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  • Tom Sellers

    The original straw bale garden (foreground) is barely a foot tall and a fraction of its original size after it broke down into compost. A fresh bale awaits.

  • Tom Sellers

    Karen Sellers of Sacramento harvests the last beets and spinach from her backyard straw-bale garden. New bales wait nearby to be moved into place.

Sacbee garden: Straw bales get expanded into new garden bed

Published: Saturday, Mar. 29, 2014 - 12:00 am

Sacramento Bee readers share their gardening adventures.

Tom and Karen Sellers of Sacramento are back at straw-bale gardening. This season, they’re expanding their backyard raised bed from a “U” to a “W” with the addition of more bales.

“Here are the old and new bales, illustrating about 10 months of the old ones doing their garden thing and turning to compost,” Tom Sellers said of this snapshot showing how much the bales had broken down. “No way was there going to be a second year out of these bales, unless a framework or boxes were built up around them.”

The straw bed remained very productive throughout the fall and winter. Just before they rebuilt their straw garden in late February, Karen Sellers was still harvesting beets and spinach.

For more photos and details about the Sellerses’ straw bale garden, check out the post at our SacBee Garden Facebook page.


Do you have a gardening photo, tip or story to share? Or do you want to publicize a community garden event or activity? Post your news via our virtual SacBee Garden at Also, email your submissions to h& (put “SacBee Garden” in the subject line). Or mail it to: SacBee Garden, Home & Garden, Sacramento Bee, P.O. Box 15779, Sacramento, CA

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