Since we have no usable soil on our property and I have seen and read about building up soil and mulching with straw or hay we have decided to try something new.
Our hay is reserved for feeding the animals, since we have a limited amount of it. Straw on the other hand we have plenty, so we have build up our bed with straw.
We have spread a thick layer of straw on the ground which should keep the moisture from draining into the ground. We are building this straw bed on old rubble.
On the straw comes a layer of compost soil and on top comes another thick layer of straw.
Unfortunately we did not get the compost soil until May. In the best case such a bed is build in the fall, so the bed has time to get thoroughly wet and the straw below has the chance to start decompose.
I planted tomatoes, squash, cucumber and peppers. For weeks I was very disappointed that nothing happened. The plants did not die, but they did not grow either.
After about 2 months all of a sudden the plants started to grow and they grew well. Of course it being already mid summer we had very little harvest from this bed. A few cucumbers and some chillies is all.
The squash and tomatoes did not have the time to cure. Here are some pictures from the beginning of October just before the first night frost came.
All in all it was a shame we did not build this bed in the fall, but I have high expectations for next year.