Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Another look at my strawbales
I pledged to give updates about my squash straw bale garden and here is another peek. I am growing some squash in my straw bales as an experiment. My strategy is that I can avoid the early infestation of squash vine borers if I can just get my bales going, since as far as I know, there aren't any squash vine borers in my area because there are no gardens in my neighborhood.
I did prepare my bales differently than regular bales because of my desire to make them as organic as possible. I used blood meal rather than the regular recommended fertilizer, ammonium nitrate.
My straw bales are doing only slightly better than last week. I have four squash plants and some of my seeds didn't sprout. I think I might have made the dirt a little too deep and I have noticed that birds were just flocking around my bales. I don't know what is up with that but either the birds might have gotten some sprouts or they didn't get quite the water they needed as they sprouted. The other problem could be that I watered too much and the seeds rotted.
I now plan to sprout some seeds indoors under grow lights and then plant them in the bales. (That is my, "if at first you don't succeed" plan B. I still have plenty of summer left to grow my squash and the bales should be perfect.
It is interesting to me that the bales are kind of mushy inside. I am also seeing quite a bit of mushroom growth on the bales. I guess it will eventually turn into mushroom compost and that is supposed to be a good thing. If they also make their own fertilizer I should be left with some very healthy plants.