Coco coir for growing marijuana is a proven, safe and effective method to cultivating any garden. It is a perfect medium if you want soil that has great aeration and is excellent in retaining and draining water. Your plants will benefit from its highly fibrous and nutrient-rich composition.
What is Coco Coir?
Coco coir is made from coconut husk. It is the fibrous material between the outside layer and the coconut. It is brown colored and comes in compressed bricks or bags of the shredded husk. There is no difference between the bag or brick version of the coco coir. If you get it in brick form, you just add water and pull apart the brick to expand it. In the bag form, it has already expanded and will only need water.
Coconuts that are for sale in Woolies or Coles don’t come with coco coir, it is removed before it is sold to the general public. If you go to bunnings, however, you will see it is for sale in the gardening section.
Coco Coir for Growing Marijuana – Benefits
Coco coir has been used commercially for growing plants like lilies or roses since the ’80s in Holland. The main reason why it was used was due to its excellent promotion of root growth. But it’s also great for retaining moisture and draining excess water.
Water Retention, Drainage, and Aeration
As previously mentioned, coco coir is brilliant for water retention, drainage, and soil aeration. It holds water/nutrients in for a period of time then drains the excess. Its aeration is perfect for roots to expand without struggling. Traditional soil mediums like outdoor soil are tougher thus more difficult for roots to expand in search of nutrients.
Coco coir is also a renewable resource, unlike peat moss. Peat moss comes from bogs that are found only in the northern hemisphere and take up to 25 years to renew. Coco coir comes from coconut plants which around 150 coconuts are produced yearly from a single plant.
Another added benefit of coco coir is that it prevents nutrients from leaching.
Read more: Coco Coir for Growing Marijuana – Pros and Cons
PH of Coco Coir
One of the biggest reasons people grow with coco coir is that its PH balance is very close to neutral which is ideal for growing marijuana. Coco coir has a PH of 5.2 – 6.8 as opposed to peat moss which is around 3.3 to 4 PH, teetering it on the acidic side. A lot of plants thrive from a neutral PH including cannabis, and you won’t need to add lime.
Coco Coir is Rich in Nutrients
Depending on the source of the coco coir (where it’s manufactured), it can be rich in manganese, copper, potassium, iron, and zinc. The citation rate for coco coir is also worth mentioning. The citation rate just means that nutrients are released at a steady rate when needed. But on the other hand, coco coir tends to store magnesium and calcium more than other nutrients. Just keep this in mind when adding fertilisers to your grow.
Coir contains lignins, a compound that encourages the growth of bacteria that is beneficial for the development of a healthy marijuana plant. Beneficial bacteria flourish when lignins are present. Lignins also minimises harmful bacteria. As an added benefit, you can put beneficial microbes in your grow medium, which will mean faster growth, bigger yields, and less likeliness of disease.
What Makes Coco Coir so Good?
Coco coir is very beneficial as it is rich in hormones and contains bio-stimulants that enhances the development of cannabis plants. The coconut husk fibers are full of hormones that give coconuts a head start when they begin to grow. These giant seeds feed on the husk and act as growth stimulants.
In comparison to peat moss, coconut coir lasts up to three times longer. The breakdown rate takes longer due to the composition of the medium. Coir is great at resisting compaction and breakdown rate.
Using Coco Coir as a Grow Medium for Marijuana
When you purchase coco coir in a bag, it usually comes in 50lt bags. This can be poured straight into a pot. If you purchase coir in a compressed brick form, you need to add water and crumble the brick into a pot. If you purchase it online, the coir will most likely come in brick form. This is to reduce delivery costs as it is more efficient size-wise. It is still possible to get coir in 50lt bags online as I have done in the past.
When watering the coir and your plants, you don’t need to stress about overwatering it as excess water just runs off to the bottom. You won’t need to worry about having too much moisture as coir will only retain what it needs. Even when the coir feels dry when you touch it, chances are deeper inside it will still be moist.
You can use coco coir on its own or combine it with other growing mediums such as potting mix or perlite. It is also used for indoor and outdoor plants. When adding coco coir, its best not to compress the coir into the pot. For best results loosely place the coir into the soil and water it well.
Using Coco Coir in Hydroponics
Before you dive in headfirst with using coco coir for hydro, you must make some changes to how you do things typically. You must first buy coco coir specifically formulated for hydroponics. Don’t buy a mulching coir.
You must rinse the coco coir well with water until the runoff is clear. This is because coco coir is naturally rich in salts. The water will look mirky at first due to the salts but once it’s clear, the salts should have been rinsed off with the water. Once you have rinsed the salts off, you might find that the coir sticks to each other making it clumpy. Simply pull it apart with and loosen it up.
Last but not least, you should buy fertilisers that are intended for use in coco coir. This is due to the fact that coir has a great tendency to store and deliver certain nutrients as previously mentioned. This goes for your reservoir as well, even if you have the right mix of nutrients you may still notice deficiencies if you don’t cater to how coir stores and releases certain nutrients.