EZ Straw: Is This TikTok-Approved Product Worth Using In The Garden?

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Calling all gardeners (especially those without a green thumb), we've got something just for you! Everyone knows saving on your water bill can be tricky when you have a collection of plant babies, both inside and out. And let's be honest, you shouldn't have to choose between saving money and having healthy plants. With this TikTok trend, you might not have to.

Gardening mentor and TikTok creator @2quacks5clucksfarm recommended EZ straw in a popular video to help gardeners protect their plant babies. Known as an organic mulch that keeps your soil cool and helps retain moisture, EZ straw may be the saving grace for those struggling with their gardens. The product is accessible for everyone, including anyone with raised beds to container jars of new plant babies.

Of course, all hacks have their pros and cons. Before you buy EZ-straw (aka strawbale) for your at-home garden, consider if it will be the most beneficial for you. First, know your climate and weather conditions. Owen Geiger, former director of Builders Without Borders and current director of the Geiger Research Institute of Sustainable Building, found that climate is the most important aspect to consider during this phase of your garden. "Strawbale will work in tropical climates, but it's not as effective/practical as in hot and dry, or cold climates," he told Green Home Building in a recent article. 

Once you're sure EZ-straw is an option for your garden, lay out the pros and cons to decide if this mulch alternative is for you.

First of, what is mulching?

Before you're convinced to buy EZ-straw, know what the mulching process is — and what it does for your plants. Mulch is a combination of natural nutrients like grass cuttings and leaves that help invigorate soil with nutrients to aid plant growth.

The University of Georgia Extension notes mulching is the most rewarding act for plants. As a natural barrier between plant and soil, mulch prevents any type of plant from the rotting. The article states that gardens filled with peppers, tomatoes, squash, and eggplant are increasingly successful at the end of harvest seasons with mulch involved in their growing process. Even if you're not growing vegetables, mulch can protect from heat, while maintaining moisture a bit longer than usual.

So what are the pros and cons of EZ-straw, specifically? Strawbale is great for going up against soil-borne diseases like root rot. The inexpensive product is less pricey than wood chips and provides an organic compost that aids the soil for future harvests. It's important to have a uniform shape and size when you buy bales in multiples. With smaller gardens, it's likely the EZ-straw can get tangled and matted. Though EZ-straw is mainly used in new lawns that take up a large space, adding the strawbale to a garden after harvesting season may prove to be more effective than adding at random. It's also not very aesthetically pleasing for houseplants, so keep that in mind.

Should you purchase EZ-Straw for your garden?

Overall, there are endless alternatives for EZ straw that can be beneficial for your indoor or outdoor garden conservation. More affordable options like wood chips or leaves from nearby trees may be a more attractive option for you, but it's important to note your location, type of garden, and type of plants you intend to grow before making a decision. One Amazon reviewer mentions that the product is, in their words, "much better than regular straw or 'mulch hay' for covering newly seeded lawns and wildflower patches. It's easy to use and stays put, even on moderate slopes."

Whether inside or out, the same pesky critters and rotting complications can happen. If you're wanting to decorate your home with healthy houseplants, EZ straw can be replaced with decorative stones or coverings for aesthetic and drainage purposes. If you're wanting to mulch your indoor plants specifically for growth, using EZ-straw will be ideal if you have lots of direct lighting that might not be the most inviting for houseplants that prefer indirect lighting. Considering there aren't any natural trees that thrive inside of your home, finding a strong mulch is key.

Whether or not you decide to make the switch (or start your garden off with EZ straw), know that this is a choice you can always adjust for the next growing season. There's no such thing as a perfect garden, so there's no such thing as the perfect mulch either.