The right growing media sets apart an excellent yield from an okay one. You can use various substances as your growth medium and make a hundred different amendments to whichever media you choose.
Let us assist you if you are a beginning gardener to learn more about all the gardening tips and tricks; let us help you. Today we will let you in on a well-hidden secret of the gardening world: Coco Coir.
Coco Coir is an essential medium for plants, but what exactly makes it so unique? Let's find out!
What is Coco Coir exactly?
Coco Coir – like the name suggests, comes from Coconuts. Coco Coir is the fibre (or hair) on the outer shell of coconuts.
After which, the fibres are combed, removed, and dried. Finally, it is either molded into pots and brick or sold as loose mulch after all that is ready.
Plants that grow in Coco Coir
What makes this substance genuinely magical is that any plant you can think of can most likely be grown in it. Whether it's exotic plants or the more common native ones – your plant will thrive in Coco Coir.
Coco Coir has been gaining notoriety among the hydroponics gardeners as well – that goes to show just how great the product is.
Benefits of Growing Coco Coir
Adding Coco Coir to your regular soil can give it the boost it needs to allow your plant to thrive. Its high water retention and wettability make it an ideal growth medium. This neutral pH substance makes an excellent mulch for your garden and is biodegradable.
Coco Coir also offers excellent aeration and drainage that allows your roots to grow and expand adequately, ensuring your plant reaches its maximum potential. Add Coco Coir to your soil to reap the benefits of a bigger harvest and fruit.
Coco Coir vs Soil
People in gardening circles have wondered if Coco Coir is better than soil. The truth is that you get the best result by using them both in combination.
However, in some instances, using Coco Coir on its own can also work out well for your plants. For example, in hydroponic farming, Coco Coir is used solely to keep your plant well-hydrated and ensure they reach its maximum potential.
What's more, Coco Coir is environmentally friendly and sustainable, making it a good option for environmentally conscious growers.
Different Types of Coco Coir
Now that we know the benefits and utility of Coco Coir, let us move on to the different types. Coco Coir exists in various forms. Some of the more common ones are:
- Compressed bricks
- Molded pots
- Coco peat
Compressed bricks are made from ground Coir by soaking the husks till the fibers loosen. After which, they let the compressed brick in the making dry for over a year. Further, these bricks' compression makes them easier to transport. However, you need to hydrate these compressed bricks before you use them. Hydration gives your plant a soil-like consistency.
Further, you need to add the right amount of water for planting because overwatering is common among new growers.
Therefore use water in the right amount so there remains no chance of waterlogging.
Further, overwatering leads to soggy soil root rot. Therefore, precision is the key.
You can mold coconut fibers into the pots for your plant. Molded pots work well because they retain moisture, are well-draining, and, as if that was not enough – they are also great for the environment.
Use these pots on their own, or add them as a layer inside your regular gardening pots – the result will be worth the extra investment.
Coco Peat is the byproduct left after you extract fibers from the husk. Further, Coco Peat is naturally anti-fungal and reusable. Coco peat is also the most readily available in plant stores.
Growing in Coco Coir
There are a lot of little aspects that make growing in Coco Coir different from growing in soil. Continue reading our guide to getting the most out of your Coco Coir.
For the rest of the article, we will cover watering, feeding, cleaning, and reusing Coco Coir.
Preparing your Coco Coir
Some types of Coco Coir require soaking in water before you actually use them. One such example is that of the Coco Coir brick that we discussed earlier.
Without this step, the nutrients remain so tightly woven into the fibers that they can not reach your plant. For this reason, we recommend soaking them in water for the recommended time.
If you have trouble with watering your other plants and soil, read our guide titled how to properly water your plants to answer any of the questions you may have.
How often should you water Coco?
While you do not need to water your Coco every day, perhaps a more well-suited answer to this question is that it depends. The amount of water depends on the plant you are growing, where you are growing, and the mix and type of Coco you are using.
A plant growing in a grow tent, or somewhere hot and windy (outdoor) will require more frequent watering than a plant growing in a mild climate.
However, it would be best if you were careful that you do not go overboard. Overwatering may be very common, but it can have devastating effects on your plant. Although Coco Coir has better drainage and aeration than regular soil, you should still proceed with caution.
Further, you can check to see if you are overwatering your Coco by squeezing some of it between your fingers. You should be good if the water disappears between your fingers rather than flowing out.
How do you feed Coco Grown Plants?
When choosing a grow media, you should look out for their electrical conductivity; this is crucial for all plants, specifically those growing hydroponically.
You can measure the media's electrical conductivity by testing the hydroponic reservoir's nutrient EC and gauging the nutrients available to your plant.
With Coco Coir, you have more control over what you feed your plant, as they have almost no EC. Unlike most potting soils with some EC, Coco Coir requires that you start feeding right away instead of a few weeks after planting.
A suitable nutrient package should cover the amount and frequency of all growing media. The key takeaway is that you understand the connection between your plants' growth and the role of pH and nutrients.
How long should you flush your Coco?
Flushing is a harvest season essential; it enables your plant to grow an enjoyable final product while removing the excess nutrients accumulated in the soil.
Since Coco is notorious for sucking up nutrients, especially calcium, we recommend flushing every 3-4 weeks for at least five days. You can even test the EC from the runoff to ensure there is no salt build-up.
Read our guide on flushing plants if you need more help understanding how the whole process works.
How do I Clean and Reuse Coco?
Coco is renewable, meaning you can reuse them after a thorough cleaning. Do not be intimidated by the process because reusing is easy even for completely new gardeners. Learn how to clean and reuse Coco in no time by following the instructions below.
- 1.Gather the old Coco and remove all roots or plant matter from it.
- 2.Wash the Coco with distilled water, flushing any excess salt or roots.
- 3.Remove the smaller roots that are not visible to the naked eye using Sensizym enzymes.
Further, you can reuse Coco up to 3 times. The secret behind their durability is the lignin structure that increases the rigidity of the fibers.
After learning the how and why of coco coir, let's discuss which brands will benefit your plant the most.
The Best Coco Mixes For Your Plant
If you want to benefit from reusing and other advantages that we discussed earlier, you need to choose the right brand of Coco for your plant. Here is a compilation of a list of the best Coco Mixes available in the market.
This premium blend of Coco and Perlite gives your plant the best possible aeration and water retention you can expect from a growing medium.
This all-natural product contains 70% Coco and 30% Perlite. The Perlite gives an additional boost in the aeration and drainage, allowing the media to dry out faster – the result? Explosive growth.
This RHP-certified product also comes in a Perlite-free option – Mother Earth Coco will exceed your expectations.
Botanicare offers gardening enthusiasts and commercial gardeners everything from hydroponics systems/components and plant nutrients to grow media
. Its excellent drainage capabilities and automated fertigation make it stand out among other brands offering Coco products. Its Coco to Perlite ratio is 55:45, making it a far more draining mix.
Its low salt content and excellent cation exchange make it ideal for indoor and outdoor plants. However, if you want more dampness, perhaps the next product will be better suited for your needs.
If you prefer following a less frequent watering cycle, then the product is perfect for you. With an 80:20 Coco to Perlite ratio, this mix will reduce your work grow room watering workload.
However, since this mix's water retention is excellent, it is also very easy to overwater your plant. To subside watering issues, make sure you follow the recommended watering requirements.
4.DaKine 420 Organic Coco Coir Blend
This fresh entrant into the world of Coco mixes is a unique mix on the list. Unlike all the products mentioned above, this mix contains more than just Coco and Perlite. Dakine Coco consists of:
- Worm castings
- Alaskan peat moss
- Fishbone meal
- Bat guano
- Kelp meal
- Endo mycorrhizae
- Beneficial bacteria
The added nutrients blend into your plant fast, eliminating the need to feed your Coco in the first few weeks.
The final product on this list, Char Coir Coco Coir, is an excellent option for your plant. Out of all the mixes, two of the best ones are:
Char Coir BioPot is an excellent product for transplanting your plant after propagation, whereas the cube allows you to start your seed in the container. Both the products are RHP certified and contain virtually no EC. Also, its PH-balanced formula allows excellent cation exchange, resulting in impressive growth.
Shop at GroIndoor.com for your Coco Coir needs
GroIndoor has everything you will ever need for your grow room or outdoor gardens. Therefore, start by shopping with us today!