Prepping your straw bales is key and takes about a week to ten days to do it properly. The aim is to have your straw bales start decomposing before you plant them - you want them to start composting which will provide some of the nutrition your plants will need.
I prepare my straw bales organically. Most of the other instructions I've found will tell you to use a high powered chemical fertilizer. I use a low number organic which works really well.
- After your bales are set up, generously spread all-purpose fertilizer on top of your bales. I use an organic fertilizer called Garden Tone.
- Water in the fertilizer, making sure to saturate every bale, every day for several days.
- Add more fertilizer every couple of days, spreading it generously, then soak your bales.
- I then put a mix of potting soil and compost on top of the bales so I can plant seeds as well as seedlings on the bales. This layer is about two to three inches thick.