Coconut coir can be used in hydroponics, potting mixes, and even to grow mushrooms. You might have seen it used, or even just found it online while looking for garden supplies. Is it worthwhile to use in your garden or not?
Continue reading to find out more about coconut coir and how to use it. Also, you will find answers to other common questions regarding this alternative to peatmoss.
Coconut coir (also known as coco coir or coco peat) is the fiber taken from the woody outer shell of coconuts.
Coconut fiber is a natural byproduct of coconut processing and cultivation. Until recently, it was a waste product. However, it’s become a useful fiber for textiles and ropes, and in recent years has seen a surge in popularity among gardeners.
Because coconut coir is just fibrous plant matter that absorbs a lot of water, it’s often used as an alternative to peat moss. Coco coir is also a popular choice for hydroponic growers who are looking for a soilless medium to grow their plants.
We are most likely to buy coco coir in Compressed blocks large enough to be usedThey must be soaked in water before they can be used. They don’t look like much, but they will expand several times their size once fully hydrated. Although most packages will indicate how much volume they require, it is a good rule of thumb to assume that 2.2 lbs (1 kilogram) of compressed cocoa coir will fill nearly 4 gallons (15 L). For 1 lb of coco coir, you will need to hydrate it with about 0.5 gallons. You can always add more water later and wring the excess out.
How to moisten coco coir easily
Pro-Tip: If when you pick up a handful of coco coir it’s still dripping with water, it has too much water. You can squeeze out any excess water and put it in containers. Raised bedsOr, seed starting mixtures.
Pro-Tip – For mushroom cultivation, the optimal level of hydration is at field capacity. This is when you get just a few drops to barely any water after pressing the coir in your hands.
Coco Coir Needs to be Washed
Unprocessed bulk cocoa coir should be washed to remove excess salt. If you are using hydroponic-grade or garden-grade coco coir it is already washed and ready to use.
Coconut fiber is primarily processed by the sea and has a higher salt level, which can make it dangerous if used in the garden. Fortunately, most coconut coir blocks for gardeningHave been washed. Be sure to Coco coir labelled for gardeningHydroponics, or you can wash it with water and drain it several times.
Whether you sterilize coco coir or not depends on what you’re using it for.
You don’t need to sterilize coco-coir for most garden purposes. However, some gardeners will sterilize the coco coir to make seed-starting mixes. Coco coir should be sterilized before using it for mushroom growing.
Coconut coir has fungalspores, which are generally harmless for plants. It is naturally non-sterile. You can sterilize your seed-starting mixture before you start making it. Coco coir is not known to contain pest eggs.
You should sterilize coco coir if you plan to use it as a medium for mushroom production.
How do you sterilize coco Coir?
To sterilize (or more accurately, pasteurize) coco coir, bake it in a 180-200°F (82-93°C) oven for at least 30 minutes.
Basic Coconut Coir Potting Mix Recipe
Basic Sterile Coconut Coir Seed-Starting Mix Recipe
NotificationLightly fertilize your seedlings once they have their first set of true leaves. This is after they have grown their first two seed leaves.
Does Coco Coir Have Nutrients?
Coco coir has no plant-available nutrients.
Since coco coir doesn’t have nutrients, you will need to keep this in mind if using it as a growing medium or alternative to soil. Coco coir is made from natural fibers and will slowly be broken down by soil life to enrich the soil. However, this process can take too long if you are only growing plants in coco coco coir.
Is Coir Peat the Similarity to Peat Moss?
Coco coir, or coco peat, is not the same thing as peat moss. Coco coir is made from coconut husk fiber. Peat moss is partially broken down and dried with spaghnum. Coco coir will have a pH close to neutral, while peatmoss will have a slightly acidic pH. Both can be used interchangeably in potting mixture recipes.
Coco Coir Is More Sustainable Than Peat Moss?
Some people are unsure whether coco coir is a better alternative to peatmoss in the garden. This is a hotly-debated topic, but the answer is not simple.
Both coco coir (and peat moss) have sustainability benefits and costs. Coco coir is a by-product of coconut cultivation and highly renewable, however it’s produced mostly in countries with fewer labor standards. Peat moss grows much slower, however, most peat comes from Canada with sustainable mining operations.
Coconut Coir is good for a garden.
Coconut coir can also be used to add coconut coir to a garden, much in the same way as peat moss. It can be used either in a potting mix or mixed into soil. Coco coir can also be used as a mulch, although it’s not as economical as using wood chip or straw mulch.
Coconut coir has many benefits, including increasing water retention and adding bulky organic material to soil. Coconut coir also naturally breaks down over time, which can improve soil structure.
Can Coco Coir be used as a substitute for soil?
Using only coco coir as a soil substitute can be done but it doesn’t have as much drainage as a coir-based potting mix with added perlite or vermiculite. You will need to fertilize your plants regularly.
Can You Grow Vegetables in Coco Coir
Coco coir can also be used to grow vegetables. You can grow almost any type of vegetable when you use coco coir as part of a potter’s mix. Gardeners have successfully grown tomatoes, peppers, leafy greens, melons, and other vegetables in a coir-based potting mix.
You should fertilize vegetables grown in homemade, coir-based potting mixes regularly unless you add compost or other rich organic matter.
Is Coconut Coir Biodegradable?
Coconut coir can be 100% biodegradable.
It will eventually break down if it is left outside or mixed in with soil. It can even be used to make soap. Gardeners add coconut cooir to their gardens.To improve the soil.
Does Coco Coir Go Bad?
Dry coco coir doesn’t spoil or go bad, as it’s a tough plant fiber. Coco coir can be biodegradable and will eventually fall apart if it is left in soil or outdoors. Moisture can also be a breeding ground for mold and other organisms. However, coco coir that is dry will retain its quality for almost indefinitely.