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  • C.R. Seibert

Benefits of Growing Crops in Coco Coir

The Golden Substrate: Growing in Coco Coir = Performance and Sustainability.


Coco Coir Grow Bags

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Coco coir is a natural waste product derived from the coconut and is easily the most versatile of all organic growing materials available. It is made from coconut husks and can be used in wastewater treatment, handicrafts, or building materials. But its full potential is realized when used in agriculture.


What is Coco Coir, and how is it Produced?

Also referred to as coconut fiber, coco coir is a naturally-growing medium made from the coir layer between the exterior coconut shell and the interior hard coconut shell. After coconuts have been harvested for their meat and water, their shell is removed, and the husk is transported to a coconut coir production factory.

The husks are then processed, removing any unwanted materials, including dirt, debris, stones, and soil. It is finally created into different shapes, such as coco chips, coco fibers, and coco peat, to help grow different plants.


Benefits of Using Coco Coir for Growing Crops

Coco coir offers a range of benefits for growing crops, some of which include:


Adequate Drainage and Aeration

Coco coir possesses exceptional aeration qualities, integral to a soilless growing medium. It creates small air pockets that give the roots access to key nutrients, water, and air. These air pockets promote improved root growth and overall plant health, thereby creating more vibrant-looking plants.


High Water-Retaining Capacity

Coco coir has excellent water-retaining capacity, allowing it to hold a large quantity of water while promoting proper drainage. It has a total porosity of 80% and a water retention capacity of around 40%, meaning it can absorb up to 10 times its weight in water. This makes it perfect for plants that need consistent moisture, including seedlings or plants grown in dry, hot climates.


A Neutral PH Value

Coconut fiber has a neutral pH value, which is neither alkaline nor acidic. A neutral pH value makes coco coir a versatile growing medium that suits numerous types of plants without posing the risk of toxicity or nutrient deficiency.


Nutrient-Dense

Coco coir is naturally packed with high quantities of key nutrients that aid plant growth and small amounts of potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Moreover, it also can retain vital nutrients, significantly aiding in plant growth. It is important to buffer the coco coir to prevent the buildup of salts and gain more control over the inputs to the media.


Buffering is the process of reversing the bonds made between the salts and media, thus releasing the sodium and the potassium present in the coco coir. Buffered coco coir is exposed to high concentrations of your choice of solution, such as magnesium nitrate or calcium nitrate. This helps modify certain aspects of the media, such as retaining nutrients or pH value.


Prevents the Growth of Harmful Bacteria

Coconut fibers are naturally sterile and have defending properties that prevent the growth of dangerous bacteria, fungi, and rot. The neutral pH value of coco coir makes it a hostile environment for microorganisms to survive, thus ensuring optimal plant health.


Versatile

Coco coir can be used as a standalone planting medium or combined with other substances to create various blends that fit the individual needs of different plants and gardening applications.


Sustainable

Coco coir is both sustainable and an environmentally-friendly substitute for non-renewable options such as peat moss. Generally, coconut palm trees can generate approximately 150 coconuts each year. During harvest time, the palms are not damaged. Since coco coir is a byproduct of these harvests, they prevent the waste of otherwise unwanted materials.


Affordable

Coco coir is a highly effective gardening and agriculture product, but at the same time, it is not heavy on the wallet. You can benefit from even greater savings if you choose to buy the product in bulk.


Buying High-quality Coco Coir: Top 3 Factors to Consider

Choosing top-tier coco coir is critical to ensure the growth and health of your plants. Listed below are some factors to consider when buying the material:

  • Supplier: Always buy your coco coir from a reputable supplier that uses the right manufacturing techniques and processes the medium without harmful chemicals

  • Age: The age of your coco coir is crucial. If you buy one that is too young, it will not have been oxidized correctly and will give you a hard time during washing/buffering. On the other hand, coco coir that is too old will give you expansion issues, which is why it’s important to use it within six months after it has been processed and compressed.

  • Impurities, EC Value and pH Value: The coco coir you buy should be free of impurities, such as debris, soil, or stones. Moreover, it should have a pH value between 5.5 and 7.0, ensuring the soil can uptake all the key nutrients. Lastly, it should have an EC value below 0.5 mS/cm.


Final Thoughts

Coco coir is a golden product when it comes to agriculture and gardening. Not only is it nutrient-dense, versatile, and sustainable, but it is also affordable and recyclable. Before buying coco coir, be sure to do your research and choose a supplier that uses proper filtering, processing, and manufacturing techniques.


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