The best use of straw bales-
Straw is traditionally used to add a protective layer to perennial beds for winter. MN can have a mix of winter extremes from harsh cold to sunny thaws, and depending on the depth of snow, your perennial plants can experience extreme temp fluxes that will damage roots and could kill the plants. Ideally we have several feet of snow for an insulation layer that will keep perennials uniformly cold through freeze and thaw. History tells us that snowfall isn’t necessarily reliable, so we have turned to adding a layer of straw to our beds for some plant life insurance.
When should you apply straw to a garden bed? When night time temperatures are below 30 consistently add a layer of straw a couple inches thick.
When should re remove straw? When night time temps are no longer below the freezing point rake off straw and discard. This is a great time to mulch and add preen to discourage weeds in the coming season.
Other uses for straw are more obvious. Decorating for fall. Additional seating around the fire pit. Soaking up a muddy corner of the yard so Fido doesn’t track in. An archery target. Use intact, wet bales to grow potatoes when spring comes.