Our Story

The PittMoss®Story

The Early Years

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:

  • Elemental composition
  • 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. Contact us to 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. Stay tuned to see how the PittMoss® story continues to unfold.

Today, PittMoss® is available to commercial greenhouses and nurseries from Michigan to Maine to North Carolina, with plans to grow!