It all started as a humble kitchen experiment . . .
PittMoss started as a humble kitchen experiment in 1994, and quickly evolved into founder Mont Handley’s passionate, lifelong project. Soon after graduating from the kitchen to the garage, PittMoss secured an EPA SBIR grant. This funded critical growth trials, providing the scientific evidence and the foundation for PittMoss patents.
Further testing by Agronomy and Horticulture researchers at a major university evaluated:
Water and nutrient retention characteristics and aeration capacity
Growth of plants cultivated in various PittMoss/peat moss mixes
Elemental analysis of PittMoss
Leachate testing for various nutrients
Elemental analysis of plant matter to determine uptake value
Researchers concluded that PittMoss could be utilized extensively by commercial greenhouses and nurseries at a 50% replacement rate (request the full report). Between 2012 and 2015, PittMoss went through a proof of concept phase in garages and small greenhouses on nights and weekends. With a perfected formula that replaced traditional growing substrates 100% in many crop trials, PittMoss sparked the interest of Pittsburgh’s Idea Foundry, an incubator and early stage funder of entrepreneurial businesses. With a little “seed” money and professional mentoring and access to some much-needed resources, PittMoss LLC was on its way.
“It takes 20 years to become an overnight success.”
In 2015, PittMoss was introduced to the investors on Shark Tank, ABC’s favorite reality show for would-be entrepreneurs. Mont Handley, with his unbridled passion for the idea he had nurtured for more than 20 years, convinced three of the “sharks” to invest in his company. In 2017, building on the product’s success among commercial growers, PittMoss finally launched its consumer retail product line. Stay tuned to see how the PittMoss story continues to unfold!
We are proud to supply commercial greenhouses and nurseries from Michigan to Maryland, from Florida to Maine, and beyond!
Peat-Free, Up-cycled Potting Mixes and Soil Amendments
PittMoss is made from recycled cellulose fibers, like newspaper. It keeps material out of the landfill, which allows gardeners to have good stewardship of our planet.