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Did you know that growing vegetables in coco coir is easier than you think, and it also helps improve plant growth? Sounds like a great alternative to using peat moss or soil, right?
In this post, we will dig deep into growing vegetables in coco coir and why it is significantly easier than growing plants in traditional soil.
If you don’t know already, coco coir is an all-natural material made from coconut husks. It’s considered an environmentally friendly way to grow plants because it’s free of chemicals and helps preserve natural resources.
Basic types of Coco Coir:
Coco coir can be off three types, coir pith, coir fibre, coco chips.
Coir pith looks similar to finely ground coconut or peat moss. It absorbs water quite well and must be aged properly to use as a growing medium.
Coconut fiber adds air pockets into your medium which will provide oxygen to the roots.
Coco chips are a hybrid between coco peat and coco fiber. They’re large enough to create air pockets, but also absorb water so your plants won’t dehydrate completely.
A good quality coco coir should have a proper blend of all three types of coir.
How To Choose The Best Coco Coir For Your Garden:
Without the proper preparation and care, coco coir is unusable. The best way to choose the right coir for your growing needs is to choose a supplier that follows these practices for coco coir production like:
- Taking measures to prevent pathogen growth.
- Make sure the coir ages properly.
- Remove salts by rinsing and washing the coir several times.
- Have a proper blend of coir pith, coir fibers, and coir chips
- Package and store their product correctly.
Here are some of our top picks for buying coco coir.
Is Coco Coir Good For Growing Vegetables?
The “best” growing medium is the one that provides your plants with the right balance of nutrients, water, and air. when these three things are in proper balance your plants will grow big, healthy, and strong.
Although Coco coir doesn’t have any nutrients as such it’s a good material for growing vegetables because it can provide the other two (water, and air)to the plant. It holds onto moisture and allows air to flow freely through the roots which supports healthy root systems.
Benefits of using Coconut Coir
Coco coir is a great alternative to the soil when it comes to growing vegetables. The benefits of coco coir are
Coco coir Can Hold Water:
Coco coir is a highly absorbent material that has a water holding capacity of 3-4 times its own weight. It can be mixed with soil or used on its own. It will hold water for extended periods of time and slowly release it to the plant as needed.
This allows the grower to provide their plants with a consistent water supply without overwatering.
It Encourages Aeration in Plant Roots:
Roots need oxygen to survive and grow. Coco coir has very good aeration properties, allowing lots of oxygen through to the roots and encouraging the development of fine root hairs.
Coco Coir Has Good Drainage:
The porous nature of coco coir makes it excellent at aeration while also allowing excess water to drain away fast. This helps prevent damping off disease and fungal infections that can be common with seedlings and young plants.
Coco Coir Is Fully Recyclable:
Coconut coir is not only a natural, organic product but unlike peat moss a renewable one.
Only waste products such as coconut shells are used to create this substrate. The process of creating Coco Coir from coconut husk does not involve chemicals or pesticides and no trees are cut down during harvesting or production.
After you use the coir to grow a plant, simply rinse the coir in filtered water, drain, and use again. So coir is not only environmental-friendly but also wallet-friendly.
What Are The Downsides of Coco Coir?
Despite the many benefits of using coco coir to grow vegetables, it does have some downsides.
Coco Coir is Inert:
Unlike soil, coco coir is not a living material. Being a heterogeneous mixture soil have lots of different components in them including living organism. these organisms help grow plants. so when you grow veggies in coco coir you need to add microorganisms from outside.
Need Additional Supplements:
Coir doesn’t have any nutrients means you need more fertilizers and composts to feed for your plants. This can make your gardening costs higher than if you were using soil for growing vegetables.
Need to Rehydrate Before Use:
Before adding seeds or cuttings to coco coir, it needs to be soaked in water. Though this is not a very big problem, it definitely adds one more step before you can actually use them.
What can I grow in coco coir?
It won’t work for every plant, but if you’re interested in growing vegetables it’s an excellent choice. In fact, many vegetable varieties flourish when grown in coco coir!
Tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, beans, peas, etc are very popular vegetables to grow in coco coir. These vegetables like warm temperatures and high humidity. They also enjoy being watered frequently. Growing these vegetables in coco coir makes them easy to care for and allows you to have a bountiful harvest.
You could also grow herbs like mint in coco coir. Leafy vegetables such as kale, lettuce, spinach, and Swiss chard are particularly suitable.
Other crops that you could experiment with include root vegetables such as carrots, radishes, and potatoes.
Strawberries do wonders when grown in coir.
Vegetables that are susceptible to root rot do very well in coco coir because it keeps the root system healthy and well aerated.
How do you grow vegetables in Coco Coir?
Can You Plant Directly In Coco Coir?
However, as coir doesn’t have nutrients of its own if you are using coir to grow vegetables in conventional manners then you have to add other ingredients.
How Much Yield You Can Expect:
The amount of yield you can expect to receive from growing plants in coco coir will vary depending on where you live and how much effort you put into your garden.
Generally speaking, most people who used coco coir have experienced a higher yield than they had when using other growing mediums such as soil or sand.
If you live in a warm climate such as in Florida or California, expect to see even larger yields when using coco coir.
Tips On Planting Vegetables In Coco Peat:
Whilst growing plants in coco coir is similar to growing in soil, there are some differences.
Coco peat does not have any nutrients in them so, mix coco peat with an equal quantity of compost. This way you will get all the benefits of coco coir plus the nutrients for your plants.
Watering a plant growing in coco coir is the same as when it is grown in normal soil or potting mix. The only difference would be the frequency of watering. As coir can hold a fair amount of water, you can skip one or two schedules.
The water requirements of every plant are not the same, some plants need more water while others can adjust in a little less. Veggies like tomatoes, cucumbers, etc would need more water compared to the plants like cilantro, or lettuce.
Overall, however, coco coir has a great reputation among gardeners and is a versatile material that can be used in all sorts of gardening ventures.
As long as you can find the right-sized pots and have good quality compost, you have no reason not to try coco coir. Just be prepared to give your plants what they need, and you’ll enjoy success more often than failure.
I hope you enjoyed the post. You can learn more about growing plants in coir here on this page.
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