Is growing in Coconut Coir better than growing in good ol’ soil? That’s today’s question today for our scribes Jay and Uncle Tweezy of UptownGrowLab. Depending on your growing style, using coconut fiber to grow marijuana just may work. So let’s take a look at coir—sometimes referred to as coco fiber or coconut coir, sometimes it’s called coconut husk—starting with a definition.
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What is coir?
First of all what is coir? Coir is the heavy fibrous pith found under a coconut husk. What’s awesome about using coir as a grow medium is that coconut husk fiber is completely biodegradable. Coconut Coir can be bought in single pound coconut coir bricks that expand up to 9 times their dry size when soaked with water. Suffice to say coir holds water really well. So be careful. Coir is also available in a coir mat product, this is usually used to line pots and shit for your backyard patio, so stay away from it. It’s also available in bags, already soaked and ready to use. It looks a lot like regular soil. That’s why coconut fiber is sometimes referred to as coconut soil or coco soil. Basically coir is cjust another form of soil-less grow medium—think hydroponics. We don’t usually use coir. Stuff Stoners Like used it for a bit in their personal grows and dug, but they’ve moved onto organic soil. At Uptowngrowlab we’re currently growing all organically as well so we stay away from things like coir. But don’t let us stop you.
Growing in coco
Coconut fiber, coir, is an excellent addition to just about any grow media. After rinsed thoroughly of any salts coir fiber will hold whatever food or minerals you’d like to feed your plants. Jorge Cervantes has a method of mixing coconut coir with compost and perlite for his grows. Some cannabis cultivators mix coir with expanded clay pellets and get great results.
As with any grow media or substrate in hydro you’ll need to keep a steady eye on your coconut husk fiber. That’s because coir will not act as a buffer between any supplements or nutes and your plant’s roots. If you miscalculate the strength of your nutes your plants will suffer immediately when using coconut coir. The ups and downs of hydroponics with or without coconut coir? Explosive growth and quick ruin. So measure carefully and you’ll be fine. If you plan on using coir for your next grow just make sure it’s rinsed. Also, always check your ph before growing in coco. Also flush out the coconut coir at least 10 days before harvest to get rid of all the built up nutes in your plants.
Coir and organic gardening
We don’t believe that coir should play much of a role in an organic garden other than to stretch out your soil mix. And even then we don’t use it. In an all organic soil environment the soil is alive. It’s actually living and working with the other organic minerals that either are already in the mix or that you layer into it. That’s not that case with coconut coir. Soil acts as a buffer between the roots and nutes slowing absorption. Coconut coir doesn’t do this and so you’ll quickly pay for any mistakes. Good luck if you go for it.
To answer all your cultivation questions we’ve teamed-up with experts Jay Kitchen and Uncle Tweezy, authors of The Kitchen presented by Uptowngrowlab—an oversized, hard-covered, coffee table book that’s 50% grow guide, 50% adventure story and 100% awesome.
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