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What organic alternatives to peat moss are available?

As far as growing mediums go, peat moss (aka sphagnum moss) is expensive and extremely harmful to the environment. It can take centuries to replenish itself in nature, which means the rate of replacement is not balanced with the rate at which it is being commercially harvested.

Ecologically minded gardeners and horticulturists alike are keen to find effective, organic alternatives to peat moss. Below, we take a look at some of the choices available to mix with your soil which will help you avoid the use of unsustainable growing materials in the garden.

Leaves or compost manure instead of peat moss

Two popular organic choices are leaves or manure compost, which have been aerobically decomposed. In order to be most effective, compost needs to be at least one or two months into its development and should be tilled down to around one to two feet in depth.

Bark or pine sawdust

Another good organic alternative, bark or pine sawdust can be tilled into the soil to a depth of around 24 inches. You’ll need to get the pH level right for whichever type of plant you’re intending to grow in your soil/sawdust/bark mixture, which you can check with a pH testing kit. If you find it’s too alkaline or acidic, you can add an agent to your soil mix which addresses the imbalance.

Coconut coir: the ideal organic peat moss alternative

Perhaps the most versatile of all the organic growing mediums available is coco coir, also known as coco or coco peat. A natural waste product of the coconut-growing industry, coco coir is also an excellent gardening material with superb water-retaining capability.

 

Despite being cheaper than sphagnum peat moss, high-quality coco peat is a better growing medium. Its typical pH level is 6.0, which puts it within the ideal growing range of 5.5 to 7. Peat moss, on the other hand, has a pH of around 4.5, meaning it’s slightly acidic.

Coco coir can also be easily recycled for use in a new gardening project, reducing the need to dispose of the product and create an environmental hazard.

close up view of moss

Coco coir: the beginning of an organic horticulture revolution

At Coco & Coir, we are on a mission to reduce the widespread use of peat moss in gardening across the UK. The creation of peat moss causes lasting damage to the environment, whereas every one of our products is created using only sustainable farming and crafting methods.

If you would like to discover more, please head over to our website. Alternatively, if you need guidance or advice on using our high-quality coco peat briquettes, call us on 0207 1756786 for a chat with our friendly, knowledgeable team.

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