Here’s another lawsuit targeting an alternative to an established garden product, in this case peat moss. The Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association, Premier Horticulture, Inc. and Sun Gro Horticulture Distribution have filed a complaint against Organix, Inc. for its “RePeat” brand soil amendment. According to the Organix website, RePeat, developed as a renewable replacement for peat moss, is manufactured by recycling anaerobically digested dairy manure from renewable energy biogas plants. (This yucky-sounding process is explained on the website.)
I have only occasionally purchased peat moss as an ingredient among others in growing mix, but I’m not a big fan. I like dirt. It seems to hold water better and plants seem to do better in it. In my few encounters with peat moss, I’ve really hated it: blows all over the place, gets in your eyes, hair, nose, just a big pain to work with. But I know the mixes are used for seed starting, and everybody else I see at Home Depot seems to need it by the ton. If the peat bogs, which are wildlife habitats, are endangered, then I would agree that creating a sustainable substitute is important.
However, I have to sympathize a bit with the plaintiffs here. If the stuff isn’t peat, then why call it RePeat? Why not say “peat moss substitute” or something? I would further wonder: is it possible to do without peat moss? I thnk it might be for home gardeners, but pehaps not for the nurseries.