Coconut coir is fast becoming a popular growing medium for vegetables, succulents and air plants. Coconut coir is the organic and natural mulching. It has a number of advantages over chemical compositions.
In this article will guide you about How to Use Coconut Coir in Gardening.
What Is Coconut Coir?
Coconut coir is the fibrous part of coconuts that are found between the outer shell and inner lining. It’s sometimes called “coir dust,” or “coco peat.” Coir fiber is used in ropes and mats, but it’s also popular in gardening.
Coconut coir is a versatile growing medium that can provide plenty of benefits to your gardening endeavors. It is an excellent alternative to peat moss and will not compact as much as other growing media.
It can be used as a potting mix component, soil amendment, hydroponic growing medium, and seed germination medium.
How to Use Coconut Coir in Gardening
You can use coconut coir in your garden in various ways; Such as-
As a Potting Mix: Add some to your potting mix or substitute it entirely for peat moss or perlite.
As a Seed Starting Medium: Use coconut coir as the medium to start seedlings in. I prefer this method over using just soil, because it’s lightweight, easy to handle and contains no pathogens that might be harmful to young plants. It also allows good drainage and air circulation around the roots, which is essential for healthy seedling growth.
As a Soil Amendment: If you don’t have time to make your own potting mix, you can simply add a little coir directly into the soil when planting seeds or transplanting seedlings outdoors from containers. Add about half an inch of coir with some compost added in for extra nutrients and you’re good to go!
As Mulch: Coco-peat is a great choice for mulching because it retains moisture well but still allows air circulation around plant roots and prevents weed growth. I like to use it around my potted plants on patios or decks as well as around ornamental trees and shrubs in the garden
Tips How to Use Coconut Coir in Gardening
Purchase bricks or flakes of coconut coir. You can find coconut coir at many gardening stores and online at amazon.
Typically, you can choose from blocks or flakes of coconut coir. The blocks are easier to use in container gardens because they are denser; however, if you plan on putting the coir directly into the soil, then use flakes for easier mixing with dirt.
Soak coconut coir in water for five minutes if using blocks, or 10 minutes if using flakes. Coconut coir will absorb up to 10 times its weight in water. You can also soak this material in a compost tea solution or fish emulsion to increase nutrient content.
Add the soaked coir to your garden soil and mix it in thoroughly with your hands or a trowel. Use 1 part coir and 2 parts garden soil for container gardening or indoor growing. For outdoor gardening, use 1 part coir and 3 part garden soil.
Benefits of Using Coconut Coir in Gardening
- The bebefit of coconut coir in gardening is that it’s easy to use, being essentially dust-free and almost completely free of weeds and pests.
- It’s also easy to store. Unlike peat moss, which shrinks significantly when dry, coconut coir can be stored for longer periods quite easily.
- It can be used as a potting mix component, soil amendment, hydroponic growing medium, and seed germination medium.
- It’s light weight so you can use larger pots without worrying about them being too heavy to move around
- It has good water retention and drainage properties
- It’s pH balanced which means less adjusting of the soil’s pH level
- It’s very durable and will last for several years
- It’s environmentally friendly as it reduces waste in the coconut industry
Downsides of Coconut Coir
Cost: Coir can be more expensive than some other types of growing mediums. The price can vary depending on the quality of the coir and how it’s processed. You can save money by buying it in bulk.
Nitrogen depletion: Nitrogen is important for plant growth, and it gets depleted when you use coconut fiber in your garden. This means you’ll have to use fertilizer with your plants or they won’t grow as well as they normally would.
pH levels: Coconut coir has a pH level of 5.2 to 6.8, which is on the acidic side of neutral (7). If you’re planting vegetables like tomatoes, peppers or potatoes that prefer slightly acidic soil, this may not be an issue for you.
However, many vegetables prefer less acidic soils (between 6 and 7), especially if you’re growing root vegetables like carrots or radishes (source).
How Much Coconut Coir Should I Use In My Garden?
The answer to this question depends on what you are using the coconut coir for. If you are creating a potting mix, the ratio is typically 1 part coconut coir to 1 part perlite or vermiculite.
If you are adding coconut coir to your garden soil, use it as a top dressing. Spread 1 inch of coir over the soil and water it in well. This will encourage worms and other soil dwellers to process the material for you.
If your soil is sandy, add 2 to 3 inches of coconut coir over the surface of your garden and water it in well. The material will help retain moisture in sandy soils and give nutrients to your plants at the same time.
Why you should use coconut coir for growing plants in your garden?
Here are some reasons:
Coconut Coir Is Easy to Use: Coconut coir is easy to re-hydrate and comes in compressed bricks. Simply add water until the brick expands to about 2.5 times its original size. Then you can either pot with it as is or mix it with other ingredients.
It’s Environmentally Friendly: Coconuts come from fruit that grow on trees, which makes it a renewable resource and not a mined product like peat moss is. When you use coconut coir instead of peat-based products, you’re helping preserve those fragile bog ecosystems that are home to hundreds of other species.
How Is Coco Coir Better Than Peat Moss?
Some reasons how Coco Coir better than Peat Moss in Gardening:
1. Coco coir has a higher water holding capacity than peat moss. This means that it can hold up to nine times its weight in water, meaning you won’t have to water as often as you would with other substrates like soil or perlite.
2. It doesn’t compact and does not become hydrophobic when dry like peat moss, making it easy to rehydrate.
3. Coco coir has a pH of 5.5-6, meaning it doesn’t have to be adjusted before planting like peat moss does (which has a pH of 3-4).
4. Coco coir contains high amounts of potassium and sodium which are essential nutrients for plants, which is usually lacking in many soils.
What is the difference between coconut coir, coconut fiber and coco peat?
Coconut coir, coconut fiber and coco peat are all the same thing. They are made from coconut husks. The husks of coconuts are a waste byproduct of the coconut industry, so using them is an environmentally friendly way to go. They are also a renewable resource, which means they can be used over and over again without running out.
Coconut Coir is environmentally-friendly and it aids in improving soil structure. Coconut Coir may not be easy for everyone to find in their area, but if you do get your hands on some then it’s worth trying to use it.
It can greatly improve your gardening and allow you to grow new plants with very little effort. It also has many other uses in the home not related to gardening.