Straw bale gardening – Turn last fall’s decorations into this spring’s raised garden bed


Has anyone tried straw bale gardening? I have to say it is a creative and resourceful way to have raised garden beds.

The idea is that you take a straw bale, sprinkle a bit of potting soil on the top to start out the seeds, and the plants will then grow into and live off of the decomposing straw bales. This technique is nice because it doesn’t grow weeds, easy to care for, is raised up, and can even be placed down on concrete. 

Some tips I read about:

  • Hay contains seeds, you need to use straw which is just the leftover stalks.
  • You can wrap the straw bales in black plastic and have the sun cook and kill any remaining seeds that were left behind in the straw.
  • Shorter plants work better than tall plants like corn which may tip over

Screenshot from 2022-05-06 12-35-20


  • Comments (2)

    • 4

      I’ve never done it but everything I read tells me you have to fertilize almost constantly.  Slowly decaying straw is not a great source of nitrogen & other nutrients.  Seems like the bale is primarily the container/bed… and not the soil.  Nothing wrong with that but just be prepared to tend your plants often.

      • 3

        Thank you for your thoughts on this method of gardening, I was having the same thoughts as well. Two identical plants, one grown in soil and one grown in a straw bale would have differing nutritional contents because you just don’t have that many nutrients in straw I don’t think.