What is Coco Coir?
There are various growing media used in hydroponics, but there is a relative new one that gets the attention. It is called coco coir and it is obtained out of coconut fiber. It acts like a sponge due to the fact that it has a special structure.
Coco coir is known for its capacity of absorbing water which makes it perfect for this type of system. Even though it absorbs a small amount of water, the combination of water with the coconut fiber releases a mixture that helps your roots to develop. Furthermore, it is able to increase the oxygen levels in the growing medium which favorites the appearance of benefic bacteria. It has a major disadvantage: it has a higher rate of deterioration, so it is quite sensitive to the surrounding environment. It needs special care in order to function properly.
Coco coir enjoys a pH levels that goes around 6.0 and 6.8. It is the perfect growing media for gardeners that have time for monitoring it. It is durable and has good absorbing qualities. Anyway, you can only use it for a couple of times after which you will have to entirely replace it.
You should know that this growing media has a special delivery system. You can only buy in the form of bricks which when inserted into water expand. It is eco-friendly, so you will not have to worry about its effects on the outer environment. Also, it helps your crops in growing in a safe set up.
Coco coir is that type of growing media that encourages the root growth and sustains it in the process. It sort of helps the gardener by providing to the plant a supplement of water and nutrients. It is able to protect the plants in front of certain diseases, but there are some bacteria that coco coir cannot stop.
It has little weight which is both bad and good. It is good because it absorbs the water, but it is bad because it can float around the growing container. This can cause plant damage. Experts recommend mixing the coco coir with perlite or clay pebbles. This will offer extra support and your plants will be safe and free to grow as much as they desire.
As already note, this growing material is perfect for retaining minerals. Think about it as a storage unit in which you will find nutrients. This has a major disadvantage too: coco coir can absorb too much phosphorus and calcium, which means it can overfeed your roots with those nutrients. It can interfere with the potassium, which can permanently damage the roots.
Bottom line, coco coir tends to be the future of hydroponic systems. Even though it has some disadvantages, those can be overcome by combining it with some other growing media. It is perfect for keeping the moisture levels right and for completing the nutritional diet of your plants. Anyway, you need to keep in mind that coco coir needs special attention and it is prone to damages due to its fragile nature.
|growing media, hydroponics|