What are the top benefits of growing in coco coir?
Coco coir is a naturally renewable resource that offers unique advantages when compared to other types of substrate.
As a top-level supplier, Pelemix can handle the challenge of meeting the present and future needs of treated, young coco fibers, as well as other state-of-the-art materials.
Benefits of growing in coco coir
Currently, a variety of substrates are used in conjunction with fertigation to meet specific plant growth needs. Among these materials, coir is recognized for its top-five positive features: efficient water management, nutrient handling, operational efficiency, disease control, and sustainability.
Let’s see how the use of coconut products increases the productivity of farms.
Coco fibers’ physical properties allow them to absorb both liquids and gases, and the structure has a higher surface area, higher water holding capacity, and optimal drainage per unit volume.
In horticultural production, the measurement of wettability is very relevant due to the large and rapid variations in water content in the media due to the limited volumes of pots or containers. Growing media can be classified in the ascending order of their wettability: wood fiber < pine bark < peat < coir.
Coir is hydrophilic, allowing water to evenly distribute over the fibers’ surfaces and reach the roots in an effective manner, even if after a long time dry. In contrast, peat moss must have a wetting agent amended to absorb and retain water when irrigation events occur because of its hydrophobic nature.
Coconut fiber is known for its high cation exchange capacity (CEC), i.e., the ability to attract and hold nutrients such as potassium, calcium, iron, and zinc. Its CEC is superior to that of perlite, sand, rock wool, polystyrene beads, and non-composted organic materials such as rice and peanut hulls. Coir has a slightly acidic or neutral pH, not as acidic as peat. The perfect pH for growth periods in coco coir is around 5.8 – 6.0.
Its high buffering capacity and ideal air-to-water ratio allows for the correct handling of the nutrient solution and practicing high-frequency fertigation.
Coir is a fibrous material contained in the mesocarp of coconut fruit (Cocos nucifera). Coir can be compressed and transported as a denser material, which means more product per square meter, saving space and time. This property also makes it possible to store coconut directly on the farm.
Implanting and maintaining coco coir is easy and less labor-intensive, whether you use the product directly from the bag or as a pot filling, both options being perfectly reasonable. Prior to use, the blocks of compressed coir are detached, moistened and fertilized. The volumetric expansion ratio on reconstitution is about six times, retaining its physical properties longer than other materials after moisture.
Growing the same crops in soil or another organic substrate year after year leads to the inevitable build-up of soil-borne diseases (such a verticillium) and pests (such as nematodes) and necessitates the expensive step of soil sterilization by steam or fumigation by chemicals.
The use of coconut as a soilless growing medium is excellent for preventing soil diseases and transmission between plants. Coir peat is clean, free from soil, contaminant plant material and other extraneous matter as well.
Many growing media are beneficial for root development by retaining air in the soil; however, coir holds more air when completely saturated. Plants’ roots tend to grow faster in coconut-based substrates, somewhere in the middle between conventional soil and hydroponics. Coir has also a high germination index when compared to compost.
Until recently, the main drivers for the selection of the component materials in soilless media were largely based on performance and economic considerations. But nowadays, the use of renewable materials and ease of disposal are also central aspects.
Coir is an organic material and a renewable resource, making it a more environmentally sustainable option on a field-scale basis.
Coir benefits improve yield and quality
The election of the growing media is important since its physical, chemical, and biological characteristics will determine water and nutrient management. According to university research, coir-bedding plant species grow as well as or better than those grown in peat-based substrates. Moreover, same-sized pots have been found to grow larger in coir than in soil.
The benefits as mentioned above protect farmers’ investment and provide a clear advantage over other substrates. By sharing their expertise and knowledge, a reliable coco coir supplier can enhance these unique benefits through all stages of your project.