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How to Get the Greatest Benefits from Coco Coir

Coco coir is making big waves in the world of hydroponics. Slowly but surely, grow rooms the world over are converting to one of the few completely organic growing media available to hydroponic growers. It may even soon surpass rockwool as the most popular medium used by hydroponic growers because of its higher environmental friendliness and excellent water and oxygen retention. But like with any new product or innovation, it comes with its own rules of proper usage. If you treat it like any medium that you have used before, you probably will not enjoy all of the big yields and fantastic root structure that you can coconut coir can provide you. Here are the best ways to get the most out of this exciting medium.

Use Coco Coir Specific Nutrients – Coco coir just isn’t like other media. It has a lot of unique physical and chemical properties that might actually make typical hydroponic nutrients less than ideal. Most hydroponic products assume that you will use something like rockwool, perlite, clay pebbles, air, or water as a medium, and design their nutrient balance around these kinds of media deliver nutrients. But because coconut fiber is unique, it might actually retain certain nutrients while releasing others at a faster rate. This means that your plants might suffer from a nutrient deficiency even if the nutrients appear to be perfectly balanced in your reservoir. Nutrient products designed specially for coconut fiber have the special nutrient balances that plants growing in this medium need.

Rinse with Freshwater Before Use – One of primary concerns of using coconut coir as a hydroponic medium is salt content. Coconut husks have a naturally high amount of salt, and that might negatively affect your conductivity and cause salt buildup. Most of the higher quality coconut coir is thoroughly rinsed before it is sold, but much of the cheaper coconut fiber you find usually contains high levels of salt. If you can, opt for the higher quality, pre rinsed medium. But either way, you should rinse it with fresh, pH balanced water before placing it in your growing trays or buckets.

Break Apart with Your Hands – After rinsing for the first time, coco coir has the tendency to clump together. To make sure that your roots will receive all the oxygen that they need, break it apart with your hands before placing it in your hydroponic system.

Use a Product that Contains Beneficial Bacteria – One of the primary benefits of coco coir is that it contains compounds that make it an ideal environment for beneficial bacteria. But this unique feature of coconut fiber doesn’t help your plants much if these symbiotic bacteria are not in your hydroponic system. Even if you do introduce some beneficial bacteria to your system by using organic nutrients and fertilizers, they will probably be average in strength and helpfulness. The beneficial microbes found in some high quality hydroponic supplements, on the other hand, contain exceptionally powerful and productive strains of these bacteria.


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Since 1999, Advanced Nutrients has been committed to educating the community and bringing the most up-to-date knowledge to the forefront of grows across the globe. Every article you read here has been curated by Advanced Nutrients’ industry experts, so you can continue raising your bud weight… and your reputation.

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Over time, components within the nutrients settle on the bottom of the bottle. When you pour a bottle without shaking it, you can potentially be pouring out an unbalanced solution. Shaking up the nutrient bottle ensures you are pouring the right blend into your reservoir, giving your crops the nutrition they need.

Usually, it’s not a problem. But some products are incompatible with each other and can damage your plants when they’re used together. For example, bloom boosters with high PK numbers or low-grade silica products can destabilize your nutrient mix and cause nutrient lockout.

Nutrient manufacturers design their products to be used with each other. In doing so, they include specific portions of each nutrient in each product, so crops receive the right nutrition through each stage of the grow cycle. When you stick with one manufacturer, you don’t have to worry about inadvertently destabilizing your nutrient mixture. One example of why you need to stick with only one manufacturer’s products is Advanced Nutrients’ pH Perfect line. These products are designed to keep your crops’ root zone within a specific pH range. When you use them alongside products from another manufacturer, we can’t guarantee your root zone will maintain its optimal pH level.

Yes! If you’re growing with Advanced Nutrients products, you can use our easy nutrient calculator to generate the correct nutrient chart for your crops in seconds. Check out Advanced Nutrients’ nutrient calculator here. Another great resource is our library of free custom-growing recipes. Try our expert grower-tested nutrient schedules here.

You can also download our official BudLabs app to generate nutrient schedules and receive real-time notifications for specific tasks, including feeding your crops. Upgrade to BudLabs Pro to maintain profiles on an unlimited number of crops.

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Just call 1-800-640-9605 or email support@advancednutrients.com. For Spanish-speaking growers, email spanishsupport@advancednutrients.com.

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Advanced Nutrients has spent many thousands of man-hours developing a technology that automatically balances your pH for you — putting it in the “sweet spot” and holding it there for one week.

And the technology is so “smart” that it can account for many of the aforementioned variables in your grow room. Our proprietary pH buffering agents and stabilizing mechanisms became the foundation of a new system aptly called pH Perfect® Technology. Learn all about it here.

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