temps at night.
Or just let them be and wait till next week to start the process?

#27 PsyBearknot

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Posted 02 April 2016 - 08:04 AM

Gees... you not messing around..!

Covered a 18x18 area.
Well covered as in they are the "frame" of a raised garden beds

Really hoping to and have a goal/need to make more of an impact on food budget above the hobby level "let's have some tomatoes on a sandwich from that plant on the deck"

Edited by PsyBearknot, 02 April 2016 - 08:07 AM.

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#28 Myc

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Posted 03 April 2016 - 08:47 AM

DAMN Psybear!!!

 

A person after my own heart. You're running a few more bales that I am this year!!!

 

Leave those bales dry until you're ready to introduce your conditioning formula. 

 

And yes, it is super-badass when you go grocery shopping for a meal in the back yard. For this reason, I'm hoping to explore extending the season into winter. I know I can do this with fungi already. 

My problem has always been paying attention to staggering or offsetting the cropping cycle. I get all happy and plant a garden - once. And forget to add stuff every couple of weeks. Then, it all comes off at once basically.

This year, I'm starting early enough. Tomatoes and friends are indoors - planted yesterday. Mushroom culture is built up in quart jars ready for expansion to bulk spawn bags. Spawn bags will be distributed to the straw bales once colonized. Then all of the bales will be "cased" with compost which has been building since last Fall. Small seedlings will be transplanted at that time and seeds planted into the compost.  The whole ecosystem will be watered by a dripper system on a landscape timer.

 

Some ideas I have:

For control of sowbugs, I'm planning on buying diatomaceous earth in bulk - like 50 lbs. I need enough to thoroughly cover the area under all of the bales as the little nooks and crannies offered are favored by the bugs.

I may also try the addition of some live predators - nematodes, ladybugs and such. I deliberately foster black widow spiders - they are protected here and thrive as a result. There's one in every corner and hollow so be careful and wear gloves when working in the garden. Look before you grab. ;) 

I also keep thinking of a pond-fogger to help keep the fungi in the bales happy. My setup allows me to cover most of my cropping area with a tent-like structure. This would hold in humidity pretty well - at least enough for simulating natural fog-like conditions.

 

My main problem is the blinking sow bugs - aka "rolly polly" bugs. They use gill structures to breathe and love the humid (perfect) micro-climate necessary for fungal production. I've tried a number of methods for control - except pesticide. These little bastards can totally wreck an entire mushroom crop by devouring the primordia and then going to work on the body of the colony itself. I've seen them go to work on a fully-fruited patch of psilocybes once. The insatiable little monsters do the same to food mushrooms as well. - Strangely, the coprinopsis are usually safe - I guess sowbugs don't like antabuse. Don't get me started on what they do to the strawberries.

I digress.

 

I'm just fired-up to see someone else with such enthusiasm.

 


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#29 CatsAndBats

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Posted 24 April 2016 - 08:41 AM

I'm doing this as well. Wheat straw bales are 5$ in jersey. I always have a bat guano or bird guano concentrate that is pasteurized around, so I conditioned/ing with h2o and guano juice.


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#30 CatsAndBats

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Posted 25 April 2016 - 04:03 PM

I'm doing this as well. Wheat straw bales are 5$ in jersey. I always have a bat guano or bird guano concentrate that is pasteurized around, so I conditioned/ing with h2o and guano juice.

 

 

So a lil off topic but..

 

so I saw a piece on 'kelly and michael' (yes I watch it, GO AHEAD, JUDGE ME!) with a lady doing homeopathic cures for stuff. One was a bad breath cure. Ya just disinfect your mouth, and then eat yogurt. The new, not smelly bacteria take over and give you fresher breath. 

 

I think that I'm going to apply this technique to my pasteurized guano juice and/or compost tea..



#31 Il19z8rn4li1

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Posted 26 April 2016 - 04:07 PM

 

I'm doing this as well. Wheat straw bales are 5$ in jersey. I always have a bat guano or bird guano concentrate that is pasteurized around, so I conditioned/ing with h2o and guano juice.

 

 

So a lil off topic but..

 

so I saw a piece on 'kelly and michael' (yes I watch it, GO AHEAD, JUDGE ME!) with a lady doing homeopathic cures for stuff. One was a bad breath cure. Ya just disinfect your mouth, and then eat yogurt. The new, not smelly bacteria take over and give you fresher breath. 

 

I think that I'm going to apply this technique to my pasteurized guano juice and/or compost tea..

 

 

now your starting to understand ;)

 

 

:D


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