If you’re thinking about how to grow your potatoes for the new season it might be worth considering this method.  We tried it as a way to clear a weedy section of the allotment having done quite a bit of online research.

There seemed to be lots of advantages; including suppressing weeds with the straw along with the vigorous growth of the potato plants, retaining moisture and providing a biodegradable mulch that would eventually enrich the soil.

Once we’d decided to try it the first step was to source the straw.  We were lucky that a local farm offered straw bales for a reasonable price, so off I set…

I can confirm that three straw bales is probably the maximum that a Hyundai i10 can handle!

It’s worth pointing out at this stage that this is straw and not hay, which may contain lots of seeds that can germinate. Not what we were looking for as part of our weed clearing plans!

There were some quizzical looks from other drivers as I transported these to the allotment…

Once the straw was on site it was just a case of spreading it out over the area. We had three standard bales and wanted to cover an area about 3×3 metres.  

Three standard straw bales

We found this was just about perfect for our needs, which had to be put down a bit to luck as we weren’t sure exactly how much straw would be required.  So our top tip would be that 1 standard straw bale covers about 3 square metres to ‘potato growing depth’.

Small wire fence to contain the straw

From here it was on to planting, which we’ll tell you about in another post..

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