Garden Myths - Learn the truth about gardening

The following articles were authored by Robert Pavlis

Is Coir an Eco-friendly Substitute for Peat Moss?

In the search for a peat moss alternative, coir is the one that is most often discussed. Coir is made from the outer husk of coconuts and is a waste product from the coconut industry. Environmentalists are quick to point out that “since it is a waste product it’s use is more environmentally friendly than using peat moss.” How can such common sense logic be wrong?

Shipping coconut husks to a coir processing plant in Vietnam

Shipping coconut husks to a coir processing plant in Vietnam

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Peat and Peat Moss Alternatives

The horticulture industry is being blamed for depleting peat reserves and environmentalists are calling for a stop on using peat for growing plants. What are the peat moss alternatives? Is there a suitable substitute?

The horticulture industry would have no problems switching to another product instead of peat. After all, most gardeners are quite aware of the importance of preserving our environment. In this post, I will look at several peat moss alternatives to see if there is a viable option.

Peat and peat moss alternatives

Closeup of growing peat moss

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Peat and Peat Moss – The True Story

There is a lot of talk these days about the environmental impact of using peat and peat moss in horticulture. We are told to stop using it so that we can preserve the peatlands. This sounds like the responsible thing to do but is this really a problem?

Are we running of peat? Reports seem to indicate that Europe has used up all of theirs and now Canada is starting to do the same. Is horticulture really responsible for the loss of bogs and wetlands?

If we don’t use peat or peat moss, what alternatives are there? Coir gets mentioned a lot but is it a suitable substitute? Is it a better choice, environmentally?

I have been following this story for some time, and I believe that much of the information is misunderstood. There are too many myths and it is time to try and sort things out. It’s a complex topic that will require several posts to tell The True Story About Peat.

86% of global peatlands remain undisturbed. This chart shows how the remaining 14% has been used.

86% of global peatlands remain undisturbed. This chart shows how the remaining 14% has been used.

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Rhubarb Myths

Rhubarb is a great vegetable that is one of the easiest things to grow. I deadhead the flower stem, mulch with wood chips and that is the only care the plant has gotten in 10 years. It produces every year. But gardeners need to make things more complicated and numerous rhubarb myths have developed.

Forced rhubarb is especially sweet - is this a rhubarb myth?

Forced rhubarb is especially sweet – is this a rhubarb myth?

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Will Oxalic Acid in Rhubarb Leaves Harm You?

Rhubarb is a favorite vegetable of gardeners in temperate climates since it is so easy to grow. We eat the stems, and know that you should never eat the leaves since they are poisonous due to high levels of oxalic acid.

I’ve known this fact since I was a kid so you can imagine my surprise when I learned a few weeks ago that this is all a big myth. Lets dig into the truth.

Will the Oxalic Acid in Rhubarb Leaves Harm You?

Will the Oxalic Acid in Rhubarb Leaves Harm You?

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