Up-Date on our late potato harvest

Finishing up the last bed with straw and finding a decomposed straw bale

Finally we found the time to cover the last bed with straw. We divided a complete straw round bale over the bed, so the bed is nicely covered and ready for the winter. Our two older kids where very good helpers and my husband lend us a hand as well.

We had to put a protection of some kind around the beds, because the dogs kept digging in them. We have an electric fence we set up around the bed, but without putting power on it. The visible fencing is enough to keep the dogs out.

These 3 beds are ready for winter

After that we wanted to cover the plant beds beside our fence we had not covered yet. Therefore my husband wanted to pick up an older straw bale, which was sitting up right since last year, to bring it to the beds with the tractor. This straw bale fell apart, because it was decomposed completely.

The decomposed straw bale with straw bales sitting up right in the background

Partly we had set some straw bales on a flat side (which you normally do not do) to use them as a windbreaker. What happens is that the rain soaks into the straw bale this way and the straw will decompose. We did not expected that it would decompose this quickly. This was also not visible on the outside. Actually this is just what we where looking for when we started pressing straw. We can buy straw directly from the field. We just need to press it and bring it home. So this way we can get mulch relatively cheap with the idea to compost the straw for soil to build up our property. Since we have little soil and mainly rubble on our property.

Straw bale planted with different salad and herbs

Also I had planted on top of some straw bales last season. I put a layer of soil in the middle to plant in. What I found was a big problem with water. I had 2 straw bales sitting in the sun al day. These bales I could water al day long. I gave up on these. I had one straw bale sitting in the shade from noon. This one did better. I had cucumbers in there and they grew, but it still was not very good.

Straw bale planted with cucumbers

I think it was too early to use the straw bales this way. The water leaks out to quickly when the straw is not decomposing jet. Probably it will give a better result when I would use the same straw bales next growing season. I will try it out and will share with you.

Now getting back to the theme we had. We have to see what we can find to cover the beds beside our fence, since we have used up our last straw bales for windbreakers. Maybe our pile of straw still has something usable. We will find out another day.

Author: beautifulchaosorg

Hi, I am Carolien and I am a Dutch woman trying to build a self sufficient homestead on concrete and rubble. Follow my husband and me on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@straverhomestead9667

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