(Chronicles of a Straw Bale Garden begin here.)
As I continue to hold onto hope that there will be some heat this summer to make my squash in the straw bale garden grow, I might as well tell you about some trouble shooting. First of all, the bale has had a tendency to sprout. I actually like to weed, and here on my acre have become very familiar with various weeds. I’m fairly sure that part of what I was dealing with when weeding the straw bale was generated from the bale itself. Overall, the grass-like growths were not terribly invasive, even though it was often difficult to get them up by the roots. The bale was several months old when I started my project, but that didn’t seem to slow it down.
Another disappointment has been that several of my painted daisies have died back, apparently a problem at the roots. I didn’t see any insect suspects or disease symptoms other than withered looking roots. Of the five surviving plants, four look robust, but another is ill. One is blooming nicely, as you can see in the picture above.
I don’t think it was an over-watering issue. I have found that the bale doesn’t hold water well. I have trouble adjusting the soaker hose to a slow enough drip. I keep going to check on it and find the area around it flooded. I guess I’ll also try watering for shorter periods of time. I’m used to running my soaker hoses for a certain amount of time for my raised beds, but that is obviously too much for the straw bale gardens.
The weather forecaster has been teasing me with predictions of temperatures into the 90’s next week. That should make the sweet dumpling squash very happy and maybe I’ll have some more inspiring pictures to post. Meanwhile, though, there are other parts of the garden doing fine, so I will show you one of those: