” For peat sake choose another compost ”

Have you  ever been confused on what to buy now since the Department of Environment  Food & Rural  Affairs ie DEFRA along with the Royal Horticultural society  are  calling  out  to  us  gardeners  &  Horticulturist

For  Peat sake Choose  another  compost

Well  I’m  here  to  ease  your  worries  as  I  have  done  extensively  researched  each  product  old  and  new. &  what  i   found  is  that  are  at  least  3  known  growing  mediums  available  on  the  market today .

So what  are they?

Well  lets  start  of  with  one  that  you  know  most  about .And  That  is

Public display by members of a cooperative mak...

 

 

Coir

 What is Coir

Coir or  coco peat  is  a  fibrous  material  found  between the  hard shell  and  the  outer coat  of  the  coconut.

And depending  on  the  uses whether it used  for  upholstery or  Horticulture –  the  brown  fibre from  the  ripe  shell  of  coconut  to the  white  fibre  of  the   unripe  shell – for  brushes  ect. Comes  into  two  shape &  forms

raw  coco peat  fibers

raw coco peat fibers

Lets  deal  with  the  Horticultural  and  Environmental   side  of  coir . As   we  are  looking  into  it the  alternatives  of  Peat.

From what I  managed to  source   about coir fibre products is  that  they  come  in  very  shape  and  forms for  example  Coir  logs  Coir  Blankets  for  environmental  problems  like  landslides to biodegradable coir  pots.

Lets  start  with  the ones  we  know  about  first  :-

Pure Coconut Coir

As  I  mentioned  before  the   other alternative  to  peat   which  the  RHS  is  pushing  is  the  use  of  Coco  peat  compost . Made  out  of    brown  coir fibre  found  ” between the  hard shell  and  the  outer coat  of  the  coconut.”

What are its  advantages

  1. Because  its  very  fibrous  its  an  ideal  growing  medium  to  grow  young  seedling   or  mature  plants  as it  promote  good  active  root  growth.
  2. It is  also  a  very  sterile  medium  too  hence  its  use  as disc  and  brushes –  this  means  no  fungi  spores  can  thrive  on  it  and   it  repels diseases
  3. Cause  of  this the  Horticultural  disc  are  ideal  for  mulching around  young  plants .
  4. It  is  very  light  to  carry  as  it    either  comes  in  blocks  which  you  have  to  soak  over  night   if  you  want  to  use  the  next day or  the  loose  form
  5. It is  said  to  repel  slugs  –  this  is  because  of  its  bristly  nature   that  they  don’t  like
  6. Coir  biodegrades  easily

What are  the  Disadvantages 

here are  a  few  disadvantages  that  I  know  by  experience  as  horticulturist   that  because  all coir   fibre products

  1. Is  the  cost  all Horticultural  Coir fibre products esp  Coco peat  are   made  over  seas  the  products  tend  to be  very  higher  than   the  other  compost  on  the  Market.
  2. Although  saying  that  after  the  out  cry  a  few  years  back  about  the  same  thing   Many  top  end  names  have   switched  there  peat  to  coco  peat.And  maybe  now  the  price  has  dropped  to  encourage  buyers   to  switch
  3. Coco peat   tends  to  be  alkaline   –  so  try  and  avoid  putting  it  around   acid  loving  plants
  4. As  I  said  before  coco  peat  blocks  needs  to  pre-soaked  over night  to  allow  you  to  use  it  –  a  bit  of  inconvenience  better  prepare  them before

Other  Coconut Coir  fibre  products  are ;-

Coir Pots

biodegradable_pots_pic9

Advantages  of  Coir  Pots

  • These  biodegradable  Coir  Pots  are  ideal  because  of  the  nature  of  the  coir  fibre  products it  allows  the  young  white  tap  roots  to   grow  though    fibre as  you  can  see  from  this  picture
  • This  means  that  plants  can  be  transplanted  straight  outside  or  re-potted  without  putting  the  plant  under  too  much  stress

Disadvantage  of Coir  Pots

From  My  experience  in working  in  my  clients  greenhouse  is  that  :-

  • Coco  peat  is  very  free  draining
  •  Thus    watering  has  to  monitored   carefully    other  wise  the  plants  will  just  wither  &  die  in the  Coir  pots

This  can  be  counter measured  if  the    coir  is  treated  before  hand

  •  And  since  these  are  biodegradable coir  pots  –  be careful  not  to  over water  as  well  as  the  pots  will  disintegrate

These  are  used   as  another  alternative  to  mulching  around  young  plants  especially  Tomatoes  where  it  avoid  splash  back  from  the  soil  where  the  pathogens  live and  gives  the  plant  a  chance   to  grow  .

Made  from  woven  coir  fibre in  a  circular  form  these  can  be  used  in  conjunction  of  these  biodegradable  coir  pots

The  only  disadvantages  is  that you  still  have  to  clear  the  leaf  litter  from  it  for  it  to  have  an  effect  an  example  of  Cocopeat Ring  mats  can  be  seen  below

Coir  Erosion control  products

There  are  two   Erosion    products  that  I  know  off  :-

  • (1)  Coir  logs.

coirlog

Coir logs, silt checks, dewatering bags and silt fencing. This combination of both synthetic and natural fiber materials helps to address runoff requirements around construction sites, storm drains, streams and inlets

Coir  logs  are biodegradable coconut coir  pith  measuring 1 – 6 metres in  length and  10  –  0 60 Metres  in  length These are  tightly packed in  a  tubular  coir fibre netting  made  from  coir  twine

It’s a  very  efficient  way  of  reducing  water velocity at  the  base  of  slopes ,shoreline & stream  banks.

Coir  Blankets are a biodegradable product designed for long-term erosion control in steep areas and demanding areas . Products are made from several all-natural materials to create erosion control that is effective and biodegradable .

Erosion blanket installation

Erosion blanket installation (Photo credit: Sound Native Plants)

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2 thoughts on “” For peat sake choose another compost ”

  1. Pingback: Are the RHS and Defra BARKING up the wrong tree | RS Garden Care Services

  2. Pingback: The 6 main pest and diseases of rose & how to treat them. | RS Garden Care Services

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