Joel Karsten Straw Bale Gardening Blog 8 Comments
PROBLEM DEFINED: Above are a few pictures from my trip showing the Cambodian adaptation of the STRAW BALE GARDENS® method. To explain how important this method of growing can be to this population,...
Joel Karsten Organic techniques 11 Comments
I like to use blood meal as an organic nitrogen source for conditioning the bales.  Another option that works well is feather meal.  Whatever source is used, it should have a minimum of 5% active n...
Joel Karsten Vegetable gardening 10 Comments
We prefer to have the cut side of the bale facing up.  The open stem ends allow easier penetration of the granular fertilizer and the water is better able to carry the fertilizer into the bales tha...
Joel Karsten Vegetable gardening 2 Comments
No, mold is simply one of the tools mother nature uses to decompose organic substrates.  Mold growing inside a confined space, where we breath in the concentrated spores, is very potentially harmfu...
Joel Karsten Buying Straw Bales 2 Comments
LABOR Vs. CASH The most expensive input cost in any traditional soil garden is LABOR.  Your time to weed, water, weed, plant, weed, harvest, weed, water, weed and pull weeds adds up.  If you had to...
Joel Karsten Vegetable gardening 3 Comments
You started conditioning your bales, but were interrupted by Mother Nature.  Snow, rain, cold, whatever has thrown a twist in your progress and you are now concerned that the bales will not be read...
Joel Karsten Vegetable gardening 1 Comment
One of the biggest misconceptions about the entire concept of Straw Bale Gardening, is that we plant and grow vegetables in straw.  Let me explain what is really happening.  We do start with a stra...
Joel Karsten Vegetable gardening 2 Comments
“Slow Release” has become a marketing gimmick for fertilizer sellers.  They will all try to tell you that there product is “slow release” because in most consumers minds thi...
Joel Karsten Vegetable gardening 1 Comment
Dry straw would provide a lovely home for a mouse or nest for a snake, but once the straw is saturated with water and begins to break down and heat up inside the bales, the bale is not at all hospi...
Joel Karsten Buying Straw Bales No comments
Yes, absolutely yes, however it is important to know that hay is a term used to describe baled grass or alfalfa that is fed to livestock as fodder or food.  This often means that the grass may cont...