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St. James Plaindealer - St. James, MN
  • Gardening sans the dirt in St. James

  • Tim Nelson, owner of Nelson Furniture in St. James, took up an unusual type of gardening this summer. He's growing vegetables on top of straw bales in front of his store.
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  • Tim Nelson, owner of Nelson Furniture in St. James, took up an unusual type of gardening this summer. He's growing vegetables on top of straw bales in front of his store.
    He got the idea watching a show where a woman who had a condo in New York City had a parking space but no car. The next step Tim did after watching the show was to take a class on how to do straw bale gardening.
    This spring Tim got three bales of straw, plopped them down in front of Nelson Furniture and got his garden planted on April 26. Due to the cold, snowy spring we had, I imagine that was way ahead of the gardners who work in the dirt.
    There wasn't much soil preparation this way. No tilling, or raking, or hoeing - he just sprinkled the seeds on top and let his garden grow. Tim is using a timer to water the garden about fifteen minutes a day.
    It has provided an abundance of fruits and vegetables. And the veggies are growing in a weed free environment.
    The bales are growing beets, peppers, tomatoes, strawberries, cukes, green beans, and other veggies.
    People are stopping by just to see what is up with this unique way to garden. Tim's even stuck a talking gnome in the bales that dispenses gnome philosophy when people approach.
    People are stopping in just to see this unique garden. With the great success of the garden, Tim is going to increase his straw bale garden by 25 percent next year. He plans on going from three bales to four.
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