Maria Slavik from the gardening blog site Sweet Domesticity, has made the switch to coco coir peat for seed starting. Her original motivation to give it try came through her desire to use a sustainable product. For many years sphagnum peat was the common choice by gardeners and growers as a good seed starting and growing medium. It still is a popular growing media. But, during research on sphagnum peat she became aware of sustainability concerns regarding the horticultural use of peat. Discovering the existence of coir peat, a product with similar characteristics, and abundant renewable quantities, led Maria to experiment with this growing medium.
Like many of you, I’ve been using Sphagnum peat (the decaying remains of Sphagnum moss) for seed starting for many years. Perhaps you are also like me in that I had never really given it a second thought because it is what I grew up with, not to mention it is so commonly used in blend-your-own and prepackaged seed starting mixes. But about a year ago, I started to read up a little more on peat, and discovered that there are some real concerns over the sustainability of horticultural peat use. This set in motion my desire to try coconut coir (the ground hulls of coconuts) as a more sustainable alternative to peat.
Maria takes her readers through the pros and cons of coir vs peat with visually appealing photos of the products and a great narrative. You can read all about it here
One of the “cons” Maria mentions is the difficulty in obtaining coir. FibreDust is trying to change this with retail packaging that encourages an easy pick up for retail customers. Our 5Kg (10lb) blocks come wrapped for individual sale with a convenient carry handle. Each compressed block will re-hydrate to 2.5 CuFt of growing media. Garden centers love this packaging and often display the product with the famous “red wheel barrow” that we use at trade shows.
If you operate a retail garden center, and are curious about offering coir peat, you may find this PDF of coir facts interesting. Please feel free to inquire about ordering on any of our product pages.