In the past decade, high-quality horticultural coconut coir has become popular as a growing medium for greenhouses and hydroponics farmers.
If you love gardening or hydroponics, now is the time to consider using coco coir for your plants. The correct pronunciation or coir is coy-er according to the Cambridge dictionary.
What is Coconut Coir?
Coir is the fibrous husk and dust that make up the outer layer of a ripe coconut. This part is least seen as it is removed before the fruits arrive in the market. But it is available as a soilless growing medium.
Coconut coir is common in India and Sri Lanka. These are areas where the Cocos Nucifera coconut palm grows in plenty. The growing medium can either work alone or mixed with another material. This material is perlite.
Why use Coconut Coir?
In hydroponics and pot gardening, coir is a substitute for peat moss. It is a renewable resource with a more neutral pH. It helps manage the nutrients in the hydroponics systems. Coir decomposes slower than peat moss releasing its nutrients in a slow economic way. This is one of the greatest benefits of using coir in hydroponics because the nutrient solution has a huge impact on growing success.
Types of Coco Air
Every time you buy coconut coir, you are buying three types mixed – the fiber, pith, and coco chips. These three together provide a powerful growing medium very healthy to plant growth.
- Coco pith or coco peat is the fine ground coconut or pear moss. It’s absorbent and fine with small particles. It must age well before it goes to the farm.
- Coco fiber is not very absorbent and adds air pockets into the growing medium. These air pockets provide oxygen to the root zone. This fiber breaks down fast with the air pockets decreasing over time.
- Coco chips are a hybrid between the coco fiber and coco peat. They are large pieces that create air pockets and absorb the water well. It helps keep your plants well hydrated.
The coconut coir must be a mixture of these three types to achieve the best results.
The Recommended Coconut Coir
Here are a few of the best-recommended products.
CANNA is one of the top coconut coir providers. This company monitors the production of their coir to ensure it is well dried, aged, and flushed of all salts. They package their coir in 40L expandable bricks. You will have to rehydrate the medium after receiving it.
Fox is also a top coir provider. Just like CANNA they track their product to ensure it is well dried, flushed out salts, and aged before packaging it. FOXFARM packages their product in a 2 cu ft. expanded bag.
COCOTEK consists of all three types of compressed media. It has low levels of sodium and one of the best for first-time growers. This is a cheaper option compared to CANNA and FOX FARM. It is packaged in 5kgs with a decent mix of coco fibers and pith.
Whether you choose to use this media in hydroponic or in containers, by itself or mixed with other media, the coconut coir works magic. It plays a key role in providing an ideal growing environment for your plants.