What Hay Bale Gardening is About

Have you ever heard of hay bale gardening? This is a great way to grow fruits and vegetables when you have soil that is of poor or depleated condition. Hay bale or straw bale gardening is an interesting and productive way to garden. It has benefits that more traditional gardening styles and methods lack and yet it can result in less effort than those other types of gardening. It is a good idea to get an overview of what bale gardening is about, prior to planting the garden, even when planting time is many months away. Many gardeners who try it love this gardening method so much that it becomes their preferred way to garden. What hay bale gardening is Using bales of hay or straw for planting or growing vegetables and other plants is easy to understand, though there can be variations. Bales of hay, such as standard 135 pound bales, are laid on their sides so that the twine or wire strands that holds the hay together are roughly parallel to the ground. Note that it isn’t absolutely necessary to have the twine parallel to the ground. These bales become the foundation in which to grow the garden plants. Benefits Bale gardening usually takes less initial effort since the plants are grown directly in the bale. The method is also easier from the standpoint of weeding and maintenance, since a gardener can sit on a stool, chair or bench to do most of the work. Both hay and Continue Reading →

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Growing a Wintertime Container Garden

What do you do when summer gives way to fall and fall to winter, when you want fresh herbs and produce? Many people think that they are out of luck and must wait until the next growing season. That means that they resign themselves to eating the flavorless produce and dried herbs from the store. There is a better way. Imagine; it is the middle of winter and outside the wind and snow is blowing hard. The landscape is covered with its blanket of snow, and the dim light filtering through the clouds is gloomy. But in your living room, it is like a scene out of a tropical paradise. Plants are growing and blooming, the scent of herbs brighten the atmosphere of the room and fresh vegetables grace the table. Another scenario; you have a small place such as an apartment, with no yard or flower beds, yet you have fresh vegetables, herbs, and flowers that you’ve grown yourself. Not only are both of these possible, they are not difficult to accomplish, through container gardening. You don’t even need to have a green thumb. Nearly everyone is aware of people who have houseplants and while this qualifies as container gardening, it will be taken further here. The benefits far outweigh the difficulties. Container gardening First, look at the term, “container gardening”. It is exactly as it sounds, growing plants in pots or other containers. The pots can indeed be outdoors, on a patio, a balcony, or they can be Continue Reading →

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Reasons to eat locally grown produce

Have you ever stopped to think of the benefits of eating locally grown foods? There can be many benefits of eating locally grown foods. For many people, one of the first that comes to mind, and which can be related to other benefits, is freshness. Probably most people who have tried produce right out of the garden and compared it to the same sort of produce purchased at the store will notice this difference in the form of flavor. The moment fruits and vegetables are harvested they begin to break down. This is totally natural. The longer the interval of time is since they were harvested, the greater the amount of decay. Many markets ship in their produce, sometime from great distances. This means that from harvest, to store, to the table, the produce may be up to a couple weeks old. Many stores get around this by purchasing under ripe fruits and vegetables from their supplier. This allows the produce to either ripen in transit or in the storeroom at the store. The problem is, since the food wasn’t allowed to naturally ripen, it lacks much of the starch, sugars and other substances that give the best flavor to the fruits and vegetables. This is why a store bought tomato tends to taste bland compared to one freshly picked out of the garden. The benefits of locally grown food don’t end at the far more robust flavor, though. Still tied to freshness, they are also far healthier for the Continue Reading →

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