Straw Bale Demonstration and Community Garden

— Written By Susan Condlin and last updated by

While many may have their summer gardens in place there is still time to start your garden. The community gardens at the McSwain Extension Center will be opening on May 26 with a hands on educational gardening program. This year Cooperative Extension in Lee County will focus our program on straw bale gardening.

If you want to have a garden, but you have little space and equipment to plow the rows for planting, limited mobility or just have poor quality soil one option to a full fledge garden is to consider straw bale gardening. You may have seen several straw bale gardens around our county tucked away in small spaces. Now is the time to learn how to grow your own.

Straw bale gardening involves placing straw bales in a relatively sunny spot, prepping the bales and planting your favorite veggies and flowers inside the bales. The straw will keep plants cool and holds water. Straw bale gardening is a great option for people who have trouble stooping over to work the garden. Weeding and harvesting can also be done easily from a chair.

Laura Bruce, straw bale gardening enthusiast will provide a hands on demonstration for straw bale gardening on Tuesday, May 26 at 6:30 at the McSwain Extension Education Center, 2420 Tramway Road in Sanford. Registration fee for the class is $10 with straw bales in place and plants ready to put in place in into the straw bales in our community demonstration garden. In addition a few open raised beds are available, with plants provided, if you want to dig and plant in the soil. While participation in our demonstration community garden class is limited to first fifteen families registering, the gardens will be open throughout the summer to those who want to check on the progress of the plants growing in straw. Lee County Extension Master Gardener interns will be assisting community members with their gardens as they coordinate the straw bale garden demonstration project. For more information contact N.C. Cooperative Extension in Lee County at 919-775-5624