A hot debate amongst gardeners, let us lay out the pros and cons so you can make your own decision as to what’s best suited to you.
■ What’s the difference?
For this we will discuss peat, as throughout our industry peat is the main ingredient in most soils sold.
Peat (peat moss) is formed in bogs, a shallow wet basin with an acidic environment and low oxygen. Peat is the result of the incomplete decomposition of the remains of plants decomposing in these conditions.
Great for beginners
Great for organic growers.
Soil is the easiest substrate to grow in as the soil naturally has an NPK profile
As the most forgiving medium to grow in soil provides a slight buffer against mistakes, with nutrients already in the soil, and the ability to partially regulate pH by itself, it contains microbes and natural organic matter that aid in growing and nutrient uptake
Retains nutrient levels in comparison to coco
Provides less air to the root zone
May contain pest, and provides pests an environment to live
Heavier than other grow mediums, so more difficult to move
— Coco Coir
Made out of coconut husks, and is often a by product left over during the manufacturing process of coconuts. The husk is separated from the coconut, and then either bagged as a mix, or pressed into blocks. Its worth nothing that due to the location of where most coconuts grow, its important to buy pre washed coco due to salt build up.
Light and airy
Provides more air to the root zone, which can lead to larger yields
Suitable for all types of plants
Works with drip systems and hand watering
Great for beginners through to intermediate growers
Greater control as has no nutrient value, so all the plant gets is what you give it. This also means there is little to no beneficial microbes associated with the breakdown of natural matter (which feeds the plant when growing organically).
Slightly reduced risk of pests
Light and easier to move
Reduced availability of Calcium and magnesium
No nutrient buffer for underfeeding and mistakes
When should you use Soil?
Soil is perfect for most plants and is easy to use. It offers help when needed.
Use soil if you can’t commit to regular feeding, or want to spend less time taking care of the plants, with its natural nutrient value, small mistakes can be made with less of an effect to the plant. This also makes it perfect for novice growers. Be wary of overwatering though as soil holds water for longer.
If you are looking to grow organically, soil is the option for you.
If you get a soil with perlite, you gain some of the benefits of coco, with better drainage and aeration.
When should you use Coco?
When growing hydroponically, coco is most grower’s medium of choice, many often mix with potting soil for the best of both.
If you are looking for maximum yield in the shortest time, coco has many of the benefits needed to maximise your plants potential.
If you want maximum control, again coco would be your choice of medium.
At Biogreen we have Totall Mix.
Biogreen Totall Mix is composed of the highest quality selected types of peat (white and black peat) and is well suited for all kinds of nutrition.
Due to the high levels of peat and addition of perlite, this soil has a very light structure to ensure optimal development of the root system. The added organic worm humus ensures an active life and an improvement in the water absorption capacity of the soil.