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GYG-094 Easy Ways to Garden


strawbale GardenThis week I decided to discuss 3 Easy ways to Garden for Vegetables.  While I concede the third is open for disagreement, I still consider it easier than many other methods, especially fr beginners.

  1. Container Gardening
  2. Straw-Bale Gardening as taught by Joel Karsten
  3. Raised Bed Gardening

Joel Karsten ( who has been a guest on this show ) has a new book on Straw Bale Gardening and  is full of information, suggestions, and best of all – photographs.   The link to the book is on the right side of this page.  I highly recommend it.

I am trying it out myself this year in addition to my raised beds.  I like doing my own tests.

The Fruit trees are beginning to show signs of fruit even in the first year planted here ( from 5 gallon buckets ) so am really excited for this season.

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{ 11 comments… add one }

  • Mark April 11, 2013, 2:38 pm

    Steve, here’s a great new primer on drip irrigation
    Drip Irrigation

    • Steve April 15, 2013, 11:37 am

      Thanks, Mark.

  • Britt April 11, 2013, 9:08 am

    Great podcast. I really enjoy the “new ideas”. I especially am interested in the Straw Bale Gardening and making your own seed planting strips.

    Thanks for the research and effort in providing this information.

    • Steve April 15, 2013, 11:37 am

      Straw Bale gardening gives amazing results. I was skeptical at first but I am now a believer.

      • WYLIE April 23, 2013, 11:31 am


        Would you be able to lay-out a nuts n’ bolts overview of straw bale gardening?

        IE: how to get started with soaking the bales, when to plant, and the main things to look out for.

        I want to give it a go this spring, but I don’t want to spend a lot of time researching or getting too detailed, you know?

        Thanks for your help, and for another great episode.

        all the best,

        Wylie in CANADA.

        • WYLIE April 23, 2013, 11:38 am

          Sorry Steve,

          I just re-listened to the episode and realized that you already went over exactly what I was hoping for.

          Man, I got issues. …getting old..

          thanks again


      • WYLIE PILGRIM April 29, 2013, 10:30 am

        OK Steve, i’m on day 2 of my straw bale ‘conditioning process’. They are currently soaked and seasoned with bone and feather meal. I’m following Joel Karsten’s ebook guide, which lays it all out simple & plain. i’m really excited to see how it all goes, and thanks so much for steering me in this direction – i would never have know about straw bale gardening, were it not for your podcast.

        WYLIE, Canada.

        • Steve April 29, 2013, 12:04 pm

          Great to hear, Wylie. Let me know how it goes. I had good luck last year but this year I have been so busy aking new beds, building fences etc.

          Joel knows his stuff, and I consider him to be the expert I go to with questions, even though I am not in Minnesota.

        • Steve May 19, 2013, 11:10 pm

          How are those Straw Bales going, there Wylie?

          • WYLIE PILGRIM May 21, 2013, 12:52 pm

            Hey Steve,

            well, the ‘conditioning phase’ (I call it ‘seasoning’) was very easy. I used a mix of fertilizer and bone meal, and followed Joel Karsten’s great online book for daily instructions.. After a couple weeks, all the bales were ready to go and I did my planting. Here’s what I planted: pinto beans, string beans, snow peas, beets, Danvers carrots, couple different squashes, cumcumbers, spinach, iceberg lettuce, spring mix lettuce, broccoli, and asparagus. I set a couple bales aside for sunflowers, zinnias, and petunias…something pretty for my wife. I’ve got some sprouting action already, and the bales continue to breakdown nicely. I’m really amazed by how much heat these things contain! ..and seriously, no bugs or weeds or any other problems so far..

            ..maybe i’ll send you some photos if i get around to it…

            thanks for thinking of me buddy!

            Wylie in Canada.

          • Steve June 7, 2013, 8:58 pm

            I am so excited to hear of all the success you are having with your Straw Bale Gardening. Hopefully others will look at your success and give it a try too.

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