For those who are yet to know, after harvesting plants such as wheat or barley, farmers dry the remaining plant stems so that they become straws. It is undeniable that straw is a plant material that has countless uses. People use them for Halloween decorations and make scarecrows to protect their fields. We can also utilize them as a material for construction or to feed cattle on farms.
Among the various uses of straw, organic straw is one of the ideal materials for gardening. If you are a gardener who is in need of a great amount of it and you are still struggling to find where to buy organic straw bales for your garden, you will find the answer in this article!
There is no gardening material that offers as many benefits as straw bales. First and foremost, they are a super low-cost material that you can directly purchase at nearly any farm, with the cost ranging from five to ten dollars for a big bale. That’s why “where to buy organic straw bales?” is not a difficult question.
If your garden lacks fertilized soil, straw can be a perfect substrate to mix with the soil. When you mix garden soil with straw; it helps the soil retain water better. This is not to mention when straw breaks down, it fertilizes the soil.
In addition, instead of spending quite an expense on groundwood to cover the garden floor, farmers can actually opt for straw. Growing plants on a straw bed will make the plants easier for farmers to take care of since they do not have to bend over when taking care of the plants.
Not only that, thanks to this bed, farmers can keep diseases, harmful insects, or fungi away from the plants, resulting in a far healthier crop. Once you have found out where to buy organic straw bales, you can utilize one bed for as long as 2 or 3 crops.
As straw is always available in thousands of stores and farms, it is therefore quite easy to obtain. However, today, many farms use pesticides for crops, so those stalks of grain crops from several stores and farms might not be of the organic type.
Moreover, you should be careful when buying them from stores, as you may mistake those for construction instead of organic straw for gardening. Be sure the straw that you buy is the organic one. It is best that you should ask the farmers or shopkeepers whether the stalks of grain crops they are selling are organic or not before purchasing.
With that being said, the simplest answer to “where to buy organic straw bales” is organic farms, in which farmers do not use pesticides for their crops.
Otherwise, plant nurseries, shops that sell organic materials, and large garden centers are also good choices. You can have a higher chance to purchase organic ones in stores selling animal food, as cattle need to be fed with organic straw.
There are many gardeners who cannot tell the differences between hay and straw bales. Here is our reminder: Be mindful that you purchase the right one, as some stores might sell you the hay bales instead of the straw ones. Hay bales may contain stray seeds that can grow into grass. This is not to mention that they are not as sturdy as the straw one.
In case you cannot distinguish the 2 types, take a look at our comparison.
These stalks of grain crops are made from dried grain stalks such as oat, wheat, or barley, while hay ones are made from dried wild weed or grass. You can also recognize the two types based on their color: straw bales are yellow, and hay bales are dark green. In short: straw is the stalk, and hay is grass.
The reason why we must use them instead of hay bales is that straw is sturdier than hay. Not only that, since hay bales may contain grass seeds, they should not be used for gardening. Or else, chances are you will have a garden of grass instead of crops.
After knowing where to buy organic straw bales, it’s time to build your own garden! Here is a quick guide:
The first step is to place the straw bales in rows. You should tighten the rows by strings. Remember to tie the strings along 2 sides of the bales in order to keep the rows in shape.
Once you finish positioning those stalks of grain crops, the next step is to turn them into an ideal planting platform. During the first 10 days, you should water and fertilize them regularly. The aim of this process is to turn dried bale into a fertilized platform capable of planting vegetables.
If you are planting plants that grow in vines such as cucumber, watermelon, squash, etc., you can set up 2 poles on each row. Then, connect them with wires to create a trellis so that the plants can climb up.
Once the bales are fully conditioned, it is time for planting. All you need to do is to create small holes on the straw rows to put the plant seeds or seedlings in. Then, cover up the holes using organic substrate or soil. During the crop, make sure that you water the rows carefully.
As mentioned, those stalks of grain crops can drain water very fast, so watering them is necessary except for rainy days.
Also, they are unable to produce nutrients themselves, so you should fertilize them regularly. When your plants have just germinated, you need to fertilize the bales every two weeks. When the plants start to produce fruits, you should feed them with organic fertilizer once every week.
Not only that, good bacterias need from 4 to 6 ounces of nitrogen in order to create a good condition for the plants to thrive.
It is unarguable that straw is a perfect material for gardening. This is because this type of material is always available and can be purchased at a very reasonable price.
If you wonder where to buy organic straw bales, our answer is that you should opt for organic farms. Once you have the type you need, it is the right time for you to start building your garden!