Straw Bale Gardening
Anyone else using straw bales? I listened to a radio program about it on npr a few months ago and decided to try it out this season for vegetable gardening instead of the usual raised bed. I have bell peppers, sweet potatoes, snap peas, carrots, cucumber, butternut squash, a variety of herbs, and of course, numerous tomato plants.
I'm surprised with how well it's working out! I applied a few nkp fertilizers to the bales and watered them for a few weeks before transplanting and seeding. The only problem I've encountered so far is the ants. I'm using organic products on the plants so I don't want to use anything too poisonous to get rid of them and I don't know what to do. There are also TONS of mushrooms but they seem to be harmless, they just add to the overall coolness of the garden.
The Following User Says Thank You to ecmann For This Useful Post:
Soapy water will dissolve the ants - use Dr. Bronners or a ground friendly soap and dilute it, spray it towards the ants and their entrances if you can find them. After you get them gone/down you can spray down the outside bottoms of your bales every day with a soapy mixture to deter them, or make a moat of soapy water if you are feeling ambitious. I have used soapy water against ants for ages, from putting my dog food bowl in the middle of a dish of it to wrapping a sopping paper towel above a hummingbird feeder to keep the ants from climbing down. The soap breaks up surface tension, the ants have exoskeletons - just kind of makes them fall apart.
The Following User Says Thank You to jumpingRabbit For This Useful Post: