Hay Bale Garden Beds
I came across this post on the internet on hay bale garden beds from the SupaFresh Youth Farm. They built a small raised bed on the top of a bale of alfalfa hay in the beginning of the winter. They hoped by the spring that the hay would have started composting creating a great bed for vegetables. They used alfalfa hay because it has the nutrients that plants need. This is a post from the results of their experiment on July 9, 2011:
Sandie – the hay bale beds are a HUGE success. the squash that we planted in them are 10x the size of plants placed elsewhere. The nasturtiums are flowing out, and the snow peas are productive and delicious – in fact, the snow peas planted into the Alfalfa bales are the only ones that made it in the entire garden. I would highly recommend them.
These hay bale garden beds using alfalfa hay seem like a great idea. Just be careful when buying hay, that it hasn’t been treated with aminopyralid. This is a very strong herbicide that can hurt garden plants. See more about straw and manure contaminated by herbicide.
Picture used with permission Mia Bartlett, Chief Farming Officer