[Market-farming] Garlic in straw bales?

Adriana adriana at chefsgreens.com
Mon Nov 13 17:02:44 EST 2006

I'm not a garlic grower but I wonder if this would not work for small scale 
operations.  Lay stray bales, cut side up on the ground, over the beds where 
you would normally plant your garlic.  Insert the cloves into the straw. 
Wet the bales well, then cover them with plastic mulch to protect them from 
additional rain over the next couple of weeks.  This way you do not have to 
work the soil at all and eventually the roots will make it through the bale 
and into the soil.  The plastic will offer some temperature protection as 
well.  As the bale breaks down it will enrich the beds for next year.

For an article on straw bale culture go to 

It's possible that you need only a couple of inches of depth to accomplish 
the same thing, in which case I would consider breaking the bale into 2-3" 
deep squares.  Lay one square on the ground put your cloves on top and then 
cover with an additional square.  It would certainly make a bale of straw go 
much farther.  If you had planned to mulch the beds then you are ahead of 
the game.

Adriana Gutierrez

> I wouldn't give up yet. I have gotten a decent crop from garlic planted
> in midNovember. (I did manage, finally, to get my own in this year,
> much to my relief; most got in October 26 & 27 and the last of it on
> November 2. The ground was really a little too wet; but I doubted that
> it was going to be any dryer.)

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