Picture of Hay Bale Gardening

I read up on this a few years ago and decided to make my own and seeing as there are no instructables on it I had to make one!

I have a really big gopher issue and them eating my tree roots and any flowers or vegetables I plant. this set up doesn't "eliminate" the pests but it doesn't feed the. now either. Also it will be easier to maintain as there are little to no weeds to pull and sitting on your knees to plant, fertilize, and harvest is nice since everything is at chest level and you don't have to bend over. plus you can sit on them and work if you like too!

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Step 1: Choosing a bale type and amount

your will need to choose bales that are easy enough to move around and place into a permanent position as once they get wet they will be near impossible move. As well as bales that contain little to no weed or bale seeds. this will cut down on weeding. lastly how many bales you will need. depending on your space its safe to say you can get 2 large plants (squash,cucumber, etc) 4-5 medium plants (peppers,beans,etc) or 2 rows of plants (carrots, corn, radishes, etc) so you will need to have an idea of what you want to plant and how much of it you plan to plant then just like any in ground garden just space them out as you like.

good bale choices are:
1-straw...has no weeds in it , light weight, about $8-12

2- grass/pasture mix...dense, some grass weeds,about $2-8

3- oats....some oat seed in it but not bad, about $8-12

4-wheat...has some seeds but easily stopped early on. about $8-15


Thank you for sharing this info! We want to try it. I have a couple questions: 1) How deep & wide did you cut into the bale & how much soil did you put in it for planting? 2) How did you water your bails? Drip system, sprinkler, hand spray? Does the bale hold the water well? 3) What do you do with the bales at the end of the growing season?

moonshine88 (author)  jil.treichel1 month ago
I cut into the bales about as big as my fist is then put the soil and 2-3 seeds in each spot and spacing went by the packaging of the seeds. the bales held the water wonderfully and kept it nice and warm. due to funding issues I had to hand water the bales which was fine cause it gave me a reason to see the process day to day. the bales I had only lasted 2 seasons and then the strings fell apart but all I did was spread the bales out as a ground cover and put new ones in. I got some fertilizer from a local dairy and spread it on my new bales and soaked and soaked and soaked them for a lt least a month prior to planting and it helps. but once you soak r he bales theyre in place because without a bobcat or he-man they arent moving. good luck
Excellent info! Thank you so much! Bales lasted 2 seasons, that's great! I too like to hand water my gardens and yard. It's keeps me in touch with the gardens and it's relaxing for me too. I love gardening and this sounds like a great idea plus saving me some bending over work, which every year gets tougher and tougher! :) Thanks again!
sharonnah591 month ago

I just learned about this idea through a Facebook post. It took me to a web-site where they wanted $20 for the how to book. So thank you for this!

moonshine88 (author)  sharonnah591 month ago
Absolutely! I'm glad it saved you $20! I kept meaning to update more photos but I was extremely busy so the kids handled most of the garden stuff. It did super well actually and we had massive zucchini along with what seemed to be a billion tomatoes. The carrots, radishes and peppers didn't seem to do well and the corn kept falling over but for my first try I'd say it was really really good and enjoyable. Good luck with the garden and healthy eating
moonshine88 (author) 1 year ago
perma, I would think wraps on anything in an environment such as yours would be needed. the fact you can even grow in temps like yours is amazing since when I lived in northern Montana trying to grow anything was a waste of time. but back to the wraps here in the sunny California valley we only need to wrap fragile plants during a few cold weeks in the year And gardens are unusually planted after the frost so I need not wrap them but it is a great idea for our cold climate folks on here. thanks for the info
Permahaven1 year ago

I use wrap for tomatoes whit great succes, I live in Denmark zone 6-7

moonshine88 (author) 1 year ago
rainbow farms /nucal off of hall road? ya I'm out there working on their trucks all the time. glad to see I'm not the only turlocker on here!
jmwells1 year ago
Checkout Rainbow Farms for some compost. They're east of town. A little goes a looooong way.