Peat moss and Coconut fiber comparison.

Discussion in 'Soils, Fertilizers and Composting' started by Durgan, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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    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.
     
  2. GinnyNinja

    GinnyNinja Member

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    Well, you're supposed to moisten peat moss ahead of time, then you won't have those problems. But as a virtually un-renewable resource, it's really not an environmentally conscientious amendment to soil or mixes anyway!
     
  3. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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    It must be fun stuffing a 2.2 cubic foot bag of peat moss into a 45 gallon drum to get wet. Get real.

    I suspect most people throw the dry peat moss into the garden mix, and suffer the consequences. I have seen people, myself included, put dry peat moss in a garden bed. I suppose the same not wetting probably occurs in this type of application.

    I dislike the fine dust-like structure of peat moss, dry or saturated. Peat moss use to have a sort of stringy structure with larger particles, not dust-like at all.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2009
  4. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I really do not know about the type of peat moss sold in Canada, but much of the peat moss sold in the United States contains a pre-added wetting agent that works wonderfully. There is no problem at all with wetting the peat moss, in fact it is quite easy. Further, if one purchases the professional greenhouse grade of peat moss, it comes with both the wetting agent and perlite premixed - ready to use. I personally do not think of peat moss as being environmentally unfriendly. Nature has made the product and we might as well use it. If it runs out someday it runs out, and the world will go right on in great condition. I do not use much coir, much but I do use a lot of Coconut Husk Chips (CHC) 1/4", 1/2" and 1", as part of a growth medium mixture for containerized plants. CHC has the perfect pH of 6.5, and the chips hold up to 7 times their weight in water, while still providing good root zone porosity, works great for container trees. - Millet (1,226-)
     
  5. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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    The cheap Sphagnum moss must be sold in Canada. I have never had a bag of peat moss that would wet. The producers of most anything stick professional on their product, and this just means the same product but a higher price.

    Of course, in Canada, one can hardly find an urban gardener so probably the market for the garden products is relatively small.
     
  6. pierremiark

    pierremiark Member

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    Before saying that peat moss is environmentally unfriendly and that Coco fiber is, just take a second to think about all the water that is wasted to clean the coco fiber and reduce its salt level so that it can be used for gardening. Moreover, coco fiber comes from half way across the world ... it is not teleported to America ... it is transported on boats that produce alot of greenhouse gases.

    Plus, now days, exploited peat bogs are restored : http://www.peatmoss.com/pm-back.php
     
  7. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    pierremiark, what you say about the amount of water, and the transportation required for delivery before coco peat (coir), or chips, can be used is certainly true. I certainly don't mean to be rude, but personally I just plain don't care? I'll let the enviros, who have nothing better to do, worry about that. I could not care less how much water is used, or how far it is shipped. It gives a lot of people in the shipping business a job, oil drillers a job, refinery workers a job, and on and on and on. In fact, I am sick and tired of having "green" constantly crammed down my throat. The amount of water that was on this earth 100,000 year ago, is exactly, drop for drop, the exact same amount of water that exists on earth today - no more or no less. After all, it is a closed system? - Millet (1,225-)
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2009
  8. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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    Well stated. Trade drives the economic engine, anad if the products presented are not economically sound they disappear.
     
  9. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    Durgan,

    Millet's comment "i could care less" is hardly "well stated". It is anachronistic and ignorant."I could care less" is the voice of unbreathable air and rampant obesity.

    By "economically sound" products earning viability in the marketplace you mean viagra, coke, mcdonalds etc? Greed and manipulation are easily as powerful as innovation and fair trade as forces driving the "economic engine".

    Millet states there is the same quantity of water as in the time of creation. I didn't expect such a feeble minded anti-green rationale from Millet.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2009
  10. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I love Mc Donald's, Viagra, Coke, Pepsi, Monsanto, Corporations, peat moss, oil, power lawn mowers, farming, and Corvettes. I don't mind purchasing quality products, no matter how far they must travel to reach the store, or how much energy it took to make them, they make life easier, and create jobs for human beings.. I think they should drill Alaska oil in Anwar. I think organic gardening is great, indeed wonderful, for people who wish to garden organic. I think chemical gardening is also great, indeed wonderful, for people who do not wish to garden organic (the majority by a extremely huge margin). I like organic foods, but I think they are WAY over priced in the super markets, so I never ever purchase them. I believe in leaving other people alone, and let them live their lives as they wish. I'm sick and tired of the wacko enviros and their constantly sticking their noses in other people business. I'm tired of the word "Green", If others don't agree with me that also fine, I really don't care, they are certainly free to live life they way they desire. I won't force them to change. Have a wonderful day, no matter what, the sun will come up in the east tomorrow. - Millet (1,224-)
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2009
  11. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

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    This thread is probably not about the "Green Machine". This issue of peat moss is like abortion has been fought out on many posts in the past and will continue to be debated.

    That said!
    Green is a pipe dream, given the current crop of fat and well fed people, who have no idea of what living green really means. The least inconvenience or deprivation and they squeal like a stuck pig.
     
  12. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    "The least inconvenience or deprivation and they squeal like a stuck pig. " Brilliant and absolutely true. Paradoxical since deprivation clears the way for true enjoyment.

    Millet the problem with anything goes is that everything is connected.
     
  13. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Dear Poetry to Burn, it might be connected, but the world has survived for billions of years, and will continue for the next billion years. You can live your life as you please, even without my permission. HINT: move west to where the air is clean, and the land is empty of hundreds and hundreds of miles in every direction. I can see Pikes Peak from my farm, and it is 110 miles away. Get out of Filthydelphia, and you will have a much brighter out look on life. Take care, wishing you the best. Lastly, in all of my years on this earth I have never ever heard an actual human being sequel like a stuck pig when they were inconvenienced. Groan maybe, but not sequel. - Millet (1,234-)
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2009
  14. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    Millet,

    I understand Denver is a lovely city you have the mountains the fresh air and the Columbine massacre. In Philly we have plenty of things to treasure too eg history, cuisine, diversity, the family africa the world champion Phildelphia Phillies etc.

    I was thinking that your comments like "i just don't care" and love of "mcdonalds, monsanto, coke" and "I'm sick and tired of the wacko enviros... I'm tired of the word "Green" " suggest a dismal, defeated and miserable "outlook on life".
     
  15. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    The best. - Millet (1,224- days to go)
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2009
  16. GinnyNinja

    GinnyNinja Member

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    While YOU may not find it a problem to use up resources to the very end, it is an attitude that is no longer acceptable. To use up all of a plant species, let alone an animal, is irresponsible. Perhaps you were unaware, but peat moss replenishes at only 1 mm/year. Also, the peat you use in the US comes from Canada - no wonder you're not concerned! It's not your country's resources being used up! Perhaps the shift to sustainable gardening practices haven't reached your neck of the woods. Give it a try! You might actually like it! To say 'nature has made the product and we might as well use it' could be applied to many things. It is flippant and short-sighted! Sorry to be harsh, but I've given this several days of thought and I am just so disappointed to still read comments like this one.

     
  17. GinnyNinja

    GinnyNinja Member

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    The sad thing about all of this, is that Denver needs people to help KEEP it beautiful. You actually have to garden smarter in Philly. Humans have been using and depleting the earth there longer, and there are more people to share the resources among.

    People don't realize what they have till it's gone. Hopefully before that happens, they won't use it up and do whatever they please. I'm not saying drop everything and be "green" about every little thing. But cheap and easy is the lazy-man's way to do things, and as the US economy has shown us, cheap and easy doesn't always work in the long run. The West will not be beautiful and clean forever if the 'use it up for your yourself' attitude prevails. I do not consider myself a 'green' horticulturalist. I consider myself a thoughtful human, who knows that the shortcuts (often with chemicals - though not always) can bring long-term issues. It's too bad that we can't all learn from each other and the practices, rather than jumping an ANY of the bandwagons. Don't get snagged by this on-line Disposable Gardener who is provoking you. Good Luck Poetry to Burn - may your garden thrive.

     
  18. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Ginny, as far as using Canadian peat moss is concerned, I think you are criticizing the wrong group. Americans are only one country, of many countries, that are the buyers of Canadian peat. You must know it is the Canadians that dig it up, it is the Canadians that package it, it is the Canadians that advertise it in horticultural and gardening magazines, it is the Canadians that promote it at trade shows, it is the Canadians that work hard at developing distributorship's to market their product, it is the Canadians that ship it to the USA and MANY other countries, IN HOPES THAT THEY SELL IT,so the Canadian peat companies can earn a living for themselves, and the families of their Canadian employees. There is no doubt that I, and many many millions of other buyers, certainly will keep on purchasing peat moss as long as it is available. You don't really think the Canadians peat companies are going to stop promoting their business as hard as they possibly can any time in the near future do you? My bet is that the Canadian peat companies will be marketing their product for a LONG TIME to come? Ginny, you have every right to express you opinion on the matter, but it should be to the Canadian companies. Any way this whole thread is getting beat to death. I'm out. Take care. - Millet (1,223- days to go)
     
  19. GinnyNinja

    GinnyNinja Member

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    What can I say? That was a great point! :)


     
  20. rollins

    rollins Member

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    Actually, some of the biggest peat producers in Canada are American owned. Sun Gro and Fafard are 2 of them.
     

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