The advantages of straw bale gardening are legion. The straw, harvested for its wheat or oats, is generally clean of weed seeds. What few weeds do appear in the loose mix — we’re talking one or two — can be plucked out easily. The bale stands thigh-high; no need to garden at ground level. And the residual heat from the bacterial decomposition may allow you to start planting a few weeks earlier than usual. At the end of the growing season, add the rich compost to flower pots or beds.