Two Teens And Their Mama: Straw Bale Gardening in Seattle

Monday, May 15, 2017

Straw Bale Gardening in Seattle

We're halfway through May, and it's time for some Spring Time Fun with the ladies from The Blended Blog.  Today we're talking about gardens in different climates.  If you're visiting from Leslie or Sheila's blogs, thanks for stopping by, and we hope you'll link up with us below!

For many years we planted a large vegetable garden, mostly because our youngest son begged us to.  We have the perfect spot in our backyard, nice and flat and sunny.  But as he lost interest, so did we.  Gardens are a lot of work, and our neighbors were tired of finding zucchini presents on their front porches.  Sadly, our garden became neglected and overgrown.

But recently my husband read about straw bale gardens, and the idea intrigued us.  Spring in the Pacific Northwest is traditionally cool and wet, so planting has to wait until late May or June, which leads to a short growing season.  By conditioning compressed straw bales with fertilizer and water for a few weeks, the straw begins to compost and release heat, which allows earlier planting and more success.

After the bales have conditioned for a few weeks, you can plant vegetable starts directly into the straw by making small holes.  Or, spread a little potting soil on top and plant seeds. Then keep watering, and soon you'll have a full garden.  No weeds, no mess, and no more fertilizing needed.

This past weekend we spent a day preparing our yard area.
Tomorrow we'll pick up the straw bales and start the conditioning process.  Hopefully we'll be able to plant these guys in a few weeks and start sharing zucchini with our neighbors again.  I'm sure they're as excited as we are!

Have you ever planted a straw bale garden?  Or any kind of garden?  Be sure to visit Sheila in Florida and Leslie in Texas to see how their gardens grow.  We hope you'll link up with us below!


  1. Looks so cool!! You know I love my flowers but I miss a garden. We had one at our old house with tomatoes, zucchini, beans, watermelon amongst others. Fun but lots of work, people do not realize the love and care it takes to grow a garden and I love eating from the earth, cannot beat the home grown freshness!!! See you soon sweetness!!

  2. I have never heard of this! What a great idea. Even though our climates are total opposites, seems like this might work here, too. My youngest daughter always wanted a garden. We had a kind of haphazard one for a couple of years. Would like to try a raised bed once our yard and pocket book recover from the pool. Thank you for sharing this really interesting gardening method!

  3. I've never heard of this! Garden's are so much work but I miss having one. The straw bale garden is such an interesting concept!

    Doused In Pink

  4. This is so cool! I've never heard of it before. I love our summer garden, you can't beat the fresh veggies!

    Pumps and Push-Ups

  5. This is so interesting and I've never, ever heard of it! I need to just start my herbs! I usually do a small potted fruit/veggie garden on our patio. I have cherry tomatoes, strawberries and then I get a blueberry or blackberry bush (that I also pot). You'll have to keep us updated on this!


  6. I'm such a terrible gardener (in my defense, I have no yard) so it's fun to see what you all know about gardening in different climates!

  7. We both wrote about gardening! Cassidy does strawbale gardening and in my most recent post, one of the photos shows it. So cool!

  8. My husband has put some straw down over the winter but raked it all up to plant. We too garden and it is a lot of work getting ready to plant that luckily my husband still enjoys. We have commented that we just can't work out in the garden all day like we used to, old age!
    I am not even planting zucchini this year so neighbors can keep their car windows down without getting any veggies from me.

  9. Interesting. I've never heard of this method either and I live in Saskatchewan with a shortened growing season. Cool.

  10. Very cool idea- definitely going to look into this.

  11. I have never heard of this. It sounds very interesting. I'll be interested to see your yield. It looks quite complicated.

    I worked in my yard today for a few hours. It is exhausting. I wish I had someone to look after it. I like planting flowers etc but mowing the lawn and digging up weeds is awful. That is another annoying bit about my husband living on the other side of the yard help.


  12. I have never heard of this but I cannot wait to see more and hear about over the summer. Please keep us updating!

  13. Wow! This sounds amazing! I expect it will work wonders! I wonder if this means that you'll be able to plant earlier next year? You HAVE to do an update post to show us how it's going!

  14. That's such an awesome concept and I can't wait to find out how it works for you guys. I am not much of a green thumb, usually I have a 50% success rate :) I wouldn't mind having neighbours that drop off some goods off for me!


  15. I really can’t believe we are already half way through May, where is all the time going? Gardens do take a lot of work, and once you produce some good produce its hard to eat it all. I’ve never planted any garden but I hope to do some gardening once I get a home with a backyard. I think it would be rewarding and relaxing.

  16. This is a really great idea!

  17. There are things I can not understand but I will learn it. I think nothing is too late. Then I realized that I had improved a lot.


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