Straw Bale Gardens Complete Review

Straw Bale Gardens Complete

Review of Straw Bale Gardens Complete

As of this writing, there are 804 customer comments and 0 answered questions for the Straw Bale Gardens Complete.  I’ve read the customer feedback, and then condensed the results into this review.  I hope that this helps you when shopping for a gardening book.

Best Fea​tures

  • check Everything you need to know about straw bale gardening
  • check Lots of detailed pictures
  • check Good price for what you get
  • check Great for both beginners and experts
  • check Great for those with limited gardening space

Item Specifics

The Straw Bale Gardens Complete contains all the information you need to know on straw bale gardening.  Introduced in 2013, straw bale gardening allows you to grow vegetables anywhere, grow them earlier in the year, and prevent weeds from popping up.  This gardening book contains all of the original information on straw bale gardening, as well as new advice and photos.  The author, Joel Karsten, gives advice on growing vegetables in a tight urban setting, making your straw bale garden organic, and using new fertilizers.  There are 176 pages in this book.  This book is available on Kindle and paperback.

Straw Bales Can Be Expensive

A lot of customers complained that the price for straw bales went up, which means they cannot use this gardening method.  If straw bales are priced high where you live, you may only want to use this gardening method for a couple bales instead of a full garden.  One customer explains, “This is a great book. I had seen the method demonstrated on a TV show and I found and bought this book. If you are going to have a small garden this will work very well. For me, my garden is pretty big and I found that locally, straw bales are priced very high compared to what the price was a few years ago. My guess is that since landscapers use so many bales it drives the price up. I have used straw bales to stop erosion in the past and they might last two years before rotting down, which may mean rebuying bales every couple of years if you garden with them. So, in my case, the straw bales cost more money than the benefit. If the bales were still priced at a dollar a bale as they once were, then I would use this method. Around here the bales sell for a over three dollars a bale at this time. The book itself tells everything a person needs to know to use this method. It is a great book.”

Great for Those Who Have Poor Soil

A lot of customers who used the straw gardening method said they had poor soil, and therefore had to grow vegetables above ground.  After using it to grow vegetables, some of the customers then used the straw to fertilize their poor soil.  A customer shares her thoughts, “I made a raised bale garden last year and it was wonderful. It’s a bit costly to set up, but after the first year, your annual cost goes down. The author goes into a lot of detail about what to do and why you’re doing it. I have brick hard red clay “soil” so gardening above ground is my only option. The straw bale garden overcomes drought and torrential rains without problem. I live in the middle of SC so there are some crops I discovered weren’t worth the space required, but overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone who struggles with heat, drought, heavy rains, poor soil, etc. It’s also nice to not have weeds to deal with.”

Lots of Detailed Pictures

Many customers thought that the photographs in this book were clear and detailed.  There are also plenty of diagrams to instruct you on how to lay out your straw bales, and other gardening tips.  Here is what one customer thought, “Wonderfully concise method on gardening with straw bales. Plenty of clear pictures and diagrams on how to lay out your garden as well as tons of helpful hints on prepping your bales, the benefits of growing crops in them and which crops grow best in straw bales.  Joel Karsten has a fantastic book for any level of gardener; from beginner to advanced, there’s something for everyone in this book. I’m excited to try it for the first time this spring.”

Customers Experienced Problems on the Kindle Version

Almost every customer who bought the Kindle version and left feedback had some sort of problem, unlike those who bought the paperback version.  Each customer had a slightly different problem on Kindle.  One thought it was hard to go back if you want to re-read a section, another thought it was hard to read the text around the tables, and another customer could not go to next page.  Here is what one customer thought about the Kindle version, ” I bought the kindle version. It makes it hard to go back and look for something you want to read again. I would suggest you get the hard copy. It’s a lot easier to look back.”

Great Price

Customers thought this book was priced well considering what you get in the book.  A customer shares his thoughts, “If you’re interested in straw bale gardening, don’t waste your time and money on any other book. This is the one you want and it’s more than worth the $11.99 purchase price.”

Makes a Great Gift

If you are wanting to buy a gift for any gardener, this book is a good choice.  A lot of customers said they bought this book to give away as gifts.  Here is what one customer had to say, “The book arrived in perfect condition. I have this book and paid a lot more for it. Wanted one for a gift. It was exactly as advertised, that is, in new condition.”

Great for Both Beginners and Experts Alike

Many customers found that this book could be used for both beginners and experts at bale gardening.  This book contains all the information you need to get started, but it also contains new advice that even advanced gardeners can learn from.  Here is what one customer thought, “This is a great book for beginners or more advanced. It is my gardening bible and I’m hooked. Mr. Karsten is a pleasure to listen to and gives of his time to do workshops during the spring at Minnesota State Fairgrounds.”

Great for Growing In Small Spaces

If you do not have much space for growing a garden, this gardening method is a great option. Some customers started their garden with only one straw bale, and then later on expanded their garden.  A nice feature about straw bale gardening is that you can organize the bales in any way you’d like, so that you can fit them where you want them.  Here is one comment made by a customer, “This is an easy to follow guide for producing abundant vegetables in a small space while eliminating the need for watering and weeding! Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys gardening in the backyard!”

Straw Bale Gardens Complete


  • plus Good for both beginners and experts
  • plus Price
  • plus Good photos


  • close Problems exist with Kindle version
  • close Straw bales can be expensive
  • close Not normally for large gardens

Straw Bale Gardens Complete Conclusion

The Straw Bale Gardens Complete is a thorough explanation of everything that you will need to know about straw bale gardening.  This technique allows  you to grow vegetables anywhere, grow them earlier in the year, and it prevents weeds from growing.  The Straw Bale Gardens Complete contains photos along with explanations.  Straw bale gardening is often used in city backyards but can be used anywhere including the country.  This book is available on Kindle and paperback. The price is good for what you will be getting. 

Common Questions

Here are some top questions that I found for people considering buying Straw Bale Gardens Complete.

  • chevron-circle-right Has the author written any other books?  Yes, Joel Karsten has written a few other books.  Among them are Straw Bale Solutions, Straw Bale Gardens 1st Edition, and Straw Bale Gardens Complete, which is the book I am reviewing today.  To learn more about the books he sells, check out his website by clicking here.
  • chevron-circle-right Can I use hay bales instead of straw bales?  Hay bale gardening is similar to straw bale gardening.  However, hay bales have lots of seeds, which can make your garden hard to deal with.  Also, hay bales can cause weeds to grow, unlike straw bales that do not allow weeds to grow.  Wheat bales are a better option if you are wanting to harvest plenty of vegetables, without weeds.
  • chevron-circle-right Where can I buy hay if I use the hay bale gardening technique?  If you decide to have a hay bale garden, you will first need to buy the hay.  Hay bales can be bought at local feed stores.  Another way to find hay bales is to search on the internet “hay bales near me”, “buy hay bales near me”, or “where can I buy hay bales”, and some websites should pop up.  You can also look on News Now, which will tell you about hay for sale.  You may even be able to get free hay bales.

Related Article: Best Gardening Books: Top 10 to Choose on Amazon Today

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts