Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Charlotte Nelson's 2011 Straw Bale Garden

Each year I show you a peak of Charlotte Nelson's straw bale garden. We ran a story about Charlotte in Newnan-Coweta Magazine and there was so much interest in her garden methods. The link for how she did it is here. I know there are so many people who ran out and bought bales to make their own, easy-care garden.

I think it is really amazing, especially for a person who might have limited space or limited mobility. Charlotte said that she just adds more bales each year (plus she has so many great ideas) and everything I saw was well-cared for and looked very good. It really looks to be a bit ahead of schedule, compared to my garden. It is probably because of the heavy fertilization you do with the straw bales before the first plant is planted, or in this case, inserted into the bale. Also, they are easier to water -- and that makes a huge difference.

 I love the way Charlotte utilizes her space. She has a nice, well-cared for back yard but you can immediately see that she doesn't have the perfect space for a conventional garden. Her back yard has a pretty deep slope and I doubt she would get as much out of her garden if she used traditional methods. She certainly uses her space wisely.

I think the photo above is of her cucumbers. She has a fence along the plants so the vines can run up the fencing.

Her eggplants look marvelous.

And yes, those are green pole beans on top of those bales with the fence in the background ready for the vines to climb.

This is a new area for her that is beside her house. She said that she worried about what her neighbors would say when she put them out, but instead of being angry, they asked questions and were fascinated by what she was doing.

These big tomato plants get their own bale. In between, she often plants basil or other herbs. She told me she was always trying something new with her bales.

Her tomato plants do look good.

And I love the way she can just pour a little potting soil on the top of the bales and plant entire "rows" of okra or squash.

I will be going back, later in the summer to take some more photos. I am anxious to get a look. It is sure to be beautiful.

Tomorrow -- we will finish up with some of her other garden projects.

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