Update on our hay bale gardening….
After watering our bales of hay morning and night for three days, yesterday was the day to begin the cooking process. We added 1/2 cup of a mixture of potash, sulfur, nitrogen and phosphate per bale. We buy the stuff at our local coop already mixed (34-0-0) for $4.50. Most bales registered between 145 to 150 degrees this morning.
We simply sprinkle each bale evenly and water it in. We’ll do this for three days, then decrease the amount to 1/4 cup for three days. On the tenth day we sprinkle 10-10-10 – one cup per bale and water it in Then, on the eleventh day in go the plants. My neighbor David, just planted in hay without cooking it properly and lost all but two of his tomato plants. It gets so hot in those bales you could burn your finger when you poke it in. Literally, steam rises from the tops.
We figure the bales will be ready to plant by next Wednesday. Stay tuned and pray we don’t get another late freeze!
I know it looks like my son Braddock is doing all the work. Not so, I planted marigolds today because – well, I don’t know why – someone told me they help cheer the tomatoes to record heights. We’ll do five or six bales in tomatoes and the remainder in squash, zucchini, peppers and eggplant.
I’ll do a little salsa garden with jalapenas, cilantro, peppers and cherry tomatoes.