One of my favorite parts about living in the Bay Area is the seasons. We do have winter, but they are mercifully short and mild. No snow, no freezing temperatures. Spring has been here for about 6 weeks now. Flowers are blooming and trees are growing their new leaves.
Getting the garden going this year includes building a temporary garden box in the middle of my yard, which has been a project to say the least. I’m using straw bales as the sides of the box, and filling the middle with compost, straw, and potting soil.
The center of my backyard gets the best light. The back portion of the yard needs some landscaping, not a lot but enough that I would need to hire a professional. That’s not quite at the top of the budget yet, so it’s a project for fall.
There’s no way I was going to let overgrown lawn and weeds get the best spot in the yard this year. I came across straw bale gardening in my research on temporary planter boxes. Although the straw bales are not as water-wise as I would like, they are cheap and conveniently sold at my corner bio-diesel gas station/urban farming store (so Berkeley).
There’s still a lot of work to be done. But getting the cardboard and bales in place only took about 2 hours and as you can see from this ‘before’ picture, it made a big impact!