I saw something on the internet about gardening in hay or straw bales. Since I had an old bale of hay sitting in the way (it was one that was to dirty and a bit moldy to feed to the horses) I decided to try this. Since the bale had been sitting out in the weather for about a year I didn't follow all the directions about putting a certain kind of fertilizer on the bale and watering it for a certain length of time. I did pour a couple of buckets of horse manure on the bale and watered I in well. As the bale seemed to be really tight so that water was getting in as well as I thought it should I cut the baling twine and pulled the flakes of hay apart so every thing was looser. I then put zucchini seeds on one end, cantaloupe seeds about a foot down from the zucchini, watermelon seeds next with cucumber seeds on the other end. Not expecting many if any of the seeds to come up I think I put way to many in. The first 2 photos show the plants as they were first coming up out of the hay.
This pic is from a side on view instead of from the end. On the other side of the fence you can see pots with the same plants growing in them. In these pots I put a little native sand, a little potting soil and a lot of loose hay. Except for the pot of zucchini these didn't do as well as the bale of hay.
Last 3 pics are of the pot of zucchini. It started producing at the same time as the hay bale. This goes to show you that an actual garden plot in the ground is not necessary. I am sorry to say that the cucumbers, and watermelon haven't done as well. Nothing ready to eat yet. But I do think our extreme heat may have had a lot to do with that. The 2 big pots of tomatoes that I didn't have pics of haven't done as well as they have in previous years either. If you garden and get a chance to try this -do so-. It has been an interesting little experiment. I have enough zucchini I am trying to give it away. I guess they will grow just about anywhere. Which makes me wonder why they cost so much in the store.