Last year we tried a straw bale garden. We’ve seen folks who’ve done this brilliantly, but our bales produced too many pests. This year we bought a bunch of “lick tubs” — the money helps fund local 4-H projects and it keeps the tubs out of the landfill. And they’re doing great.
First step was to harvest some of our compost from the pile. The compost pile is made of straw–it keeps our Red Wiggler Worms from Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm warm in winter and cool in summer. And the worms give us great compost!
Once we had the compost it was time to prep the tubs. To provide drainage we drilled holes in the bottom of the tubs and then added look to the bottom. This not only helps the drainage, but the wood scraps get used and help hold in water for the plants.
We also situated the planters on the edge line of the metal roof–that way the roof collects dew and rain and waters the planters for us.
We planted a mix of seeds–beans, tomatillos, and we’ve got more seeds to go in to go wild for birds, butterflies and for bees. Our monsoons should start soon–they usually kick in about July 4, but we’ve been lucky to have some June rain, too. So it should be a great year for flowers–and for the birds, bees, and butterflies, too.