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I purchased this short primer to help me get started with straw bale gardening. It covers everything you need to know, but does not go into detail. Also, at least one part was confusing for a newbie: the amounts of nitrogen you use are different for regular versus organic compost (you need to use more of the latter). Although it was mentioned (sort of) I had to get new bales and start over because these instructions for "conditioning" the bales were not written very clearly. But it got me on my way and the plants have been in my bales for nearly two weeks. Looking good so far!
If you want a more comprehensive treatment, the same author has a newer, full-length book with more detail, and other authors have written on the subject as well. Personally I'd like to find an online discussion board where I can ask questions of more experienced straw bale gardeners.
My wife gave a friend a book to read about straw bale gardening. So I decided to look on Amazon for the related subject. To my surprise, Amazon had a good selection of books to choose from. I decided on this book due to the fact that it had a reduced price if your are an Amazon Prime member! Better yet, it is available as a digital download through the Kindle app. After reading the book, it gave me the basic information that I was looking for in how to do straw bale gardening. The book is very informative as I am new too this type of gardening. I highly recommend this book as a basis for starting a straw bale garden.
As I get older, bending and crawling in my garden gets more difficult. I saw this last year in a garden store, decided this spring to get the book and read up on the method. I have the straw bales in place, and am ready to begin. Guess I would need to come back at the end of the season to say how it worked. I am starting with two rows of tomato plants. I have been adding raised beds to my garden gradually so I can work sitting down or with less bending or squatting to help my back. If the straw bale gardening works, I will probably abandon the raised beds and convert. As I live on a farm, all I need to do it order how many I want and sons, husband, or grandsons deliver them to me! This is exciting to begin!
Straw Bale Gardening, is a most informative and detailed book for the avid vegetable gardener. The straw bale process is for the person who is tired of tilling, trying to improve soil condition, weeding, constant watering, etc. This is the first book I purchased on the subject and I think it contains enough information to allow anyone to successfully build and maintain a straw bale garden. The book is a well written, fairly quick read and it contains many, nice, color images. The author leads the reader, step by step, through an easy procedure of choosing a spot and preparing the bales, to watering, feeding, and harvesting your crops. I've bought my straw bales, aligned them on the landscape fabric, and since there's no chance of frost in my area now, have begun the fertilization and wetting process. I expect to have my plants in the soil and be well established by the end of April. I believe I'll have great success with this method and save my back a lot of pain at the same time.
I would have given the book a 5 star rating but the pictures are in black and white and difficult to see on the kindle. The information is excellent! I started a half dozen straw bales for the first time this year and I am following the directions in the book. So far everything is going as planned. The tomato plants look healthy and the cucumber plants do too! It's early June and everything has been planted for a bout 3-5 weeks.
Good basic book on Straw Bale Gardening. I must say I found more useful information for free on YouTube videos but if you are a "paper in hand " kind of person this book will tell you everything you need to know. Most fertile garden I have ever grown and I will never go back to traditional raised bed gardening after trying straw bales.
Great book to introduce you to straw bale gardening, a great way to garden in large or small space. Garden on concrete, rocks, etc... a great way to garden without soil and without building raised beds. We have grown tomato's, squash, eggplant, peppers, herbs, beans, it is a great way to garden
While this book wasn't very large, it did have some helpful items in it. Some of Joel's suggests do however conflict with Ms. Stout's suggestions on permaculture. This was worth adding to your gardening library.
I am a huge advocate of growing your own food. I haven't tried straw bale gardening yet, but I got this so I'd have good instructions when I start. It's a really good instruction manual. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to try this gardening method.