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I have changed to the eco friendly coir but my seeds are taking an age to germinate if they germinate at all

Has any else suffered this or just me.

Do'nt want to go back to peat


  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190

    Unfortunately plants grow best in a bit of peat.

    I read somewhere that gardeners are not responsible for the bulk of the peat use.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Theres plenty of different peat free composts around. Gro-Sure do a peat free MPC which is fine enough for seedlings. Mix it 3:1 with grit and it's good to go.


    It's worth bearing in mind that coir will work, but you need to use it in containers that can be watered below, as repeated watering on the surface can compact it to a dense layer, not ideal for germinating seeds.

  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,995

    Interesting study: 

    There are some great pictures part way down the study.

    "Their data indicate that high concentrations of phenolic compounds in fresh coir are at least partly responsible for the growth reductions observed in other studies." 

    "Several studies at the USU Crop Physiology Laboratory indicated that monocots grown in coconut coir were extremely chlorotic and stunted."

    I've recommended coir to several people on this forum who wanted to go peat free, without doing background research myself.. just going off what I've read in my various organic magazines and websites.  

    Utah, USA.
  • OneofsevenOneofseven Posts: 338

    Wow!   You look at those pictures, and you will never use coir as a seedling growing medium.

  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,995

    I certainly won't be recommending it to anyone.  I'm rather alarmed my organic magazine carries on and on about it, with step by step images and directions to make your own peat-free compost.  

    I understand the peat debate (although there are so many contradictory facts, ie. peat in Canada is being replaced at 70%, while they are harvesting at a lower rate.. so the peat is actually increasing.. but the other side of that is the quality of the peat is lower as it's semi-manufactured instead of grown completely naturally, therefore not locking away CO2 at the same rate).  Surely there is something better than coconut coir to use though? 

    Utah, USA.
  • this is the first time ive used coir, it was cheap, eco friendly, easy to store as it comes in compressed blocks, but some seeds just dont germinate

    the worst was french beans which actually rotted in coir. dont know whether to try mixes or just give up

  • The info from blue onion is frightening, as i dont know country of origin of the coir

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