Peat moss and coco fiber are both types of soil amendments. They lighten soil and hold moisture improving soil structure.
Peat comes from peat bogs, mainly in Canada, where decomposing sphagnum moss piles on top of itself. This creates the light, soil-like material that can be used agriculturally. Peat is usually mined, and in some case entire acres of land are dug up for agricultural use.
Peat is sourced from decayed sphagnum moss that has been composting for millions of years, which is then mined out. It takes much longer for the moss to come back than humans take from the bogs, making it much less ecological.
Coco is actually a by-product of the coconut industry, making it a renewable resource. Mostly sourced from India and Sri Lanka, coco fibers are the husks of coconuts either decomposed or ground up. The end product is very similar to peat moss, but each has their differences.
- Can hold 10-20x its weight in water, so less likely to overwater
- Lower pH can help acidify soils that are too alkaline
- Contains beneficial microorganisms
- So far non-renewable
- Naturally hydrophobic, if allowed to dry out it will be slow to accept water
- Needs to be kept evenly moist for optimal plant growth and health
- By-product of coconut industry, making it renewable
- Can be fed more since it doesn’t hold water as long as peat
- Better aeration for plants
- Does not contain microorganisms
- High in sodium and potassium which can lead to calcium and magnesium deficiencies.
- High shipping costs from Southeast Asia to America
When it comes to coco and peat, is one really better than the other? Each has their pros and cons, and can be extremely beneficial in certain grow environments. Peat may contain tons of beneficial microorganisms, but it took them millions of years to develop, and resources could be limited. Coco might not be chock-full of life, but it is renewable, and lets you feed your plants more so they can grow bigger.
The best way to figure out which one is truly better is to test it yourself! Plant one seed or clone in coco, and another in peat, then compare your results and let us know which worked best!