Coconut coir products are inexpensive, environmentally sustainable and really make your plants grow.
Coconut coir is a sustainable product produced from the Coconut Palm and is the best alternative to peat-based products. It can be used alone or in many customizable soil mixes. Those of us who have used coconut coir know how great it is and will surely convince growers to use this new growing medium.
The previous standard for growing was to buy a growing medium, grow with it, hope for bountiful blooms, and harvest delicious fruit and vegetables. Now what? Dump the old worn out growing medium and head back out to purchase more. As a retailer, this always is a plus for sales but what about our precious environment and your wasted money? We want all gardeners to choose a more sustainable route and reuse their old growing medium. If you want to reuse, increase your yields and save money then Coconut coir is the answer!
So what is the coconut craze all about? Coconut coir is the bi-product of, as I am sure you guessed, processing coconuts for the meat, milk and fibers. You have wiped your feet on coir doormat. Many places like Sri Lanka are rich in coconut byproducts and provide coir growing media to Europe, Japan and Australia…and more recently to the United States.
While many others around the world are still stuck on peat moss, it is a less desireable growing medium and is running out. Peat moss mining is unsustainable and detrimental to the environment. The growth rate of peat in bogs is thought to be between 0.5mm a year to 10cm a year. On the high end, this may seem fast but once the bog is trenched, all spreading of peat is obstructed and therefore stopped.
Coconut coir products sound much better now?
Three main horticultural products are derived from coconuts; coir peat, coir fiber, and coir chips. Each of these three can be used alone or mixed together to create the desired products for each grower’s specific needs. Coir peat is generally used for higher water retention due to millions of capillary micro-sponges that can absorb and hold up to, some say, ten times its own weight in water. The fiber and chips are added for drainage and less compaction. Any amount of each can be mixed and amended with other horticultural products like pumice to create the perfect growing medium for orchids, rare and weird succulents, houseplants and garden plants.
Coconut coir mixes promote large roots, stems, and blooms in comparison to regular potting mixes. Unlike standard potting soils, coconut coir is not easily compacted allowing many more air spaces for plants roots to develop and spread. A good root structure is promoted due to aerobic rhizospheres, biological enhancers essential for nutrient and water uptake. Also, coir has a high cation exchange capacity (CEC), how easily the medium gives up nutrients to the plant’s roots, making it ideal for all plant cultivation.
Non steamed coconut coir will retain its structural integrity and attributes over a long period of use. Over the useful life of coir, the capillary sponges will eventually become misshaped and smaller towards the 3rd and 4th cycle. They become more compact resulting in less air spaces and higher water retention requiring more careful watering techniques. This can be overcome with the use of pumice, perlite, or the addition of fresh coconut coir. In addition, good watering techniques and consistent monitoring of EC (electrical conductivity) will ensure a good product over many cycles. Coco coir is also a great medium due to its naturally high beneficial trichoderma fungi creating a disease resistant media promoting productive root development.
Before the coir is reused, it is important to properly prepare the media for the next round of growing. Begin by removing the dead root matter left in the growing medium from the previous cycle. This can easily be done in a number of ways. The easiest and most effective are using a sieve or screen and adding enzyme products. Dead roots remaining in the coir will create an anaerobic (low oxygen) environment promoting unwanted problems and decreased productivity. Once the roots and dead matter are removed, the coir should be rinsed with water or a low EC nutrient solution. This will bring the nutrient levels back into an acceptable range and create a high cation exchange capacity. Some will begin replanting while others will take it one step further and add beneficial microbes. These colonies, when the coir is used and cleaned correctly, will naturally improve with each use.
If you don’t want to reuse…don’t worry. Coconut coir is inexpensive, environmentally sustainable and available for many uses. We reuse it for mulching gardens.
After all that, don’t you want to use coconut coir immediately? We at Prococo Products along with many others around the world continue to have great success with coconut coir and keep finding more benefits with each use.
Premium Coconut Husk
Compressed Coconut Block
1/2 cubic feet compressed
2.2 cubic feet expanded