Hey look! I came inside for a bit.
I want to share a couple of garden experiments I have going. If they turn out, great, we all have something to try. If they don’t, nothing lost but a little time. You can’t beat those kinds of experiments.
First off, the taters. I used some leftover welded wire to create two corner bins when I was cleaning up 2015 straw bale garden this spring. I put four old bales of straw in each corner and used my garden fork to break up the straw. (After I removed the nest of baby bunnies – I have some photos in my Instagram feed.) I then proceeded to treat this old straw along with my new straw with fertilizer and water -eBook coming soon.
The straw broke down even more over the weeks of prep and I added a layer of Miracle Grow Potting Soil to the top.
And planted fingerling potatoes from High Mowing Seed.
The potato patch on the north end of the garden was a little slow to take off as I had some issues with my drip irrigation. I was trying to water way too many plants and once I cut down the hose to water fewer plants this patch started getting plenty of water and it took right off.
So far this little experiment is working very well. The potatoes are up and just this morning I topped them off with another three inches of soil. Now, the folks at High Mowing Seed do not recommend planting in straw but I’m thinking they mean not NEW straw. This old stuff is pretty broken down.
The potatoes looked like this today and I added more soil. It’s a great way to use up the old straw and once the potatoes are finished growing I can simply unattach the sides and it will all fall over making it easy to find and pick up the potatoes.
Or at least that is the plan.
The jury is still out on the strawberry experiment.
I created a raised bed in one end of my garden with landscape timbers I already had on hand and filled it in with a couple of layers of cardboard.
Cardboard is a very effective and free weedblock!
I added straw that I pulled out of the straw bales when I needed a little more room for plant roots and those plant pots that are supposed to decompose.
I cleaned out all of the goodness from my compost bin – a whole trailer full – and spread it out over top of the cardboard.
And then I went strawberry picking.
I had several strawberries that weren’t great so I planted them directly inside the compost.
My theory is that the strawberry seeds are all over the outside of the fruit so they should grow strawberry plants. Right?
I’m not really sure that’s how it works but I figured it was worth a try. The bed isn’t really full enough of dirt so by next spring I’ll have made some more in the two new compost bins I created and I’ll be able to top it off.
Unless there are strawberries.
We will have to wait a while to see how that turns out.
When was the last time you performed a garden experiment? Did it turn out like you imagined?