Straw Bale Gardening With GM Straw Bales

cabbages growing in straw

Can Genetically Modified Straw Be Safely Used For Straw Bale Gardens? The mere mention of genetically modified straw being used for straw bale gardening, is enough to make most permaculture enthusiasts swoon into the compost heap And to be fair, it certainly does not sound like such a great idea, after all it goes against all the principles of permaculture and growing organic veggies does it not? For myself, I grow organically whenever I can. By this I mean that I use home-made pesticides, I feed my plants with organic tea’s and animal manure (herbivores only), and generally try to ensure my veggies are grown using natural methods such as companion planting. However I do not take an ‘organic or nothing’ stance. I will resort to drastic man-made measures if the occasion demands. For this reason I thought I would have a closer look at the issues involved when talking … Continue reading →

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Building An RS Combo

straw bales and raised bed

How To Construct An RS Combo™ The following post is an excerpt from my book Growing Vegetables In An RS Combo If like me you are interested in new ideas particularly with regards to growing vegetables in limited spaces, then the RS Combo™ concept should really ‘float your boat’ Growing vegetables in straw or hay bales has recently become very popular, And the idea behind growing veggies in Raised Bed gardens has been popular for some time. Both these ideas have their advantages over traditional ‘row’ gardening methods. You can read more about the actual RS Combo concept here for more details of the ‘why’s and wherefores’ Meanwhile here’s a pic of my latest RS Combo to give you an idea of the planting possibilities when you combine a Raised Bed Garden with Straw Bale Gardening methods. With all that said, lets get down to step by step construction details… … Continue reading →

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Growing Onions In Straw Bales

onions growing in straw

Onions In Straw Bales – Now’s The Time To Consider Planting Them Out! Finally the ‘warmer’ weather is beginning to creep up on us, and if you are a keen gardener then you’re probably just itching to get the veggie plot started Yes, admittedly here in Scotland it is still a bit on the nippy side with frost still making an early morning appearance. However if you are catching on to the ‘growing’ (like what I did there!) trend of planting in straw bales, then you can consider getting things in motion right now. One of the reasons for this is that the straw bales themselves being well insulated against the cold, allows for slightly earlier planting out. That and the fact that the heating up process that takes place during priming, means an earlier stating point for planting. Check out this post for more information on preparing your bales. … Continue reading →

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RS Combo – Straw Bale Raised Bed Gardening

combo.1b

Growing Vegetables Using An RS Combo™ Most, if not all of you reading this article will never have heard of an RS Combo™ – at least not in this particular context. This is because up until my new book on the subject was published a short time ago, the phrase has never been used to describe this technique – Yes I am officially claiming it as my own However there are many of you who will have heard of the concept behind growing vegetables in Raised Beds or Straw Bales. Both these techniques fall into the category of no-dig gardening methods, and are indeed very effective ways to grow veggies. So what exactly is an RS Combo? Well it’s simply a way of combining the Raised Bed idea with the Straw Bale. This maximises the benefits to be had with both techniques, whilst neutralising the disadvantages inherent in both of … Continue reading →

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Vegetable Growing – Preparing The Spring Garden

growing pears

For the keen gardener the Spring season just cannot come quick enough! The long dark winter nights suddenly start to stretch out and the first snowdrops and other early bulbs, begin to poke their way through the melting snow. Suddenly the garden begins to come alive, and our thoughts immediately turn to preparing the growing beds and the multitude of tasks to be done. Raised Beds, Straw Bales and Containers all have to be prepared for occupation! Of course if we have organised ourselves over the winter months, everything from now on will operate like a well-oiled machine! It’s just as likely however, that other things have occupied our minds and now we are frantically thumbing through the seed catalogues and clearing out the greenhouse. Good organisation as every gardener knows is the key to success when it comes to getting the best results from the vegetable garden – or … Continue reading →

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Hot Bed Gardening Ideas

steaming hot horse manure

Growing Early Vegetables: So the winter is upon us and the growing season is at an end?? far from it if you know about the concept of Hot Bed gardening – a technique for growing vegetables from very early (or late) in the season. This is not a new idea (is there anything new under the sun?), and indeed was used by the Romans when they invaded Britain only to discover the place was bl**dy freezing cold, and they had a very limited time in which to grow their favourite veggies! Yes, apart from being fantastic engineers and road-builders, and having the military capabilities of the borg (for all you trekkie fans) – they were also keen gardeners it seems So what do you do when faced with a short growing season and the need for growing vegetables year-round? Simple, you increase the length of the growing season itself by … Continue reading →

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Gardening From An Aerial Point Of View

Birds Eye UAV

Gardening – The View From Above! After watching the BBC’s program on ‘Glorious gardens from above’ I must admit it gave me a whole new perspective of gardening in general. Seen from the camera lense thanks to companies such as Viewpoint Film and the help of Hot Air balloon enthusiasts, high-level filming allows a unique view of the garden that you would otherwise be unaware off. Garden plans and general layout of the growing areas is suddenly brought to live, thanks to the birds-eye view that these UAV’s can offer – a view that has up until now been restricted to birds or helicopter pilots! Formal gardens such as those seen at Brodsworth Hall or Hampton Court Gardens to name just two, can now be brought into sharp relief with every small detail enhanced, thanks to the all-seeing eye of the drone as it hovers within a few inches of … Continue reading →

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