Who needs Dirt?
I really want to grow a nice, easy to care for, patch of productive strawberries in my garden. This has been one of my goals ever since I began caring for said garden, but I just never could seem to find the time or come up with a good plan that would be easy to implement and easy to care for. In the past few years I have begun to make connections and friendships with the people at the local co/op in the Delta Jct. area. I have found in them to be a wonderful group of people; who are willing and eager to answer all questions about my garden and have helped me to learn and try new methods for working both in my vegetables and my berry crops. Some of these kind people have even come out to where I live to look at my garden and give me hands on advice about fertilizers, watering methods, soil content, and weed prevention along with a myriad of other hints and tips.
Along with the professionals who work full time, the co/op also recently hired a local lady from Delta who is a long time Alaska gardening and has a great deal of practical knowledge and experience with gardening in Alaska. She and I have become friends and she has come out a few times to visit my garden as well. Just this last July she came out and we began talking about growing this and that. She brought up the topic of Straw Bale Gardening and asked if I had ever heard of it. I had not so she gave me a quick synopsis of how it was done; she then mentioned that strawberries could be grown in this way as well and that really piqued my interest. I have since done some research of my own and am intrigued by the whole idea. The info that I have found says that strawberries are an ideal candidate for growing in straw-bales and hay-bales, at least the annual varieties of berries are. Because of the plants compact size and small root systems many can be planted in one bale and are protected very well from pests and weed infestation. The straw bales are relatively easy to set up, don’t take up much room, and after the year is done the old worn out bales can be composted further and tilled back into the garden or simply used as mulch. Simple and not wasteful; I am eager to try out this method of berry growing next summer to see if it will work for me. I was wondering if anyone had any advice as to the best variety of annual strawberries to grow in Alaska and if they knew of any good suppliers of transplants that I could order from. Here are a few links to sites that have good information both on berry growing in bales and veggie growing in bales. I also found a few good Youtubes that show how to implement the methods, just look up (straw-bale gardening youtubes) and watch some of them. AB Delta Junction
By Brian Barth. How to grow strawberries in Hay Bales. Available online: http://motherhood.modernmom.com/grow-strawberries-hay-bales-13105.html 2016
. Accessed Sept. 18,
By Ellen Douglas. How to grow strawberries in Hay Bales. Available online: http://homeguides.sfgate.com/grow-strawberries-hay-bales-30457.html. Accessed Sept. 18, 2016
By No Dig Vegetable Gardening. Straw Bale Gardening. Available online: http://www.no-dig-vegetablegarden.com/straw-bale-gardening.html. Accessed Sept. 18, 2016
Straw Bale Gardening. Available Online: Sept. 18, 2016