Looking for an inexpensive way to maximize your garden space? Kefyalew Girma Desta and Marianne Ophardt, of WSU’s Agriculture Dept., describe an easy, earth-friendly alternative.
A straw or hay bale garden is a gardening method used for raising vegetables, herbs, and flowers directly on a bale. They are an inexpensive way to create raised beds for gardening. Bales are about two feet tall, which makes gardening more accessible for gardeners who have difficulty bending over. No digging or soil preparation is required, a big advantage especially when you have hard or rocky soil. Bales can be placed on concrete or asphalt paving, allowing gardening in non traditional spaces. The bales are not permanent and are usually removed at the end of the season. Used bales can be added to a compost pile or spread on the ground to enrich the soil.
For details, here’s a downloadable fact sheet and plans from the WSU Agriculture Dept. and WSU Extension: