Sustainability is part of the discussion. Kindly advise if what I am doing is correct. I got many complaints from customers of their baskets getting root rot over the last 3 years. Can you use coconut coir with peat moss, perlite, or topsoil in a bag. Excellent habitat for microorganisms. [i] Often retains less water than coir which means more watering is required. Effectiveness is another. I’m no professional, so I will let you guys tell me what you think. Black Gold® Organic Peat Moss is an excellent all-purpose potting mix ingredient and soil amendment. Peat moss comes from peat bogs -- swamps or marshes filled with decomposed sphagnum moss. Zach Zezulka gose over compost base potting soil vs Peat Moss / Coco Coir. However, despite reports that coir has a greater water holding capacity, sphagnum peat moss holds 10 to 20 times its weight in water, while coir only holds an average of 8 to 9 times its weight. I recently bought 20 yards of a decent “Garden Mix” (Southern Nurseries ‘Holy Cow’) and they say it has a CEC of 25ish. Usually cheaper than peat moss. I used Coir alone 15 years ago when I first started out, with 90% WOW I LIKE IT. We figured since coco pith is made from the outer husk of coconuts, something that’s otherwise just thrown away, it was the more sustainable than peat moss. It’s been found that the high potassium content of coir can interfere with calcium uptake. On the other hand, coco coir is much less acidic with a pH level of 5.2 to 6.8 This makes coco coir more suitable for most kinds of plants as it is very neutral. Because most plants cannot live in such extremely acidic conditions. The peat is mixed with soil and manure from vermiculture to make a potting mixture. On the same note, Peat is far easier to overwater where Coco is incredibly hard to overwater (assuming you buy a coco brand without much dust/pith and lots of larger particles/fibre) You can use coir just like peat moss. The quality of and amount of contamination in peat varies from one manufacturer and batch to another. What to Consider When Choosing a Pump for Hydroponics System? Coir retains water in the long run better than such growing mediums as perlite and rock wool, which suggests it will retain water longer in the garden as well. Can you use coconut coir as a soil replacement? Coir pH usually runs 6 – 6.7, close to neutral. It’s as good outside as in. Once harvested, it’s not coming back anytime soon. Coir comes from the shell and fibers of coconuts. The pith from which coco coir is made contains high amounts of lignin and cellulose that prevent it from decomposing and shrinking. Once harvested, it’s not coming back anytime soon. Peat moss tends to have a PH of 4 or 5, making it acidic. Made of 100% pure compressed coconut husk fibers, Roots Organics® Coco Peat is a terrific addition to your planting mixes, possessing a near perfect natural pH level of 5.2-6.3 for ideal nutrient plant intake. Available in compressed 5kg blocks — makes around 2 cubic feet or 16 gallons (65-70 liters) of expanded media. Also known as Sphagnum, peat moss is a genus of around 380 separate species of mosses. Types of Coco Peat for Plants. Greener, organic and renewable, coco peat is being … Mostly sourced from India and Sri Lanka, coco fibers are the husks of coconuts either decomposed or ground up. Coir, in its various forms, is the relative newcomer to the garden. The peat bogs grow 70% more peat moss each year than is harvested. Peat moss is extracted from peat bogs that release billions of tons of greenhouse gasses per year, and take 1000’s of years to renew. Coco has a more optimal pH for plant growth 5.5-7 vs Peat's 4.5 Coco drains better and has superior air porosity when compared to Peat. The reason many growers switch to peat moss is due to the neglect by your bigger retail stores having knowledgeable gardeners caring for and taking the time to water the plants they house, especially when some stores don’t pay for their plants until their sold (which I won’t mention any marts). I am following this process for some of my plants where there is excess clay soil. The one drawback that’s difficult to get over is one regarding peat moss and its sustainability. I forgot to add that there are other differences in peat vs. coco besides calcium, PH and salinity. Coir has superior water holding capacity allowing for excellent air space and drainage. Let’s us know here, or over at our Facebook page. Not everyone considers peat unsustainable. It absorbs water well and isn't hydrophilic like peat moss and peat-based mixes. How to use and what you would use them for. Perfect for acid-loving plants like azaleas, rhododendrons, roses and conifers. Easier to rewet than peat moss, is not hydrophobic. Peat moss is quite acidic with a pH level ranging from 3.3 to 4. True mixing peat with clay soil and any organic manure/compost loosens up soil. Sphagnum tends to be acidic and is frequently used in potting of acid-loving ornamentals. Peat moss is the only one of the four additives listed here which is not considered PH neutral. A study (link no longer active) from Utah State University found that in straight hydroponic growing situations (soilless, just peat or coir, both combined with perlite for drainage, and nutrient solution) found “poor plant growth in coir,” a result that’s contradicted by the success of all sorts of indoor growers using coir. Coir and sphagnum peat both take up a lot of water. On the other side, the Oregon State University Extension Service makes a good case, based on sustainability, for using coir instead of peat. Much smaller than peat moss bales, they will expand more than you'd believe when moistened. The end product is very similar to peat moss, but each has their differences. Coir has a pH of 5.8 to 6.8 so limestone is less often required to adjust the acidity. More aeration and … can you use it straight or mixed with your favorite medium? Feb 14, 2011 #8 Wow thanx for the reply. Switching to coco peat. I’ve settled on a 50/50 coco/peat blend with 10% perlite and 15% vermiculite added (similar to Pro Mix). In contrast, peat moss has a finer and stronger texture so it holds water longer. Because to me this is a big concern as I’m just thinking about the draught condition from the latest years that we experimement through some US region. Good humus can be as high as 300 meq/100g. Hydroponics is one thing. Coir can be high in salts. It quotes other studies that examined the effectiveness of sphagnum peat and coir: Researchers at Auburn University and University of Arkansas compared peat and coir as soil amendments for horticulture. A natural, organic soil conditioner! Different reports list coco as having a water capacity ranging from 8x to 30x it's own weight. with very few draw backs. #2 pH Level It must be processed with wetting agents. The peat industry has looked at combining sphagnum with other products in ways that maintain its effectiveness in smaller amounts. Available in liquid and powder forms, mycorrhizae inoculants are effective and easy to use. According to me coconut coir is a misnomer for coconut peat. It holds more water than peat moss, but doesn't hold it as long. What’s been your growing experience with coir? Nobody is suggesting that peat moss is an ineffective medium to aid plant growth – it is favoured by gardeners for a reason. Both, also, have drawbacks. It often comes pressed into bricks, which have to be soaked to break them apart. Adding coir will pretty much keep the pH of the soil you’re adding it to the same. I experienced the same thing in flats and baskets that didn’t sell right away, and sat there, because of the increased humidity inside the greenhouse and outside. Usually cheaper than peat moss. Coco peat is very quick to dry and cannot hold moisture for long. Only deep water culture compares to this method in plant growth vigor. In a well-circulated piece (among peat lovers anyway) that used CSPMA’s figures, Jeff Ball at Garden Rant made a case that peat is renewable: Here are the simple facts: Canada has over 270 million acres of peat bogs which produce peat moss. Free of weed seeds, pests, and pathogens. Absorbs water up to 10 times its dry weight, excellent wetting and re-wetting. Peat moss works to acidify its environment by uptaking cations like magnesium and calcium, and in turn releasing hydrogen ions. Of course, sphagnum makes only part of a complete soil mix, — rarely as much as a third as recommended in Mel Bartholomew’s Square Foot Gardening soil formula — making small increment pH adjustments not so difficult. If you are trying to build a high performance growing media or very fertile soil, then look at the Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) of the individual components you are considering adding. Rick. Some growers recommend washing even brands that are pre-soaked to rid them of salts. The main reason justifying the adoption of coco coir is to be used as an environmentally friendly replacement of peat moss. I use fabric pots (plastic pots require more perlite) in a flood/drain table, cycled 3-4 times per day depending on temp/humidity and plant size. Oftentimes, peat moss is referred to as sphagnum peat moss as much of the decomposed material in a peat bog comes from sphagnum moss which commonly grows on the top of the bog. Grown in ocean climates, it often picks up additional salts after harvest. [ii] Soil improvement. Soak compressed bale in water to expand. Nature’s perfect growing media! Planet Natural offers the organic amendments that your plants need to thrive. Both help break up heavy, clay soils and improve water retention in sandy soils. Peat moss holds 10 to 20 times its dry weight in water, while Coir holds 8 to 9 times its dry weight in water. Peat bogs are living entities. [email protected] Active Member. Do you guys know how much water it takes to remove salt from the coconut coir (2 or 3 wash I was told)? With that data I consider peat definitely a renewable resource. If you do the math that comes to one of every 6,000 acres of peat moss is harvested each year. Coconut coir generally comes in compressed blocks or bricks. While we suggest a little care before it’s used and certain supplementation to boost calcium levels, if necessary, we don’t think, as the study recommends, the differences it discovered between peat and coir suggest coir be used “in great caution.” Here great caution seems to mean without amendment or supplementation. IMHO, both products are sustainable. Coco Peat is a sustainable, renewable resource that is revolutionizing agriculture around the globe. Peat moss tends to shed water when first wetted, and coconut coir adjusts to water more easily than peat moss. While coco coir generally retains more water, peat moss releases that moisture more slowly. Here we get two products; ie fibre and peat. Peat moss affects climate change and resources the most. Slight adjustments might be required. If you think of the coconut meat as the main crop of the coconut palm, then coir is a left-over leftover. Coco is somewhere around 50-80 meq. In addition, coco peat is not spoiled after use – it’s possible to wash and reuse coco peat once a gardening project has come to an end and the soil is no longer needed. Truth is both are great additions to garden soil. Sphagnum moss and sphagnum peat moss, however, are two distinctly different materials. Coir affects human health and ecosystem quality more than peat. Peat moss is harvested from bogs that have taken hundreds, if not thousands of years to form as dead plant material piled on dead plant material. The Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association, in it’s “Industry Social Responsibility Report” from 2014 makes an argument that peat is a resource they’re protecting. Pros. Both encourage natural beneficial microbial populations. The brands we feature are the finest available. I add around 1/3 perlite in my mix for areation. It drains well but still retains moisture for the plants. Some brands are not only washed but composted, making for more balanced mineral delivery. Cation Exchange Capacity of 40-60. Sphagnum peat moss is found in better brands of potting soil. It is very decomposed organic matter that has collected in ecological and geological deposits over many earth ages. Sorry I was trying to remember where I saw it, but somewhere online there is a big thread discussing coco vs peat moss and lots of good info, I suggest you gooogle coco vs peat moss and look around. In a comparison of coco peat vs. soil, the peat retains much more water and releases it slowly to plant roots. Peat Moss is a material harvested from peat bogs far far away. It begins its life as sphagnum moss. Water retention. We also think the stringy composition of the mix allows better airflow to the microgreen roots. Indoor coir growers have long recycled their much-used hydroponic coir into their outdoor vegetable gardens and compost piles. Shop our large selection of hydroponic mixes and choose what’s best for your needs. One 5-kilo bale makes up to 16 gallons. 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