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Straw bale garden produces bountiful harvest for Bob Klein

October 16, 2013

Fuldas Bob Klein finished reaping the harvest from his straw bale garden on Sunday. Some of the carrots harvested measured 14.5 inches, 9.5 inches, and 8.5 inches. 
 FULDA FREE PRESS/Norma Dittman
FULDA FREE PRESS/Norma Dittman
Fuldas Bob Klein finished reaping the harvest from his straw bale garden on Sunday. Some of the carrots harvested measured 14.5 inches, 9.5 inches, and 8.5 inches.
By Norma Dittman
Bob Klein harvested carrots on Sunday and was delighted when one of them measured 14.5 inches in length. Another was 9.5 inches long and yet another just an inch shorter. He was quite impressed with the carrot crop - just as he was with the lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes, squash plus many other vegetables grown in his straw bale garden.

Klein became interested in straw bale gardening when he saw an article in a local paper about someone who had planted their tomatoes in bales. “I did some looking on the internet and then I ordered Joel Karsten’s book Guide to Growing a Straw Bale Garden,” Klein explained. “The first year, I got three bales and planted in them, and almost everything that I planted died. This year, I read the book and did everything according to the instructions and I am very pleased with the straw bale garden.”

The gentleman who wrote Guide to Growing a Straw Bale Garden is Joel Karsten who grew up in southwest Minnesota. He holds a horticulture degree from the University of Minnesota.

“According to his book, you have to start 12 days before you plant. You apply 1/2 cup of nitrogen to each bale, which you set up on an edge. I had thirty-one bales. On the second day, you wet the bales. You repeat the nitrogen and wetting process up to the ninth day and then you apply one cup of 10:10:10 fertilizer, “ Klein said. “When the bales smell pungent, then you are ready to plant in them.”

Klein had eight plants each of cabbage and peppers. He planted two of the bales to peas and four to green beans. “There were still green beans on the plants when I pulled them yesterday.”



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