Your free gift - environmentally friendly straw straw sends tens of packages all over Europe each and every day. We're proud that our packaging has a minimal environmental impact; straw is a natural product and biodegradable. But besides doing the environment a favour by allowing us to send you packages padded in straw, you are also receiving a free gift, because straw is extremely handy in the garden!

Straw forms compost

Compost is the single most important supplement you can give your garden soil. It's a great and easy way to add humus which is full of nutrient and is a rich source of Nitrogen. It fuels plant growth, restores vitality to depleted soil, and works to help retain moisture. Furthermore, microscopic organisms in compost help aerate the soil, break down organic material for plant use and ward off plant disease. Make straw compost by layering layer with other bio-degradable materials in an enclosed space. As the material decays, you should turn and aerate every few days. You will notice the centre of the straw will get ever hotter as it composts; straw decomposes quickly but is also an excellent insulator, so the heat generated is retained!

Straw as a mulch

Straw is a great insulator, so a thick layer of mulch will protect the roots of plants close to ground level in the winter. Palms such as Trachycarpus fortunei, Trachycarpus takil and Butias such as Butia eriospatha benefit greatly from a thick straw mulch in winter, as the insulation provided protects the near-surface roots and helps kick start the plant into renewed vigour in the spring. A straw mulch is also a great weed supressant.

Straw as an insulator

We'd also strongly recommend the use of our straw as a general insulant. Use it in a column around your Musa basjoo (banana plant) of Musa sikkimensis for example, supported by an outward cylinder of wire mesh. This will allow your plant to breath but be well insulated against the harsh cold of winter. In severe conditions, consider an extra layer of insulation such as an old carpet wrapped around the outside of this construction, or even a light heat source such as christmas lights threaded through the straw!

So, when you receive these beautiful packages of plants from , don't just throw away the straw. Put your free gift to work!

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