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  • Using liquid organic liquid fertilizers to cure straw bales to grow veggies

    Created by Robert McBroom Jr. on

    I am presently using a 10-4-1 granulated grass fertilizer to prepare the straw bale for planting 36 cup overs 14 day period. Then I add a bloom 5-5-5 4, 4 cups. The bales break down and provide a great growing medium. I would like to have a higher nitrogen say 15. I recirculate the solution to “cure” the bales. The reason is the grit gets into the water supply and fouls the drip system. It’s is impossible to totally filter all of it out. I also believe that it might provide further savings We are a nonprofit that one of our goals is teaching inner city children gardening. I’m promise you I am not soliciting for a donation, just information. Hope you can help.

  • Author
  • #228311

    Eric Vinje

    Hi Robert –

    Good question. The best technique for conditioning straw bales for gardening is to use an organic fertilizer that’s high in nitrogen. Sprinkle it over the bales — or apply through your drip system by making a liquid solution –and water to draw it into the bale. Some experts recommend using traditional chemical fertilizers for curing, but we organic gardeners wouldn’t want to do that. However, we could get the same effect by using organic fertilizers high in nitrogen, say blood meal or cottonseed meal; or an organic fertilizer mix with good nitrogen content. Not much fertilizer is needed, but thorough watering is important. Don’t over water to the point where your nitrogen source is washed away. Here’s our article on the subject:


    For drip irrigation you may want to consider our Alaska Fish Fertilizer (5-1-1). It’s a good organic, yet inexpensive, liquid fertilizer that should NOT clog your emitters.

    Hope it helps!



    However, we could get the same effect by using organic fertilizers high in nitrogen

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