Back in February I shared the construction of our straw bale raised bed
also known as a hot bed. I half filled it with chicken debris, some of which was fresh, from our chicken house and pen. Such useful little gals. The debris will begin to compost along with the wet straw bales and produce heat, heating the soil inside.
Then I topped it with about 6 inches of potting soil. I planted some Trombetta seeds from Renee’s Garden
The absolutely best summer squash you have ever eaten, it stays firm when cooked and has the most fabulous flavor. Give it a trellis and ROOM, it loves to climb!
But is also likes a long HOT summer, and ours is not so I improvise with the hot bed.
I also planted a yummy Brandywine tomato. I planted one in the hot bed and one in my garden in the back yard.
We have had some crazy weather the past month or so. Warm and toasty, even at night then the temperature drops dramatically and we get snow! All who garden know that tomatoes don’t like snow.
Here is my fat and happy Brandywine inside the hot bed.
Yes, that is weeds growing out of the straw bale, I did not get the weed free straw but it is not hard to pull out.
And here is the poor struggling tomato plant outside in the back garden.
I am not sure the photos capture how dramatic the difference is but you can certainly tell in person.
This tells me I need to put in more straw bale beds. Last I purchased straw it had jumped to $9 a bale, yikes, just 2 years ago it was $5. So it is an investment, but they last a few years and if I can get more produce in less time, then it is worth it.
And how about that squash…
Trombetta is a happy camper too. In fact, I need to thin out a couple. I think I have 6 plants that came up.
I will see if I can transplant some to the back and see how they do.
Though the straw bale bed is not the purdiest thing it is rather disguised with all the flowers blooming their hearts out.
Happy planting everyone!