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The Standlee Barn Bulletin is your source for insightful articles about premium western forage and beyond.

The Endless Uses of Straw!

The Endless Uses of Straw!

Most people have used straw in one way or another, but you may be surprised at how many different uses there are. Blame it on the season, but we can't help but talk about the versatile benefits of straw for Halloween, the fall season, and of course, all your gardening needs.


Straw bale pumpkin

The scarecrow is a fun costume, whether in the traditional style or making a twist and styling it with more spooky details!

  • Use straw to create a nest around the stroller and dress your little ones up as birds
  • We love great party ideas also - do a candy hunt, and instead of looking for a needle in a haystack, have those kiddos dig through the straw for some yummy hidden candies
  • Strawbale art has become quite the popular Halloween décor - paint them up like giant pumpkins or create a message in the paint on a round straw bale for the ultimate Halloween experience


Straw bale wedding seating

Straw bales make a great decorative option for seating or for stylizing any event.

  • Use them for aisle seating at a wedding, even bench or table seating
  • They can be placed in half-circle seating around a fire pit for quality time this fall
  • Stack them by your front door for a festive fall vibe
  • Make a couch style seat for any outdoor event
  • Stuff a scarecrow for your yard or garden area for more fall festiveness


Straw can make great mulch, defer water from newly planted seeds/young plants, or create cold frames, garden paths, bale gardens, or new garden beds. Setting the bale upward cut side out, allows the straw to decompose while your plants benefit from the nutrients derived from decomposition. Once the straw has started to rot, plant your vegetables in a soil row. But why?

  • Straw bales hold moisture, reducing water use
  • Raised planters require less bending over to tend plants
  • As straw decomposes, it releases nutrients for plants planted within the bale
  • At the end of the season, straw is tilled into the garden floor and breaks down to increase organic matter in the soil
  • Straw reduces moisture loss and requiring less watering
  • It keeps soil cooler in hot weather
  • It helps prevent weed growth and reduces time spent weeding
  • Straw is an all-natural mulch


Straw animal bedding

Straw can be used as a bedding material. One study found that straw was the second most absorbent, out of nine bedding types. It was observed that straw can hold seven times its weight in water*. Here are the benefits of using straw:

  • It is highly absorbent
  • When no longer needed for bedding, it can be used as garden compost
  • It composts quickly
  • It is great for insulation
  • It is lightweight as compared to sand
  • Flock Fresh (a combination of chopped straw, chopped alfalfa and zeolite) is ideal for using the deep litter method in chicken coops

Straw is great for absorption, which is essential because moisture pooling on bedding can cause it to get soaking wet. Though straw doesn’t release moisture well, adding zeolite can help reduce ammonia. Zeolite absorbs moisture like a sponge while neutralizing odors by arresting harmful ammonia gas molecules like a magnet.

Additionally, straw can be used as compostable food packaging and will biodegrade in a commercial composting environment. So why not use straw for everything? If you aren't already, now is the time! Check out the Standlee Store Locator to get some straw now and stay tuned for more blog posts with additional straw uses.

Landscaping note – Barley or wheat seeds may be present and may germinate if used in gardens or for erosion control.



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