So on the weekend, we replaced the straw bales around our straw-bale raised garden bed. I have to say, for something that we planned very poorly and did no research into, this has worked really well! We still have almost no weeds in the bed, its reasonably easy to keep slugs under control with nematodes, and our plan to just replace the straw bales when they got saggy worked like a charm. This picture has the new bales on the left compared with the old ones on the right. They are from the same farm, so they are made by the same baler and should be the same size - gives you an idea of the amount of compression/decomposition that occurred in a year.