University of Florida

Hay Bale Gardens

Hay bale gardens are an easy and low-cost way to create raised beds. They provide the perfect place to grow sweet potatoes, vining melons, and plenty of other vegetables.

Start with at least four hay bales and arrange them in an open square. Remember to choose a sunny spot. Fill in the center of the square with soil and then add your vegetable plants. After planting, be sure to water and fertilize your plants on a regular basis.

Your hay bale garden will last for three to four gardening seasons before it begins to decompose and fall apart. When it does, just use a pitchfork to turn the hay into the soil. Then you'll have a rich, organic soil mixture that you can use to fill in the center of your next hay bale garden.

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Hay bale garden
Photo: Orin Zebest

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