Greta Basham

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Listed in United States

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I graduated from Tennessee Technological University in 2005 with a degree in agriculture with an emphasis in Horticulture. In 2006 I relocated to Chattanooga, TN and began working at Ooltewah Nursery. I have now been employed with Ooltewah Nursery for 11 years where I am the Assistant General Manager. I came across straw bale gardening four years ago and thought it sounded pretty interesting. Then after reading the book I thought this might actually work for the gardening situation I had going on at my new home. I have about 20 foot in my back yard from my house to a steep bank, which also was very soggy after rains, nothing but weeds, and only gets 4-5 hours of full sun. I had also spoke with my mother about what I was about my new venture and she was also willing to give it a try. She has plenty of land in full sun, and chose to go with the conventional fertilizer while I chose to try the organic. This way we could compare and see if we had different results. So I picked my location, put down my landscape fabric, and began conditioning 5 wheat straw bales. The first year I did not use the steal post and wire stacking system, I did however use the soaker hose. I planted tomatoes, cucumbers, and red peanut beans. By the middle of the summer all of my plants were two feet over my head, and I had to add extra staking supports because my wood stakes were breaking. Needless to say both my mother and I were impressed by the size of the plants, but the amount of produce. My second year I up graded from 5 bales to 12 and installed the steal posts and wire staking system also with soaker hose. Four years later I am still growing tomatoes, cucumbers, red peanut beans, and eggplants in my 12 bales that are on irrigation. I have also added another section of bales not attached in to irrigation. In these bales I grow hot pepper and sweet potatoes, since they enjoy less water.

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