Growing tomatoes in hay bales: Easy cost effective tips and guide

3 min

growing tomatoes in hay bales

Growing tomatoes in hay bales is the most inexpensive way to get delicious fresh homegrown tomatoes. It is also the best solution for many problems such as small-sized garden and poor quality soil. It also allows gardening lovers to practice gardenings even if they don’t have gardens or yards.

Hay bales are perfect to grow many organic vegetables. They turn into compost, they don’t cost more than $10, and they are mobile so you can move them whenever you wish to. Besides, unlike all planters, hay bales don’t need any building or any materials. You won’t make any effort to grow vegetables in them and you don’t have to worry abo

Moreover, they are widely available. They are sold in garden centers, home improvement stores, and feed stores. Once you buy your hay bale, follow the bellow tips for growing tomatoes in hay bales successfully.

1. Choose a position

growing tomatoes in a hay bale

No matter what you are growing your tomatoes in, they need a heavy exposure to sunlight. Therefore, locate a sunny position where you know for sure that your tomatoes will get at least 12 hours of sunlight. Cover the location you have chosen with layers of newspapers to impede the growth of weeds around and up into your hay bale.

For decorative reasons, you could build a wooden frame around your bale. But, make sure that you chose the right position because once it gets wet, it will be extremely difficult to move it or to carry it around.

2. Conditioning the hay bale

tomato fertilizer

Water the bales regularly for three days to moisten them. Then, for the next 6 days, when the bales are dampened, keep watering and start fertilizing them. You could either prepare your own mixture of bone meal, fish meal or compost (8 tablespoons per gallon of water) or use a ready liquid fertilizer like  Bonnie Herb or Vegetable & Flower Plant Food.

Once the bales are moistened and fertilized, they will start decomposing. This may increase their temperature which is harmful to your plants. Insert your hands into the bales to feel their temperature. If they’re hotter than your body’s temperature, keep watering and observing them till they cool down.

If their temperature is below your body’s, then your bales are ready for planting.

3. Plant your seeds

Dig 4 or 5 4-inch deep holes in your bales. Plant one seedling in each hole and do it carefully. You should make sure that your bale’s straws neither suffocate nor stifle the seedling.  Then, If available, cover the seedlings with a good quality soil. If not, cover them with the straws you had removed and add two cups of compost for a better growth.

Hay bales are less nutritious than soil, thus, you will have to fertilize and water more often. Once in two weeks, fertilize the bales using fish emulsion or compost tea.  However, when the plants start to grow larger, it is recommended that you fertilize them once a week.

Don’t forget to water frequently to ensure that the bales don’t dry out.

4. Harvesting

Just like other tomatoes gardenings,  when the fruits become dark red it means that they are ready for harvesting. Pick up the ones that are bright red and leave the less mature ones for later. If you had a heavy production and going to stock some of your tomatoes, you should store your ripe tomatoes in a moderate environment that does not exceed 70F but also does not go below 55 F.

As you can see, growing tomatoes in hay bales is the easiest and the most inexpensive way to grow these delicious vitamin-rich vegetables. Follow the above tips and you if you ever face a problem, don’t hesitate to contact us. It is always a pleasure to help you garden.

What makes tomatoes the most popular vegetable for gardeners is their flexibility. They are very adaptable vegetables, you could grow them in containers, in grow bags, in raised beds and even in hanging baskets. Some people even grow tomatoes on the windowsill.

Whatever way you choose, don’t forget these vital tips for growing tomatoes.

If you think gardening is a time-consuming activity, check out these magnificent self-watering pots to help you save time. If you don’t know how to grow tomatoes in self-watering buckets, this guide will show you how.

Enjoy your gardening.



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