In our first installment of “Start Growing In A Small Urban Space” we outlined the use of living walls for indoor gardening which create beautiful living art. In part two we will be showing you how to use straw as a grow medium in container gardening.
Straw As A Grow Medium
Growing vegetables in straw bales has become a trendy look as of late but typically for outdoor gardening and as part of the landscape. Besides its aesthetic properties, straw bales allow the grower to plant a variety of vegetables or herbs in one bed. Straw bale gardening is also a great way to conserve water because if properly conditioned straw will hold water longer.
If you are an apartment dweller you probably don’t have space for an entire straw bale. The good news is, you can still use straw as a grow medium in an indoor container.
Using Straw In A Container
With harvest season upon us, you can add a nice fall touch to your indoor garden using straw as a medium in container gardening. Straw is a convenient grow medium which allows for excellent drainage. Be sure that whatever container you decide to use indoors that you have the appropriate saucer to place underneath. This will prevent mess in your home as well as pests.
It is recommend to condition the straw before you plant anything in the container. Soak the straw in water to prepare it for optimal retention. Once it has been soaked, it can be air dried until just damp. Take your favorite organic liquid fertilizer and spray the straw before putting it in the container. Once you have placed the straw in the container you can put a small amount of composting soil in the center. Now the groundwork has been laid to begin planting. After planting, be sure to water as necessary and keep an eye on the drainage. By feeling the straw you will be able to tell how often you need to water the plant. Never let the straw dry out. Continue to use the fertilizer as recommended. You will likely have to replace the straw each season.
From SmilingGardener.com, here are some suggestions for organic liquid fertilizers to give your plants the nutrients they need:
You can also make your own liquid fertilizer. Here is a cool recipe from Life On The Balcony.
Photo Credit: Berries Growing in Straw, BonniePlants.com, September 19, 2013
If you missed part one of Start Growing In A Small Urban Space, click here to learn about Living Walls for your home.