Here you can see the two hay bales I decided to try along with my raised beds last June.
I’d heard they were a great space-saver in a garden and provided a great growing medium, so I bought two at the hardware store. I followed directions I’d found googling: place on side, water thoroughly, wait a couple weeks till they start rotting, then plant.
So I did. Waited about 10 days till the hay looked like it was composting down, then I planted 6 squash starts in one (crookneck and zucchini) In the other I planted pattypan seeds (I put some compost on top from our compost pile so the seeds weren’t sowed directly into the bale).
Three days later, the starts were yellowing, then dead after a week or so. I think maybe 10 days wasn’t enough. I also didn’t like how quickly the bales dried out (read: constant watering, ugh.) I started over again with more starts but that bale never really did so well. The pattypan seeds, on the other hand, went crazy. We had so many pattypan squash out of that bale and they lasted, and lasted and lasted….(even continued to grow despite the yearly attack of the squash vine borers, but that’s a whole ‘nother blog entry!)