Peat has long been a popular choice in horticulture due to its ability to retain water and nutrients, making it an ideal growing medium for plant growth. However, its extensive extraction and use have raised environmental concerns, prompting the search for sustainable alternatives.
In recent years, there has been an adoption of peat-reduced growing media mixes. However, UK organization Defra pushed harder and commissioned a consultation phase that originally indicated the use of peat would be banned completely by 2030. This has since been brought forward, and current legislation states that the use of peat for retail use will be banned in 2024, and peat used for the professional market will be banned by 2026. There are some exemptions; for example, specialized areas will have access to peat products until 2030.
To address these issues, the horticultural industry has been exploring a range of alternatives to peat, for example, coir, a byproduct of coconut processing. Coir has emerged as a well-liked substitute, increasingly favored due to its lightweight nature and effective water retention capabilities. Nonetheless, coir presents its own set of obstacles, particularly in convincing environmentally conscious individuals.
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