I had heard of planting in straw bales from around the web but after reading this article in the New York Times I decided to give it a go this year. The rhubarb patch which we inherited from the previous owner of the allotment proved to be too damaged to be rescued so it can be used for the bales this year. It is located very close to the water to make watering as easy as possible. I arranged the bales so that the straws are aligned vertically.
First I thoroughly wetted the straw with icy icy water. Then I sprinkled a fair amount (about 2 cups I guess) of lawn fertilizer on top and watered again. Now I will leave them alone for a couple of weeks just watering when i'm there.
Meanwhile mum busied herself with putting this cold frame together. You can't see it on the photos but it was not only bitterly cold but there was a ridiculous arctic wind blowing which made construction all the more complicated and quite frankly dangerous.
In the end we had to abandon this particular project to be continued on a less windy day.
Since the rhubarb patch is well... dead, I planted a new one far away from the original patch in case there was any rhubarb rust in the ground.
Finally even though spring has begun bitterly cold, the chive patch is looking rather fabulous.