Gardening Edible Gardening Vegetables The Best Plants for Straw Bale Gardening and How to Create Your Own Straw bale gardens are a vegetable lover's dream because they're easy to make, versatile, and inexpensive. Use these easy instructions to make your own. By Claire Harmeyer Claire Harmeyer Instagram Website Claire Harmeyer began her career as an editorial intern for BHG.com, where she wrote SEO-driven stories and video scripts and assisted with photo shoots. Following her summer internship, she continued working as a contributing writer for BHG.com. After graduating from college, Claire worked as an editorial assistant at HelloGiggles.com, where she was promoted to assistant editor six months later. In this role, Claire wrote timely news stories and in-depth explainers for the fashion, beauty, and lifestyle verticals, interviewing over 40 celebrities, assisting with beauty awards testing, and covering awards shows for the site. In 2021, Claire moved over to Dotdash Meredith's centralized ecommerce team, where she wrote shopping content for People, InStyle, Travel+Leisure, Real Simple, Shape, and Health. Now, Claire focuses solely on finding the most relevant trends and deals for People readers, covering mainly fashion and celebrity news. Claire earned a Bachelor of the Arts in journalism and a certificate in writing from the University of Iowa, from which she graduated in 2019. Prior to attending Iowa, Claire spent a year and a half studying publishing at Belmont University. She was named a member of the honor roll during all four years of her undergraduate degree. Learn about BHG's Editorial Process Updated on November 25, 2022 Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Brie Passano Project Overview Working Time: 1 hour Total Time: 2 weeks Skill Level: Kid-friendly Straw bales make fun fall decorations for arranging pumpkins and gourds around. But they also can become a bed that can grow these vegetables, plus many others! Creating a straw bale garden lets you grow vegetables just about anywhere without requiring a lot of digging, weeding, and other labor-intensive tasks. Give your bale a good watering, add fertilizer, dig a hole in it, and plant your favorite veggies. Smaller plants, such as determinate tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, bush beans, are the best vegetables for straw bale gardening. Herbs are a good choice, too. The bale will slowly turn into compost, which you can use to feed your garden the following year. Here's how to make a straw bale garden in three easy steps. What You'll Need Equipment / Tools 1 Garden trowel 1 Hand cultivator 1 Container to discard straw Materials 1 Straw bale 1 Liquid fertilizer 1 Tomato plant 2 Basil plants 1 Garden soil Instructions Condition Straw Bale To properly condition your straw bale for planting, you'll need to monitor its moisture levels. Water the bale thoroughly for three days to ensure it stays damp, checking for moisture and heat by pushing your hand inside the bale. During the next six days, use a general-purpose liquid fertilizer to ensure that the bale has enough nitrogen to grow healthy plants. After feeding the bale, keep it damp for two more days before planting. Finally, when the bale feels warm but cooler than your hand, you're ready to plant! Dig Hole Brie Passano Using a garden trowel, dig out the middle of the straw bale. Dig a hole slightly deeper and wider than the plant's roots. If you want to grow a tomato plant in your straw bale, dig a deeper hole than you would for other vegetables. Plant Vegetables Brie Passano Insert plants of your choice into the straw bale. Fill in around the plants with potting soil and water everything well. Fertilize every week or two; doing so will make up for the nutrients the plants typically receive when planted in soil. Editor's Tip: For top-heavy plants like tomato and corn, choose dwarf varieties to avoid breaking apart the bale.