Coco coir has existed for a long time; gardeners in the nineteenth century used it as a growing medium. Although its usage decreased for a while, today’s coco coir is of much more excellent quality than before, prompting an increase in the number of people interested in using it to cultivate healthier and more productive crops.
It is an organic substance that improves the absorbency properties, water retention, drainage of potting soil and is an excellent amendment to garden soil. Use coir to grow seeds, propagate plants, and support hydroponically produced plant root structures.
Production of Coco Coir
Coco coir comes from the fibrous coconut husks found inside coconut shells. This robust and valuable by-product facilitates various items, including doormats, ropes, brushes, and rugs. It is a highly durable, rot-resistant, fibrous substance ideal for goods exposed to water or utilized outdoors.
Coir fiber is used as a support mechanism in hydroponic gardening since it is sterile and naturally inhibits fungus growth, among other advantages.
Forms of Coco Coir
There are several kinds of coco coir that are each processed slightly differently. You can use each form alone or in combination with others to gain additional benefits.
Coco Coir Blocks
These blocks are a complete type of coco coir. They are far less processed compared to other forms of coco coir. Though they may appear hard and dry, they absorb the water and disintegrate into a loose coco coir form once soaked. Ensure you use a big container whenever you’re rehydrating coco coir blocks because they can enlarge to several times their initial size.
Coco Coir Pith
This kind of coco coir mostly resembles peat moss or soil due to its deep brown color and rich texture. The pith is extraordinarily dense. This implies it is excellent at retaining moisture. Nevertheless, it may create an environment that is simply too damp for a plant’s roots when used alone. The biggest issue with coco pith is that certain producers don’t correctly dry their products. Moreover, it can result in salts deposits around your plant’s roots, which can be disastrous.
Coco Coir Fibers
Coco fibers are very stringy, thus allow for good air circulation when utilized as a growing medium. Nevertheless, the fibers break down considerably faster than other varieties of coco coir, particularly when subjected to high volumes of water. As they decompose, the air spaces within them shrink, which is bad for your plant’s roots.
Ways of Using Coco Coir in Hydroponics
Alongside peat moss, coco coir is now the most popular hydroponic growing medium. Experienced gardeners laud its benefits while the newbies to hydroponics discover that coco coir simplifies the transition. Since it resembles soil and functions similarly, you may use standard garden pots to build a coco coir hydroponic system.
The bucket method is the most straightforward technique to utilize coco coir in hydroponics. You’ll have to prepare your coco coir first before you use it in hydroponics. It’s easy to do; all you need is a decent wash. Even if you buy quality coco coir already rinsed, it’s always a good idea to rinse it once more to make sure there’s no lingering salt or chemical residue. Place your coco coir under tap water till the water clears.
After rinsing, you might realize that your coco coir has begun clumping. Do not fret; it will be suitable for use once you break it apart using your hands. This is vital as it releases all of the air pockets within your coco coir and maintains the free flow of oxygen.
Ways of Using Coco Coir in The Garden
While coco coir is particularly beneficial to hydroponic growers, it’s ideal for use in an outdoor garden. Coco coir is an excellent soil additive since it allows for ample plant aeration while also preserving moisture. When applied to clay soil, coco coir lightens it up, whereas sandy soil improves its water retention properties.
Regardless of the type of soil, coco coir can improve drainage and water retention. A soil mixture containing up to 80 percent coco coir can be helpful; ensure the coco coir is hydrated and broken up before adding to your soil. If you like to grow things in terracotta pots, you’re undoubtedly aware of how susceptible the soil is to dry while in those pots. Luckily, coir discs, or maybe a miniature coir pot, can be inserted in a terracotta pot to promote moisture retention inside the soil.
Pros of Coco Coir
- Coco coir creates a lot of air pockets, which offers roots more room to grow.
- Coco coir-grown plants are typically significantly more productive and healthier.
- Coco coir has excellent moisture-retention properties.
- Coco coir also has high nutrient retention, providing your plants with all that they require.
- Coco coir has high lignin content, which is vital for increasing beneficial microbes and shielding plants from soil-related diseases.
- Low-quality coco coir items can possess chemicals and salt.
- Coco coir might appear light and fluffy but can be easily compacted.
Regarding the many growing mediums available, coco coir is undoubtedly one of the most promising. It’s not only going to give your plants good hydration while also allowing air circulation in the soil surrounding their roots, but it’s also going to be reusable, sustainable, and protect against pests.