We are totally new to Hay Bale Gardening and we started ours as an experiment to over come an invasion of Pig Weed.I can not claim to know a whole lot about it.We did some internet surfing and read a few articles and thought "Why not?" All of the photos we saw showed these lush over flowing gardens with cascading vines and fat veggies.Sigh said the Chef's voice inside both Chance and I. Now we are finding a trend in our Hay Bales,early bolting of greens who don't like heat.I wrote a while back about the Bok Choy doing this and now the Spinach has followed.
Over the weekend our neighbor Rob who is a gardener with different knowledge than ours stopped by to borrow our hand truck.We got talking about the garden and an Aha moment sprung from our lips. The aha? Well we figured it this way.The Hay Bales are always putting off heat from their composting, which we had read about.It sounded great,what veggie dose not like a bit of warmth to get it going. But what we did not take into mind is not every veggie likes heat or to much sun, such as Bok Choy,Spinach and Lettuces. The Bales must be (to our thinking) to warm for these babies.
We came up with 2 solutions.The first Rob came up with, a sunshade to put up during the worst heat of the day.He even offered us a length of Sun Cloth (I don't know much about what makes it Sun Cloth VS. Cloth.I need to do some reading) that should be big enough for the Bale the Spinach is planted in. I looked at the down side to this one. One more job added to my list and would I remember to do it? And this row of Bales is right in front of the Tomatoes which I don't want shaded. I am going to go out with an old sheet and hang it to test this idea out.It is to late to save the Spinach but I want to see if I re-plant the Spinach would the cloth shade the Tomatoes?
I must say I am a bit ticked off about losing some of my crops.Spring greens are like a tonic after many months of eating store bought veggies.And don't get me started on the money I feel I have wasted,starting with the seeds, the food we could have eaten and put away for winter. Our weather has been crazy here.Hot for 2 days and like this week back into the 60's with rain and then back to the 80's by the weeks end. In my mind a cool weather crop should have been fine until mid July.GRRRR!
All right I have stepped off my soap box and will get back to solution number 2.Simple, don't plant cool weather crops in the Bales.Next year plant them in the front garden beds in the ground where it is cooler.
I mentioned Lettuces above, so far our Lettuces are fine.I planted them on the side of the garden the tends to be a bit more shaded on purpose.See I was thinking just not all the way through!
We are learning and knowledge is power. Now we have something to work out, which solution to use. We are on a journey here one that dose not really have an ending point just a long ramble.Maybe some day we will know we have arrived and are done but that day is far ahead.This blip in the road of Hay Bale Gardening is small compared to where we are today.I looked back through the pictures I have posted already and think WOW no wonder all 4 of us are feeling so happy.How could we not be? I could overwhelm everyone by posting new photos of everything, everyday because it changes and is growing so fast but I won't. My next blog project should be a before and after slid show...mmmm.I think I 'll get Issac to help me with that!
All right I am off (maybe my rocker). I need to start the bread dough.Today I will measure things so I can post here. And I have visitors coming to see Hrafinstaad today.