Today’s guest post comes from Edith.
A few years ago, VS had a guest blog post on her wildly successful straw bale garden. I was inspired by that to try my hand at growing a few vegetables in straw bales this summer.
I have tried growing vegetables before, but have been defeated by monster weeds and various city woes. The book about straw bale gardening that I read assured me that all my previous problems would be nonexistent with straw bale gardening and I would be overwhelmed with a huge vegetable harvest.
In one respect the book was correct. All my previous problems were nonexistent but I ended up with some different problems instead. I had chosen what I thought was a good spot for the bales: a wide strip of land bordered by a fence on one side and the raspberry patch on the other side. From my experience with raspberries, I was pretty sure that the canes would not spread as far as the straw bales until next year and that this was a good way to use what would otherwise be a weed patch, not only keeping the weeds down until the raspberries took over that spot next year, but also providing me with homegrown veggies. I followed the directions for prepping the bales and everything looked like it would work just like the book said it would. I planted some seeds and a few plants and started waiting for the harvest.
Well, the raspberries took one look at the straw bales and declared war. While they don’t seem to have moved much at all in the other direction, they have grown up right next to the straw bales, and hard rains have beaten them down until they are falling down every which way. The straw bales, aided by the heavy rains, took one look at the raspberries and literally fell apart. The seeds I planted did not germinate very well and the plants are growing sideways because what was the top of the bale is now the side. Lovely. I think I’ll just stick to berries and herbs next year.
When have your grandiose plans crashed down around you?