Coco Coir: A Growing Medium From
"The Tree Of Life"
Since ancient times, the coconut tree has been called the “Tree of Life” for its uncanny (nearly miraculous) healing properties and usefulness. A study of the coconut tree reveals an almost supernatural evolution to become one of the most useful species of plant life known to man.
The anomaly of medium chain fatty acids, lauric acid in particular, as well as anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal ingredients in the coconut fruit itself have made for an unusual but incredibly potent immune system booster in humans. Coconut oil has been used by Pacific Islanders and Asian cultures to effectively treat everything from skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis to the common flu virus, hepatitis C and the measles.
The coir from coconuts (the brown fibers that surround the outside of the shell of the nut which, surprisingly, are found to be swarming with all the beneficial nutrients found in the fruit itself) has been used for making brooms, rope, and bindings to doormats, fishnets and even frames for housing.
The famous explorer Marco Polo even used coco coir to bind together planks for ship building.
Recently, it’s been discovered that coco coir is an incredible growing medium with a near perfect pH for hydroponic growing!
What Makes Coco Coir The 800lb. Gorilla Of Growing Mediums
- Because of its naturally aerated structure, coco coir is almost impossible to over water. In fact, coco coir can hold up to 8x its weight in water, and rather than over-saturate, will simply reject what it can’t absorb comfortably. If you provide too much moisture to peat bases, for example, you run the risk of water logging. Not so with coco coir.
- Coco coir is a 100% environmentally friendly and completely renewable resource. You can use coco-coir with a perfectly clean conscience, because there exists nothing more environmentally friendly.
- It is also odorless and easy to handle (besides a thorough rinsing if you buy low-quality, sodium-packed varieties. See note below.).
- Numbers vary depending on who’s reporting them, but in general, coco coir is known to have a nearly neutral pH balance (average of 6.0-6.7), making it ideal for hydroponic growing because it won’t interfere with the balance of your choice of nutrient solutions and supplements.
- Coco coir is naturally anti-fungal, anti-microbial and anti-bacterial (though oddly it creates a wonderful and friendly environment for “good” bacteria). It can help protect your plants against pathogens like Pithium and… at the same time, it will allow beneficial bacteria to thrive. It’s almost eerie how true to its name, “The Tree of Life”, it really is.
- Erik Biksa, of HydroponicsSecrets.TV, reports that “The coconut is teaming with naturally occurring growth hormones and other bio-stimulants that are inherent to the survival of the species, which fortunately for growers may be found in the fibers surrounding the “seed” which may be processed for use as a growing medium.” Among the useful nutrients the coconut is teeming with are calcium and magnesium, and especially present in coco coir, is potassium. Potassium is critical for plant growth… but… the amount of potassium must be managed because too much runs the risk of potassium toxicity.
Which brings us to a very important point about using coco coir as a growing medium…
If the nutrients you’re using are not designed to be coco coir safe, you’ll not only be missing out on the gigantic yields you could be getting using coco coir… you run the risk poisoning or starving your plants!
It’s true that calcium and magnesium both occur naturally in coco coir. But the amounts of each aren’t sufficient to feed your plants.
Not only that, but calcium and magnesium are both naturally attracted to bind to coco coir!
Which means only the highest quality, chelated forms of magnesium and calcium (like the kind used in Advanced Nutrients’ products) are able to succeed in a growing environment that uses coco coir.
Lesser forms of either will bind to the coir and your plants will be left hungry!
And if your nutrients don’t use chelated magnesium and calcium, you’re missing out on better yields. (A lot of inferior brands will try to add dolomite lime as a quick-fix to solve this problem, but don’t be fooled… it’s not effective.)
That’s why our calcium and magnesium supplement, Sensi-Cal, has performed so well. It was designed to operate in a less-than-ideal environment and bring everything up to speed.
It’s also true that if a hydroponic nutrient or supplement doesn’t account for the levels of potassium already present in coco coir, you risk potassium toxicity.
With that in mind, it’s very important you’re sure the hydroponic nutrient products you’re buying are coco-coir safe.
Here’s a list of coco-coir safe products from Advanced Nutrients: