prepairing straw bales for vegetable planting
I am new to this forum and from what I have read here it seems to be an interesting, friendly and informative place. I would like to say hello to all of you and good luck in all your endeavors. I am starting a straw bale vegetable garden this year and would like to ask a question about preparing the straw for planting. I watered the bales for three days then added 1/2 cup of ammonium nitrate per bale for three days and then 1/4 cup ammonium nitrate per bale for three days. I watered in the ammonium nitrate well with each application. From what I have read the straw is supposed to heat up during this process as it is decomposing but I have yet to detect any heat. My questions are:
a. How long should it take for this heating process to run it's course?
b. Being as it has been 10 days since I began this process and the straw is cool to the touch is it safe to plant vegetable seedlings at this point?
c. Should I give it more time to heat up and cool down and if so should I stop the ammonium nitrate or keep applying it?
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.