To actually plant, we pulled the straw apart firmly and added compost, put the plant in place and added more compost. There should be plenty of nutrients available in the bales to support growth; later, we will water with kelp meal tea to maintain our organic approach to growing.
Joel Karsten's book, Straw Bale Gardens (my growing bible this season), recommends laying soaker hose on the bales before planting. I used 'staples' made from coat hangers to hold the hose in place and close to the plants. This method makes for very easy, gentle watering of all the bales at once. Love it!
I see that the tomatoes and peppers have set blossoms. In the warmer parts of Ontario, by mid-June, tomatoes are likely to have fruit forming, but once again our spring/early summer has been cool in Thunder Bay. So I'm especially grateful for the warming effects of the bales.
If you live in Thunder Bay, you can see a straw bale garden at the Thunder Bay Conservatory established this season by the Friends of the Conservatory. View a collection of photos of the garden's progress.