What is Coconut Coir?
When coconuts are harvested, the shells are run through a powerful shredding machine. This creates coconut coir and utilizing it keeps it from going into landfills.
Coconut fiber, aka Coir, will create air pockets into whatever growing medium you are using. This can be potting soil, garden soil, or just strictly coconut fiber or chips or a combination. Your growing media functions better with air pockets in order to provide oxygen to the roots and the coconut chips are not very absorbent, so this works well. Coconut fibers do break down so make sure to “turn” your growing media and periodically add new coco chips or fiber/Coir.
What are Coconut or Coco Chips?
Made from shredded coconuts, these chips are a cross between coconut fiber/Coir and Coconut peat. Great for mixing in with your growing media to create air
pockets so that your root can have access to oxygen.
Is Coir Eco-Friendly?
It is beneficial as it is a sustainable part of farming. We use it at Hawaiian Volcanic Organic™ in all our greenhouses in both sub-irrigation raised beds and hydroponic beds. It creates air pockets that benefit the plant’s growth. The benefits of coconut chips and coir for farming range from pH levels to its sustainability. It also helps farmers and growers through its ability to retain water and it cuts down on watering and labor time.
Coconut Coir Benefits of Farming
Coco Coir is an increasingly popular medium for growing anything from vegetables to flowers. There is a good reason for this since coir offers many benefits due to its natural ability to retain moisture and the fact that it is environmentally safe. Farmers can use coir in place of peat moss or in addition to it to grow their product. Here are some of the benefits of coir for farming.
How Is Coir Used In Farming
Coir comes in several different forms that farmers can use. Coir pith is the substance extracted from the coconut husk. The pith goes through a composting process to reduce its bulkiness. This is also called coco peat and looks similar to peat moss. It can be used on its own or combined with peat moss to get the benefits of both. Coco fiber is also helpful in farming. It is very absorbent and helps to create air pockets that provide oxygen to the roots.
Coco Coir’s Neutral pH Level
Coco coir has a naturally neutral pH level. This is beneficial to many plants and vegetables which do not grow well in highly acidic environments. When farmers use peat in their farming beds, they also need to add agricultural lime to reduce the acid. Since it is already neutral or even slightly alkaline, one of the benefits of coir for farming is that it saves on the cost of adding lime and it saves on the cost of labor.
The Quality of the Soil
Coco coir does not contain a lot of nutrients on its own, so it doesn’t add to the nutrients of the soil. This is beneficial to many herbs that develop better flavor in lower-nutrient soil. Another benefit of coir for farming is that it helps to improve the quality of the soil. Since it is naturally organic and breaks down over time, over the years it will add organic matter to the soil. It will become loose and friable which is preferred by most farmers and by most plants.
Coir helps to improve soil drainage while still retaining moisture. Since the coir breaks down, it creates air pockets in the ground that not only helps extra moisture to drain away from the roots. Since they don’t stay too moist, it also allows oxygen to get to the roots. The coir also holds onto moisture for a longer period than most other growing materials so the soil won’t completely dry out. This means that farmers need to use less water and they can water less frequently.
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