Coconut coir is the thick fibrous covering present between the outer and the hard inner layer of the coconut.
The layer is thick and has dense fibers that are used for a variety of purposes. This thick fibrous covering is also known as the mesocarp.
Many of us throw the dust and this fiber layer into the bins think it’s useless and only used for burning purposes.
However, nowadays, the fibrous layer is used in many industrial areas. This blog will discuss the core usage in gardening and different types of products made with this coconut coir.
Let’s have a look and read below everything you need to know about coco coir and its uses in gardening.
What is Coconut Coir
Coconut coir is the middle layer known as mesocarp. This layer is present between the outermost covering and innermost hardshell.
This dense fibrous layer is mainly used to make mattresses and other commercial products.
Moreover, these days, the fibrous layer is often used in gardening due to its water holding capacity and many other usages. The small fibrous layer is also used to make the automobiles’ seats.
Additionally, you also have seen mats made with coconut coir. Earlier, coconut coir was thrown out, but it has been widely used for many purposes.
Also, the coco peat or fibrous coir has excellent water retention properties and is widely used in gardening areas.
Though it doesn’t add any nutritional value to plants’ soil, it helps consume nutrition from the soil adequately.
This is one of the methods to prepare soil for sowing seeds in pots.
How to Make Coconut Coir
To get the coconut coir, the fibrous layer of the coconut undergoes several processing stages. Foremost, the dense coco coir layer is extracted out from the coconut and wetted into the freshwater or tidal water.
If you are wetting it with tidal water, it will soak a large amount of salt, which must be extracted during processing later.
Once wetting is done, the coir will then leave for drying under the direct heat of the sun. The drying process is quite extensive, and it will take around one year to dry coconut coir completely.
Once it completely dries off, the coir is processed into several forms such as chips, powder, and other forms for commercial purposes.
It is further processed finely to make it suitable for horticultural usage.
Also Read: 9 Reasons for Yellow Leaves on Plants
Uses of Coconut Coir
Coconut coir can be used for a variety of purposes in gardening. Some of the uses we have explained here would help you to take full advantage of coco coir in your garden area. Have a look!
1. As an Alternative to Peat Moss
This can be an eco-friendly version of peat moss. This can replace the peat bogs in gardening. The coconut coir is the bi-product obtained from the coconut.
Hence, it is more sustainable and eco-friendly than peat moss. Moreover, the peat moss bogs are non-renewable, whereas the coconut coir can be obtained continually from the coconut.
In addition, coconut coir provides several other benefits, such as neutralizing soil easily and manipulating and improving soil drainage. Therefore, coconut coir is a better alternative to peat moss.
2. Soilless Potting Mix Component
Coconut coir can be used for making soilless potting mix components. This mixture can be perfect for gardening in indoor spaces.
Moreover, it helps to improve the water retention capacity of the soil. Besides that, it supports excellent drainage, allowing plants to grow properly without soil.
3. Add with Garden Soil
Coconut coir can be used as a soil additive. The coconut coir has excellent water retaining capacity and soil binding capacity.
Moreover, it helps to maintain the aeration of the soil. Suppose your garden has the clayey form of soil and you want to improve its texture and water holding capacity, then you can add some coconut coir.
This will help in improving soil texture and helps to retain water for longer.
At the same time, if your garden has sandy soil and doesn’t hold water for longer, it would be great to add some coconut coir into the soil.
This gives a perfect texture to the soil and makes it fit for gardening purposes.
All these make a coco coir a great product that can be used in gardening. There is various coco cair products available in the market that can be used in different forms in your garden.
The following section will help you choose one, keep on reading.
Want to know how to plant in pots using soil? Check out our definitive guide on how to prepare the soil for planting in pots.
Types of Coconut Coir
Different coconut coir products are available for gardening and planting purposes. We have mentioned every type of coco coir product that can use in your garden.
Have a look and choose according to your requirements.
1. Coir Plant Liners
Coir plant liners are made with multiple layers of coconut coir. The multiple layers of the coconut coir are compressed together to make a thick and rigid structure.
This helps prevent the leakage of the soil as these are into the shape of the basket.
The coconut coir plant liners are excellent for growing plants in indoor and outdoor spaces. Moreover, these are spongy and help to retain moisture for longer.
2. Loose Coco Peat
Coco peat is excellent for seed germination and planting of vegetables. Loose coco peat is readily available in the marketplace. It can be used in gardening as a direct mix in the form of beds.
Moreover, you can also add the loose coco peat into the pots for seeding and flowering.
During frost conditions, it can be used for mulching purposes and help to protect plants from frosting condition
3. Coir Climbing Poles
Coconut coir can be used to make poles and large sticks to help the climbers expand. The poles and sticks can often be used for maintaining aeration in the soil.
The coconut coir poles help provide support to the growing plants.
To use the poles, you can place them directly into the soil and press them firmly so that it reaches the soil depth perfectly.
Also Read: How to Take Care of Big Leaf Plants Properly
4. Seed Starter Coco Disk
The coconut coir is compressed naturally and forms into the seed starter coco disk. This is specially designed for seed germination and helps to support the growing seedling.
However, the disk may vary in size when hydrated with water.
The seed disk is composed of a thin net and holds the coco peat used for seed germination.
When the plant is ready for transplanting, you can immediately pick up the whole coco coir disc and implant it into the soil.
5. Coconut Coir Pots
These are designed to support the growth of all kinds of plants. The best thing about the pots is they are bio-degradable and can be recycled easily.
Moreover, the pots hold the water longer and maintain aeration into the soil. You can also use it directly for growing plants and can be used with soil.
6. Compressed Bricks
The small fibers of the coconut coir can be compressed into the form of bricks. However, the coconut coir can be made in different shapes and sizes.
Due to compression, it can supply a large amount of coco peat in small spaces.
However, it should be adequately watered to expand and take its shape before usage. The process of hydration is often known as reconstitution.
7. Coir Mulch Mats
Coconut coir can be used to make mulch mats. These mats are helpful to protect plants from frosting conditions.
You can directly place it on the soil. Moreover, it also helps prevent excess heating conditions and helps to soak water.
8. Coco Chips
Coco chips are made up of a different form of mesocarp and endocarp layer. They can vary in size and shape.
The coco chips are generally used for mulching purposes and as the potting mix. This can improve drainage and aeration into the soil.
These are some of the different product types of coconut coir that you can choose according to your requirements. Being a renewable product, you can be environment-friendly as well.
Usage of Coconut Coir
Coconut coir is an excellent choice to grow plants in indoor and outdoor spaces. This is versatile and can be used for growing plants such as vegetable plants, flowering plants, and many more.
However, when using it for indoor purposes, do ensure to pay extra attention and make it fit for all purposes.
It needs to be treated differently for both purposes.
Also Read: Is Garlic A Vegetable? [Solved]
For indoor plants, coconut coir seems to be an excellent choice. This helps to make the base for the seedling and is also used as the growing pots. However, it would be great to use the coconut coir bricks for indoor purposes.
Before using then, ensure to hydrate the entire brick and soak the seed into the coir. This helps to retain the plant ideally and support the natural growth of the plant.
Also, for growing plants are indoor spaces, you need to add extra nutrients like nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium.
But if you are using these bricks for succulents, check out the water retention capabilities. Add coarser material with the coir to make it excellent for succulents.
Here, you can check out the best big leaf indoor plants to make your home more lively and greener.
When you are using the coconut coir in outdoor spaces such as garden areas, do ensure to check the texture of the natural soil before using it.
Let’s suppose that if the soil has a clayey texture, you can add the coconut coir to make it ideal for the growth of plants.
The coconut coir creates the light texture of the soil and helps support the plants’ growth.
At the same time, if the soil has a sandy texture, add the coconut coir to make it ideal for the growth of the plants. You can add nutrients to support the growth if required.
Advantages of Using Coconut Coir
There are many advantages of using coconut coir in gardening. These are as follows:
1. Excellent Transition for Soil
Coco coir act as a good transition for the soil. Moreover, it can be a better alternative to the soil and make plants feel like they grow into the natural soil.
The only difference is you have to add water into the coconut coir that has a mixture of nutrients.
2. Insect Neutral
Coconut coir can be your natural insect and pest management system. It helps control the pest attack and keep the plant safe from the harmful pact of the insect and pest attack.
3. Improves Drainage
The best thing about the coconut coir is that it helps improve the drainage and allows to retain the moisture in the soil for a longer time.
It can absorb a ten times higher amount of water than its weight.
Coconut coir is eco-friendly as compared to the peat poss. It can decompose quickly and allow you to hold the moisture.
Since this is generated from the hard shell of the coconut, you will have the coconut coir easily throughout the season.
Disadvantages of Using Coconut Coir
While there’s nothing in this world that is perfect and so as coco air. There are a few pros that you should check out before using it for gardening purposes. Have a look!
1. Require Supplements
Coconut coir being neutral, require additional supplement such as peat moss and calcium magnesium to support the growth of the plants.
Moreover, you can also add extra fertilizers to support plant growth.
Coconut coir doesn’t contain any nutrients or other components for plant growth. You have to add the nutrient to support the growth of the plants.
It is pretty much expensive in comparison to peat moss. But it can save a lot of time and effort of sowing seeds as it comes with pre-pack supplements.
So, you don’t need to add much.
What is Coconut Coir?
Coconut coir is the middle layer known as mesocarp. This layer is present between the outermost covering and innermost hardshell. This dense fibrous layer is mainly used to make mattresses and other commercial products.
How to use coconut peat in gardening?
It can be used in multiple ways in gardening, which are as follows: As mulch, use as an alternative to soil bed, potting mix, media in hydroponics, etc.
Can I grow a plant by using coco peat and compost?
Yes, coco peat and compost can be used for growing plants. Composts are helpful to bring nutrients to the soil, and coco peat helps retain moisture. However, make sure to use an equal compost and coconut peat ratio.
Can I grow plants in coco peat alone?
No, you cannot use the coco peat alone because it doesn’t hold any nutrient content and only acts as the seed base. However, if you want to grow the plant in coco peat, then do ensure to add nutrients and compost to enrich it with vital nutrients.
What is the ideal pH of the coco peat?
The ideal pH of the coco peat is between 5.5-6.8. This is why it supports the growth of the plants properly. The pH is slightly acidic to release nutrients slowly into the soil.
Can I mix coconut peat with soil?
Yes, it helps to improve the soil texture. In addition to this, it helps in moisture-retaining and makes the soil well-drained and aerated. Thereby helpful in preventing root spoilage.
How long can I restore the hydrated/reconstituted coco peat?
Coco peat can be restored or stored for more than three years. It can resist fungus and bacteria; this is why it can restore for a longer duration without destruction.
How to Use Coconut Coir
This is all we have for you today if you are interested in knowing about coco coir and its usage in gardening. Of the above, coconut coir has so many advantages, and now it is used for gardening and many other manufacturing purposes. This provides a base to the seed and is also helpful to retain moisture in the soil.
This is an excellent alternative to the soil and can be used in all spaces for gardening and planting seeds. However, you need to add water and vital nutrients into the coconut coir for better growth of the plant. If you have been with us till now, you know all the advantages and disadvantages of using coco coir in gardening.
What do you think? Will you start using it for gardening purposes and ditch the peat moss? Do share your views with us in the comments section below.