Peat moss is commercially mined or harvested from peat bogs. But the concern engulfing the farmers’ community is that it’s not sustainable. Though there are several alternatives to peat moss, some, of course, cheaper, and render the intended function of soil amendment better. In practice, the use of peat in horticulture is not commonplace these days.
Peat is extensively used in the improvement of soil, but other materials also do well, for peat has little, if no nutrient value. Spent mushroom compost, wood-waste, Green Kitchen Compost or composted garden, Well Rotted farmyard Manure or leaf mould could play the role as cost-effective and practical soil enrichers.
Peat accounts for a comparatively poor much as it breaks down pretty quickly, and in dry and wind conditions may blow away. There are several other suitable materials that can be utilized for this purpose including Shredding (tree-pruning), Cocoa Shell (a valuable by-product obtained from the chocolate industry), chipped bark, straw, leaf mould or composted garden waste and spent mushroom compost.
Commercial nurseries, for instance, use alternatives such as coir peat or leaf mould compost as they perform better and even outscore Peat moss in certain parameters.
Coming to the question of whether Coco Coir Peat could make a suitable alternative to Peat moss or not, let’s understand first what Coir is. Coir is the fibrous exterior husk of a coconut mainly used for making mats and ropes. The process of fiber stripping involves removal of coir fibers as waste material. Nowadays, it is used as an ideal alternative to Peat moss. Though Sri Lanka and Philippines were the only places in the world where the processing of coir fiber is done, India is fast growing as one of the major producers of Coco Coir Peat for the domestic market.
It is debatable whether or not sphagnum peat moss is a renewable resource. However, the wide selection of alternatives even commercially available in the market place can more than makeup for the depletion of natural ecosystems that offer natural filtration of water, house exotic flora, and fauna and counter global warming for extracting sphagnum peat moss.