Readers respond to straw bale garden story
As a writer, I love it when people read something I've written about and take the time to write back. I wrote about straw bale gardening in the spring and in the summer home improvement sections, and since then, I've heard from several readers.
Yesterday, I received a letter and photos from a Delta man, who said he and his wife have been growing tomatoes in straw bales for several years. His trick to not using too much water was digging a hole about 10 inches deep, with an eight-inch diameter. He then places half of a disposable diaper at the bottom of the hole before filling it with potting soil and fertilizer. The diaper helps hold the water.
Of course it does, that's what they're designed to do. Well, they're designed to hold liquid, not necessarily serve as a reservoir for an inexpensive planter box.
I thought it was a pretty brilliant idea, and as you can see from the photos he sent to me, his tomatoes grew very well.
He and his wife also keep their bales much neater and tidier than mine are. I'll take a pic of my bales at home and the ones at the community garden to post tomorrow or the next day - mine are definitely weedier and somewhat neglected.
Next year, I'm buying diapers for my bales!