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HomeEditor's Picks‘Straw bale gardening allows anyone to grow a terrific inexpensive garden’
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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‘Straw bale gardening allows anyone to grow a terrific inexpensive garden’

Having a garden can lower grocery bills and provide the freshest, most delicious tasting veggies, says straw bale gardening pioneer Joel Karsten.

Now is the time to lay the groundwork for a summer garden, and Karsten shares the details of his revolutionary method in his book, Straw Bale Gardens Complete.

This unique technique makes growing fresh veggies possible, even for those with bad soil or no backyard at all.

“Tomatoes, even in season, are a couple of dollars a pound, and it is not uncommon to grow 100-plus pounds of tomatoes from a single bale,” he said.

“The savings you will get from growing a garden are astounding and make a huge difference in any family budget.”

“If you have never picked peas fresh from a garden and brought them immediately to the steamer and then slathered them in butter and sprinkled them with salt, then you have never even tasted peas!” Karsten continued.

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“It is a flavour so delightful that it is unmatched in even the finest restaurant.”

Straw bale gardening

And those looking for the perfect hostess gifts for summer barbecues can create beautiful flower arrangements without breaking the bank.

“Flowers are amazing in straw bales. For less than two bucks, anyone can buy a pack of midget sunflower or zinnia seeds, and with just one bale, grow enough flowers to make 50 vases of cut flowers all summer long.”

Karsten’s method requires less maintenance and weeding and, because of the raised height, makes gardening more accessible for seniors who cannot do the hard physical work of gardening, he explains.

The method works in any climate and for nearly every vegetable crop and does not require any soil at all, so it can be done on concrete, asphalt or even on a rooftop.

About the book

Straw Bale Gardens Complete provides an abundance of inspiration, with detailed steps for planning, planting and harvesting a straw bale garden; bale variations and options; watering guidelines; and plant profiles.

Also included are tips for irrigating in dry climates, gardening in small and urban spaces, and even DIY instructions for homemade bales from compostable materials.

The book is filled with colour photos and project ideas, including how to set up a greenhouse cost-effectively.

“Growing a successful vegetable garden is difficult enough if you have terrific soil to plant your garden into, but with poor soils, it can be virtually impossible,” Karsten added.

“Straw bale gardening allows anyone, even those with the worst soil conditions, to grow a terrific garden that is inexpensive, productive and much less labour intensive.”

Straw Bale Gardens Complete, Updated Edition: Breakthrough Method for Growing Vegetables Anywhere, Earlier and with No Weeding

Publisher: Cool Springs Press – Available from Amazon

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