A Straw bale garden under glass?
Our summer weather has been a disaster. Rain and cold is the definition of most days and I don’t have to tell you that doesn’t do any favor for the gardens.
When I noticed this trend didn’t seem to want to change, I covered most of my gardens with plastic or glass. I wondered at the time if I was over-reacting but from the results of my gardens and the neighboring gardens I think I made the right choice.
The hay bale garden was a little more difficult as a prepared hay bale weighs quite a lot. But I moved the hay bale with a trolley and the plants were young, so it didn’t seem to make a difference in the plants.
I also set up another 2 hay bales since growing under glass I will now have a longer growing season.
One of my first bales had a crop of lettuce growing in three stages for a longer supply of fresh greens. All stages are now done so I soaked the bale with a liquid fertilizer and added more topsoil. I plan on planting bush cucumbers in the front of the bale and a row of pole beans in the back. The back of the bale has a trellis so the beans will grow up that.
photo credit: Ross C.
I have several crops growing in a cold frame so I will add one of these to the following bale after I have treated it and few more days.
So far with my weather the hay bales sitting under glass are doing well. I had a small mini greenhouse I made of windows that were being tossed. The structure took a day to set up. The roof is a thick plastic. I don’t trust glass in a roof. Just in case it breaks I don’t want anyone injured.
Straw Bale Garden challenges
Next week we are actually going to have sun and a few dry days. It will be interesting to see how the hay bales do in a warm environment. I may have to water them more or add a little more compost to help keep the bales cool and moist.
The biggest challenge I see with the garden under glass is keeping the crops watered well if the temperatures finally decide to warm up.
How to cover your garden
If your in a situation like me, too much rain and cold days and nights, and feel your garden would do better being covered there are several ways to do this.
- Move as many of your crops or second crops into containers as possible.
- Create row covers for you beds. This is easier on raised beds or wide rows.
- Build a mini greenhouse. There are several min greenhouse that can be made of old windows or plastic pipe that can be put up in a few hours to a day.
If it will save your garden crops the extra work is worth the time.
My covered hay bale gardens seem to be doing well. The plants are healthy and growing well. And I don’t see any insects so wee will see how the garden grows as the season progresses.
photo credit: ellievanhoutte
And if anyone has some spare sunshine, please send it my way!
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