|Day 1 for fertilizer. Things are heating up already.|
Even though my glass melting addiction has dampened my enthusiasm for ornamental gardening, it hasn't seemed to lessen my desire to grow food. And since discovering that we do have a fairly sunny area to do it, I've been dreaming of putting down some semi-permanent vegetable garden roots there. This year I'm trying straw bale gardening, which appears to be picking up in popularity, based on the press.
My little sunlight experiment last summer managed to give us several batches of pesto, strawberries, some peppers and some onions, but it was painful to look at. That weathered blue box on the right was my husband's childhood toy box, lined with pond liner and filled with potting soil. A veritable deer buffet. A glass bead maker friend in the Midwest shared photos last summer of her amazing straw bale garden, so this year I had to try it.
|This was the experimental garden to see if there was sufficient sunlight in this area.|
|The bales arrived just as I finished laying down four rows of hardware cloth for gopher protection.|
|All lined up. Fence posts will be added at the row ends, with wire strung between.|
Today they got some more soaking and the first dose of nitrogen. There is an organic and a non-organic method to this part - while I mostly prefer organic methods of fertilizing plants, in this case I just used the high test nitrogen (ammonium sulfate). I figure it probably doesn't matter in the hot composting stage as all you're doing is reducing carbon and nitrogen to humus, but once the bales are planted I'll be using organic fertilizer for the plants. You can also use blood meal for this, or any other source of nitrogen.
Tomorrow I'll just refresh the moisture, and then it's more fertilizer every other day for about 10 days. So far it's nearly up to 80 degrees inside, and I fully expect it should get up near 160 at the peak.
The deer fencing should arrive any day now, and I still need to get busy on a gate for the enclosure that will repel bunnies and a neater drip arrangement on a timer. I'll keep you posted as it comes along.