I put a weed mat under the bales. It's debatable whether it's needed but it has helped with water retention.
At this point, everything is fine. I pull grass growth when I see it and watch for bugs. I'm using a garlic tea spray on rare occasion when I see a pest I would prefer to avoid. It's worked just fine. I also used a urine spray to keep the bunnies and squirrels away and that's also doing great.