Coconut Fiber Bricks
As an alternative to peat for seed-starting or potting mix, try coir. The fibrous material comes from the outer husk of coconuts. Unlike peat, it is a renewable resource. There's less dust, and it is easier to moisten. Coir is sold in compressed blocks (usually about the size of a masonry brick) under a variety of brand names. When soaked in a gallon of hot water, a brick expands to about 6–8 times its size, making 4–6 quarts of fluffy planting mixture. You can cut it with perlite or vermiculite to create absorbent potting soil. The bricks cost about $2–3 each. Not yet a staple in all garden supply centers, coir bricks are more widely available from online and mail-order sources.