Peat moss/potting soil question

Discussion in 'Soils, Fertilizers and Composting' started by emilydy, Jun 16, 2007.

  1. emilydy

    emilydy Member

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    Hello everyone,
    I find myself faced with a bit of a dilemma regarding potting soil- I know bits about the controversy surrounding peat moss harvest, enough to make me uncomfortable about buying potting soil as a result. At the same time, I am going to starting some seeds indoors with my campers soon and know that ground soil as is won't work the same. Does anyone have any advice? What can I use to start seeds/as a potting mix (taking into consideration the issue of mining bogs for peat) ?


    Emily
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I've used coir (coconut fibre) composts very successfully for growing seeds. Coir is a fully sustainable product, and also helps third-world farmers by increasing the profitability of coconut orchards. I reckon it is better than peat-based composts too as it drains better, so is less liable to get waterlogged.
     
  3. biggam

    biggam Active Member

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    Coconut coir also doesn't have the rewetting problem of peat moss. I hope you can find it in your locale.
     
  4. growest

    growest Active Member 10 Years

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    Emily--I've also listened to and agreed with both sides of this question, depending on who I last heard speak...no further comment!

    However, I did get a block of coir, also known as coco peat, the other day. And I am really happy with the stuff...stuck it in a wheelbarrow for a few hours with the two buckets of water they claimed would rehydrate it and voila! Gorgeous stuff, just like sphagnum except seems even better (I can squeeze it as hard as I want, and it springs right back and fluffs up with air over and over...lots of water and air at the same time, pretty impressive). Looking forward to making plug mixes out of the stuff and comparing with the old peat based recipes.

    I'm now looking for a cheaper source of larger quantities if anybody in greater Van, BC has run into it...hydroponic stores seem a bit pricey but at least they had some unlike the big box stores I've looked at...
     
  5. globalist1789

    globalist1789 Active Member

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    Another option is using conifer bark based potting mix. In bonsai peat is left out of the mix for other reasons (it is hard to rewet once dry). Chipped bark in bags is easy to find and cheap. Mix it with perlite and you have a soil that will grow most anything, and it lasts for several years before breaking down.
     
  6. Anne58

    Anne58 Active Member

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    I have never used a peat mix for any of my seeds or seedlings! I screen soil from my garden then sterilize it in the oven.

    I make a potting mix I add vermiculite and/or perilite - that keeps the soil from packing down too much. I've never had any problems and the plants are in a similar environment when put out in the garden.

    Anne
     
  7. Dunc

    Dunc Active Member

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    Why not try Pro Mix, it comes in bales and 1/2 bales at most garden centers. That is what we use at the nursery but, we do add some bone meal and water down with Root Booster. Its a great germinating and transfer product and made by several companies. Art and others carry it.
     

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