To Peat or Not to Peat

I’ve been reading a lot of debates on whether or not it is ethical to use peat pellets for gardening. There is a concern that the over mining of peat is depleting the peat bogs. Unfortunately, I am finding peat pellets everywhere but it’s very difficult to find the more environmentally friendly alternatives. Until recently I was only able to find them online and with shipping costs it made them too expensive. I was so excited to find Growcoir planting medium at our local food co-op. Growcoir consists of coconut coir and is considered a better alternative to peat pellets. Even though most of my garden is planted I couldn’t resist the chance to try these out. I also had a few pellets left so I thought I would do an ongoing comparison.
Week 1

Coconut coir
It comes in a brick size block which is impossible to break off or cut off. I soaked a portion of it in water and then I was able use the small amount I needed. This process was pretty messy and I also needed to find containers to put the medium in. The brick will make 5-7 quarts of growing medium and it cost $2.50. Which makes it more economical than peat pellets.

Peat Pellets: Just soak pellets in water and they expand to full size. It costs $2.00 for 50 individual pellets. Which makes it easier to start using but less economical.

Results: Tied
Peat Pellets: easier to start with and doesn’t require an additional container.

Coconut coir: More cost effective.

I planted scallions and spinach. I’ll keep updating once I see more progress.






4 responses to “To Peat or Not to Peat”

  1. gina Avatar

    I love the coconut pellets!

  2. nkristis Avatar

    I haven’t seen the coconut pellets but I’ll keep my eye out for them next year.

  3. Elizabeth Avatar

    Thanks for posting about this! I’ve been wanting to try an affordable alternative to peat for starting, but had no idea what to expect from the coir.

  4. […] tried a month ago I tried to grow some new seedlings. I started with six seedlings using coconut coir medium and my remaining six jiffy peat pellets. After two weeks only two of the jiffy pellets had developed seedlings while the coconut coir […]

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