Best Plants For Straw Bale Gardening 2022: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

1. Tomato 2. Strawberry 3. Potatoes
Tomato Best Plants For Straw Bale Gardening Strawberry Potatoes

Growing fruits, vegetables, and spices on straw bales in glass greenhouses have many advantages. This ensures an optimal temperature for the development of the roots of the plants, achieves good ventilation, and enriches the air with carbon dioxide.

Also, there are no pathogenic soil microorganisms. However, not every plant is suitable for growing in straw bales. What does this depend on? And, which are the best plants for straw bale? The key to having a great gardening experience is choosing the right product.


Why Make A Garden Of Straw Bales?

1. The Purity Of The Material

The benefits of using straw bales are endless. Straw, after the wheat grain or the oats from which it is made, is taken away, does not contain any seeds of these plants or the seeds of weeds.

The few weeds that emerge from the straw are easily eradicated. If you choose the best plants for straw bale gardening you will have no problem growing them.

2. Easy To Process

The bale sits firmly in place and its height reaches your thigh so you don’t have to bend over. Residual heat from bacterial decomposition allows you to start planting a few weeks earlier than usual. Just fold nylon on top.

At the end of the agricultural season, you will have abundant compost to use in pots or flower beds. By using the best plants for straw bale gardening, you will also be provided with fruits and vegetables throughout the season.

3. It Is Not Affected By Surface Or Weather Conditions

You can arrange straw bales everywhere – on the lawn, on the paved driveway for your car, in front of your home, or wherever it will be heated by the sun for at least six to eight hours. This type of garden is especially suitable for gardeners in colder climates where the growing season is shorter.

The bales heat up much faster than the soil, thus stimulating early growth. The best plants for straw bale gardening feel just right in these conditions.

4. Richer Crop

Vegetables and fruits grown in bales produce about 25 percent more than when planted in the ground. This is because more oxygen, as well as unlimited water and nutrients, are available to their roots. Straw is like a sponge and holds an incredible amount of them.

In addition to all these, the heat from the decomposition of straw means that the plants develop earlier. That is, the harvest period is extended and the yield is usually longer, especially if you choose the best plants for straw bale gardening.

What Is Important For Straw Bale Gardening?

Straw is becoming more and more important in our gardens every day. It is widely used by gardeners and it is far from accidental. Still, let’s look at a few important things when preparing a garden like this, before we even choose the best plants for straw bale gardening.

1. Choosing Straw

You can try your luck by buying straw bales from your local garden center, but the best source is straight from a farm. If you want to practice organic gardening, the staff at the garden center probably won’t know what kind of plants the straw is.

Remember, it is easiest to find straw in the fall. If you prepare your bale straw garden before winter, you will be completely ready to plant the best plants for straw bale gardening when spring comes.

If you decide to make a vegetable garden with bales of straw in the spring, you will be able to plant the crops earlier than usual and they will grow earlier than usual without much effort on your part.

2. Arrangement Of Bales

Before arranging bales, lay garden nylon underneath them to prevent the weeds from entering the bales. Arrange the bales in rows with the wide side of each bale cut up.

The rope that holds and encircles the bales should pass through the sides, not through your planting area. The rope will help preserve the shape of the bales when they begin to soften and decompose.

3. Preparation Of Bales

Even if you have already selected the best plants for straw bale gardening two weeks before planting them, you have to cause fermentation in the bales themselves. This means watering and fertilizing them for approximately 10-14 days to begin the composting process inside them.

During the first six days, each bale should be fertilized daily with 3 cups of organic fertilizer. Be sure to water it, so that the fertilizer goes into the straw and completely saturates it. On non-fertilizing days, just water the bales. From 7th to 9th day inclusive, fill in bales with 1.5 teaspoons of organic fertilizer and water them. On day 10, fill them with 3 cups of phosphorus and potassium.

4. The Readiness Of The Bales For Planting

Even if you have come to terms with the best plants for straw bale gardening and it is now time to plant them, check several times if the bales are ready. How to find out?

If you run your fingers in the bales, they will be hot and humid. You will start to notice coloring – black soil-like clumps that signal the start of composting, which will continue throughout the growing season. If mushrooms sprout, rejoice – they will not harm your plants. This means that the straw is properly decomposed.

6. Making A Wooden Frame And A Greenhouse In One

One of the nice things about gardening in straw bales, is that it combines the best gardening container with vertical gardening. It is recommended to place erect bars 2.15 m high at the end of each row of bales and wire them at distances of 25 cm from the tops of the bales.

When the seeds you planted emerge, you can use the lowest wrinkle nylon wire to make an immediate impromptu greenhouse for the frosty nights of the early spring season. Even the best plants for straw bale gardening are not cold-resistant, so you need to protect them.

And when the plants start to grow, the wire acts as a vertical frame that can climb cucumbers, pumpkins, and all wrapping vegetables.

7. Time For Planting

If you have already selected the best plants for straw bale gardening, use a paddle to split the straw. Make holes and add a little sterile soil in which you bury the roots. If you are planting seeds, cover the bales with a layer of 2.5 to 5 cm (1-2 inches) thick seedlings and plant in this bed.

For the planting itself, use a garden seedling shovel to make holes large enough to place the shoots/seedlings with your finger and press them well. If necessary, you can remove some of the straw.

With their emergence, the seeds will root in the bales themselves. When using the best plants for straw bale gardening, also put in some annual flowers or different herbs, such as parsley on the sides of bales. Otherwise, they will remain unused areas, and with flowers/herbs, your garden will be much more beautiful.

8. Care During The Season

If you put a watering hose on the bales, once you have put in the best plants for straw bale gardening, you will largely eliminate all your garden work until the harvest. This is because your soil does not contain weed seeds.

There is one catch, though – if you didn’t take the straw from a farm, the straw that you took (or worse, they sold you hay instead of a straw) is likely to contain seeds. If something that looks like grass starts to sprout from your bales, you can save yourself from this scourge by pouring sprouts with diluted vinegar.

If the grass does not irritate your eyes, it should not harm the plants and will probably die from the heat of decomposing the bales.

9. After The Harvest

By the end of the harvest season, the bales will be softened, sagged, and turned gray – but that’s exactly what you want. When you accumulate straw and let it turn into compost in the winter, you’ll have a heap of wonderful compost to fill your pots and beds next spring.

At the same time, if you choose the best plants for straw bale gardening, you will be stocked with plenty of delicious fruits and vegetables.

Straw as a soil substitute is suitable for almost all plant species. It has been in use for over ten years. There are even developed methods for growing various fruits and vegetables on straw bales.

The straw provides the crops with heat and carbon dioxide and their roots with air. Still, what are the best plants for straw bale gardening? We have selected for you the most suitable seeds for sowing, which will surely give a great harvest.

Top 11 Best Plants For Straw Bale Gardening 2022

1. Tomato

Tomato Best Plants For Straw Bale Gardening

Tomatoes are a favorite vegetable of all. Besides, this particular kind is also suitable for growing on straw bales. This is due to its disease resistance, higher yields, longer season, and better taste. When you combine this with all the benefits the straw bale gardening gives you, you will get a wonderful and rich result.

The fact that Park Seed Tomato thrives both indoors and outdoors is another of their qualities that place them among the top 10 of the best plants for straw bale gardening. are also easy to work with for beginners and professionals alike.


  • Easy to plant and grow
  • Improved variety
  • Rich yields
  • High disease resistance


They do not withstand low temperatures


2. Strawberry


Strawberries are both one of the most delicious fruits, and one of the most suitable for growing in straw. They will make your life very easy, as they need almost no care. Once you have planted them, just water them and harvest the delicious fruits – that’s all. They are extremely durable and their fruits are juicy, large and delicious.

An additional advantage of Hotueen is immediate delivery. This will provide you with the best plant for straw bale gardening when you are sure that the straw is well enough prepared.


  • A rich harvest of great tasty fruits
  • Cold-resistant
  • Organically grown
  • Resistant to disease


  • Slow growth

3. Potatoes


If you are a beginner gardener and you are just starting with the straw bale gardening method, this is certainly one of the best plants for straw bale gardening for you. Yukon Gold potatoes are very durable and provide high yields.

They are not at all capricious, and are very resistant to disease. Even if the preparation of your straw was not very good, these potatoes will overcome it.

Besides, the potatoes you get will have smooth and thin yellow skin and delicious buttery flesh. You will prepare great salads and main dishes with them. Whether fried, boiled or baked, they will always be delicious!


  • Good yields
  • Easy to grow
  • Not capricious to their environment
  • Resistant to disease


  • High price

4. Eggplant


One of the best plants for straw bale gardening as it is very easy to grow. Eggplants usually need a lot of care – weeding, frequent watering, more sun. However, if you grow them in straw, all this will be spared to you. With these seeds, you will have very good yields – without so much effort.

The eggplant begins to give crops later, but when it begins – it gives much, depending on its development. And since heat is the most important factor for its development, it is the straw bale gardening that is the most appropriate method for growing it.


  • Rapid growth
  • Easy cultivation
  • No GMOs
  • A large pack of 30 seeds


  • Slow delivery

5. Pepper


When it comes to the best plants for straw bale gardening, we have to keep in mind that not only the seeds themselves are important, but also the plants that grow from them. Straw bales are not suitable for growing tall stems.

Well, with this kind of pepper you won’t have that problem. Low-stemmed and durable, it will work well in straw.

Its seeds are freshly harvested, and 140 to 180 days remain until the peppers are collected. This will give you plenty of time to look after your straw garden and prepare it for growing the world’s hottest peppers.


  • Freshly harvested seeds
  • 2 free of charge bonus packs to each order
  • Quality harvests
  • Low stem


  • Slow germination

6. Lettuce


Lettuce is extremely good for health if grown naturally on pesticide-free soils. Straw is just such a ‘soil’. This also makes this product one of the best plants for straw bale gardening. These quality seeds of lettuce in double packaging give a rich harvest. They do not contain any GMOs.

Detailed instructions for sowing and growing on their packaging are also great. They make everything easy for you. Black Seeded Simpson will give you everything you expect, as it is collected from open-pollinated plants and stored in a temperature-controlled facility.


  • No GMOs
  • Grow well in straw gardening
  • Rich harvests
  • Health benefits


  • Sometimes the seeds germinate from only 50% to 70%

7. Spinach


These seeds have strong cold resistance. They prefer sunny terrains with lighter soils that retain their high humidity for a long time, but do not crack when dry.

This makes straw bales a very suitable medium for growing this type of spinach. Early No. 7 allows sowing in two schemes – in spring and autumn.

Keep in mind that the germination of these spinach seeds is best with cooler weather. It has a vegetation period of about 36 days. Its large leaves are ready for consumption about 40 days after sowing the seeds.


  • Juicy leaves with great taste
  • 85% germination rate
  • No GMOs
  • Rapid growth


  • Need for large space to be sown on

8. Dwarf Siberian Kale

Dwarf Siberian Kale

Dwarf Siberian will delight you with a medium-sized and compact leaf socket. The color is frilly green, with a slight flush. If you are making mixed crops, as is often the case in vegetable gardens, suitable crops for friends are onions, celery, and potatoes.

To reach their full potential, these seeds need constant soil moisture. Droughts should not be allowed. Therefore, the Kale seeds are in the top 10 of the best plants for straw bale gardening.

The sort is an extremely suitable variety for fresh consumption and canning. And its germination level is high. These are high-quality seeds, but be sure to follow the germination instructions exactly.


  • High germination rate
  • Good yield
  • 100% pure
  • Very fast growth


  • Relatively high price, look for them on sales

9. Garlic Bulb

Garlic Bulb

The bulbs of this type of garlic are extremely easy to grow, and can be planted even in pots and placed in the house or the garden.

However, what made us include them in the ranking for the best plants for straw bale gardening, is the fact that they grow best in a well-drained, loose, organic environment. The straw bales are exactly such an environment.

California Softneck’s bulbs are large and full of flavor. They are not capricious to atmospheric conditions. They can be consumed either directly or added to different dishes.


  • Natural product
  • Rich in nutrients
  • Easy to grow
  • Fast growth rate


  • High price

10. Rainbow Swiss Chard

Rainbow Swiss Chard

The high-quality seeds of one of the most delicious varieties of leaf beet grow more than well on straw bales. Characteristic of this variety is that it forms green and red leaves, smooth with a glossy surface.

One of the advantages of beetroot is that it is resistant to low temperatures. However, at the same time, it requires a lot of humidity. This can easily be ensured by well-treated straw bales.

The seeds have a very good percentage of germination due to the professional process of collecting them. Open-pollinated plants are used for seed production, and the seeds themselves are stored in a temperature-controlled facility.


  • Weather-resistant
  • Easy to grow
  • Suitable for all types of processing
  • Professionally selected seeds


  • Attracts pests

11. Italian Basil

Italian Basil

This extremely fragrant annual semi-shrub is known as the “royal herb”. As for its composition, the herb contains flavonoids, organic acid, mineral salts, tannins, tannins, carotene, and essential oil. It doesn’t take up much space, so it’s a great choice for your straw garden.

Keep in mind that basil prefers sunny and warm places. When sowing these seeds, consider the location as well as the environment. It should be fertile and with good drainage. These are also the things that characterize the best plants for straw bale gardening.


  • Herb with many nutrients
  • 85% germination rate
  • No GMOs
  • Very low price


  • A long period for maturity

FAQs on Plants For Straw Bale Gardening

1. What Vegetables Grow Best In A Straw Bale?

Growing plants on bales of wheat straw in glazed greenhouses have many advantages. It ensures an optimal temperature for the development of the roots of the plants, provides good ventilation, enriches the air with carbon dioxide, and has no pathogenic soil microorganisms.

Since straw has a huge number of useful substances for plants, it can be used to grow all kinds of herbs, fruits, and vegetables. The best plants for straw bale gardening though are potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, and eggplants. The only plant that is not suitable for growing in a straw garden is corn, because of its height.

2. How Do You Condition Straw Bales For Gardening?

To get good results in gardening, you must first choose the best plants for straw bale gardening. Besides, the preparation of the straw itself is mandatory. It starts about 15-20 days before the planting time. They are first moistened with plenty of water warmed up to 30°C. Irrigation is carried out gradually, repeatedly – every 2 – 3 days to keep more water in the straw.

The well-moistened bales are first sprayed with limestone and nitrogen fertilizers, then watered sparingly and evenly until the fertilizer is dissolved. This way it stays in the bales rather than washed from the straw. Phosphorus and potassium fertilizers are then introduced and spread evenly and watered again.

Finally, the remaining amount of nitrogen fertilizers, magnesium, and ferrous sulfate are introduced and irrigated again. Fertilizers are imported for 3 – 4 days, gradually, not for one day.

A few days after the bales have been processed, the temperature inside the bales rises to 55-60 ° C and begins to decrease by the 12th day. You can plant when the temperature in the bales drops to 30-32C.

3. What Kind Of Fertilizer To Use For Straw Bale Gardening?

The treatment of straw bale with mineral fertilizers is to excite the microbiological processes in them. It is recommended that 250 g of ammonium nitrate, 160 g of superphosphate, 60 g of potassium sulfate, 15 g of magnesium sulfate, and 7.5 g of ferrous sulfate, 190 g of ground limestone be introduced at a 15 kg bales.

First, the milled limestone is spread over the bales and then they should be watered. After the limestone penetrates the bales, 1/3 of ammonium nitrate and all potassium sulfate and superphosphate are imported.

Two to three days later, the remaining quantities of nitrogen fertilizer, magnesium, and ferrous sulfate are scattered. The bales are covered with an 8-10 cm fertilizer mixture of decomposed manure and soil in a 1: 1 ratio. A few days after fertilizer application, fermentation processes begin.

4. Can You Grow Potatoes In Straw Bales?

The method of growing potatoes in a layer of straw is not one of the most widespread, but it has always provided impressive results. The cultivation of potatoes is very attractive in years of severe drought, as the “blanket” of straw protects the potatoes from high temperatures and provides moisture. This means that even in the driest weather, you can have a good harvest.

Straw provides the effect of “atmospheric irrigation” when, due to the difference in air temperature and soil, condensation is produced, absorbing into the ground and thus maintaining its humidity without additional watering. Straw and other plant waste prevent weeds from germinating and protect plants from various diseases.

Best Plants For Straw Bale Gardening – Your pick?

Over time, all, even the most fertile soils, lose their quality. To replenish them with the minerals and nutrients necessary for the growth of the crops, different types of fertilizers are applied periodically. However, what happens when the soil is so depleted that no crops grow on it? The answer is straw bale gardening.

Straw is the ideal container for growing vegetables. Hollow straws absorb and retain moisture. Decomposing inside bales provides a rich nutrient environment for plant growth. This is how straw makes it possible to increase crop productivity by 10-20%. However, an important prerequisite is the choice of the best plants for straw bale gardening.