Over the past few weeks we have been discussing both hydroponic gardening and organic gardening methods. Down the road I will continue to post about those topics and more. Today I thought it would be a good time to talk about coco coir, a growing medium that looks like soil but is considered soil-less gardening. For a quick description, follow the link to ourgrowing media video featuring benefits and uses for coco coir or continue reading below for more details.
Coco coir is the outside layer of husk that surrounds the shell of the coconut. After coconuts are harvested, the fibrous husk is removed from the coconut seed. From this husk, three main horticultural coir products can be produced: coir chips, coir fiber or coir pith/dust. Coir dust retains water well while the fibers and chips help with air space and drainage.
Coconuts are naturally high in compounds called lignins. This compound is able to help encourage the development of beneficial bacteria, which makes it less likely for harmful bacteria to invade your system. This also means that if you choose to use a hydroponic supplement that contains beneficial microbes, they are more likely to grow, thrive, and benefit your system. These organisms, such as bacillus, mycorrhizae and trichoderma all form symbiotic relationships with the plant that can increase overall performance and yield. Bacillus is used world wide for the control of insect pests and opportunistic fungi pathogens. Mycorrhizae are beneficial fungi that colonize the root surface, helping the plant take up nutrients. Coco coir also contain trichoderma naturally and if a healthy root environment is maintained, the bacteria will continue to colonize the roots and multiply in the growing media. Trichoderma works in symbiosis with plant roots to protect them from pathogenic fungi such as pythium or fusarium. These characteristics can boost yields by decreasing disease organisms.
10 Benefits of Coco Coir:
▪ Promotes strong root growth and plant vigor.
▪ Coco Coir is completely environmentally friendly.
▪ Encourages beneficial bacteria and discourages harmful bacteria.
▪ It is a 100% renewable resource.
▪ Coco has an ideal pH range of 6.0-6.8
▪ Coco coir never shrinks, cracks or produces crust.
▪ High lingin and cellulose content.
▪ Coco Coir is odorless, pleasant to handle, and uniform in composition.
▪ Coir has a high caution exchange, meaning it can store unused minerals to be released to the plant as and when it requires it.
▪ Contains significant amounts of phosphorous (10-50ppm) and potassium (150-450ppm).
In conclusion, Coco coir is an ideal medium for encouraging roots to develop to their full potential due to its high levels of aeration, naturally occurring trichoderma and remarkable drainage properties. Its high buffer capacity also assures that coco coir will hold and release nutrients over extended periods of time, optimizing your plants growth.
Please feel welcome to stop by our shop and take a look for yourself at our many different coco coir products and discover which one is best for you.
Live long and prosper!