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Peat moss and Coconut fiber comparison. Options
Durgan
#1 Posted : Wednesday, November 18, 2009 5:18:09 AM
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Posts: 134,494

Peat moss and Coconut fiber comparison.

http://www.durgan.org/URL/?BRTHJ 8 September 2009 Peat moss and Coconut fiber comparison.

Using my home potting mix and planting seed, it was found that wetting of peat moss in the mixture is often incomplete. I attribute this to the dust-like structure of the peat moss. The water makes the small peat particles float and wetting throughout the pot was often marginal. For the last two year coconut fiber has been used in place of peat moss to eliminate the problem.

Peat moss is environmentally unfriendly. Coconut fiber is a renewable resource.

Coconut fiber has structure and absorbs water readily. I suspect when peat moss is mixed with potting soil that many of the dust like particles do not absorb water. Often the water simply makes the small seeds float to the top along with unwetted peat moss. This is most annoying when planting seeds in small pots. My opinion is that coconut fiber is superior to peat moss for most applications.
Frosty
#2 Posted : Wednesday, November 18, 2009 5:18:09 AM
Rank: Guest

Posts: 134,494

Somehow I missed this post... probably because I was getting the fall work done in the garden.  I would like to add a few things here.  Coconut fiber (coir) is also PH neutral, and reportedly has anti-fungal properties.  It doesn't break down and disappear like peat does either, so in my opinion would make a better soil additive than peat.  I have used pots made from peat moss, and I have used pots made from coir.  The roots in the peat pots never grew through the pots, they just circled and the plants were root bound.  Even after being buried in the garden all summer.  The roots in the coir pots grew through, and the plants looked far superior.  This was a side by side test, same variety planted at the same time.  Last spring my seed starting mix was coir with worm castings added.  The plants did great! 

One word of caution... make sure that the coir you get is for plants.  Some of it has a very high sodium content (I believe from the water it was washed with).  I am happy to see this topic posted, it's a subject that I feel very strongly about.

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