|What is it?||The refined, 1-2 inch thick fibrous layer of a coconut.||Partially decayed plant matter.|
|Cost||Same or less than peat.||Can cost more than coir.|
|Water retention||Absorbs water up to 10 times its dry weight, excellent wetting and re-wetting. [i]||Often retains less water than coir which means more watering is required. [ii]|
|Soil improvement||More aeration and excellent nutrition storage = better plant growth. [iii]||Adds organic matter to your soil. Less aeration for roots due to density.|
|Appearance||Natural earthy brown colour.||Brown, may contain extraneous matter (sticks, seeds).|
|Material||Stain-free, lighter than typical soil-mix, easy to work with.||Gets under your nails and can stain.|
|Weight||Coir is more compact and lightweight â€“ A 3.75 kg (8.25lb.) bag of coir hydrates to the equivalent of a 2.3 cubic foot bale of peat moss.|
|Durability||Only needs replacing every other season.||Most gardeners replace peat moss each season.|
|PH level||PH neutral â€“ perfect for all plants. [iv]||Peat ranges from alkaline to acidic.|
|How is it produced?||Refine the fibrous layer of discarded coconut husks.||Drain a peat bog (a natural ecosystem), dry it out, then use large â€śpeat vacuumsâ€ť to extract the peat moss.|
|Renewability||Healthy coconut trees produce up to 150 nuts per year. [v]||IF peat bogs are successfully restored, it is estimated this will take between 5 and 20 years. [vi]|
|Global warming||Coconut coir is made from agricultural waste and does not contribute to global warming.||Peat bogs, when mined for peat moss, release large amounts of CO2 because bogs are natural carbon sinks.|
|Source||Subsistence farmers in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. We believe in practicing fair trade.||The remaining peatlands cover about 4 million km2. The majority of peatlands are found in northern climates. [vii]|
|The future||Coconut Coir has been used successfully for decades by European growers and is catching on quickly in North America.||The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) in the U.K. has mandated that 90% of its own growing media requirements be peat free by 2010. [viii]|
[i] Eaton, Sullivan 2007. The San Francisco Chronicle. The Dirt: Peat’s environmental uses outweigh garden benefits.
[ii] Alan Meerow.Coir Dust, A Viable Alternative to Peat Moss. University of Florida.
[iii] Davi Richards. Coir is Sustainable Alternative to Peat in the Garden. Oregon State University.
[iv] PH neutral â€“ perfect for all plants (link is no longer active)
[vi]Â IF peat bogs are successfully restored, it is estimated this will take between 5 and 20 yearsÂ (link is no longer active)
[vii] The remaining peatlands cover about 4 million km2. The majority of peatlands are found in northern climatesÂ (link is no longer active)