The coconut is a great fruit. We all know how delicious the flesh is and the water is nutritious with lots of potassium but also the outside husk is very beneficial. It’s used in textiles to make ropes and to make things like our Coconut Fiber Pots and it can be ground down to really fine particles which are not really used in textiles, but are great for use in the garden. Coconut husks are also used as coarse chips such as our Mega Mulch, great as a mulch in planting beds and in the garden. Watch our video to see how Tricia uses coco coir in her garden.
Benefits of Coco Coir
This leftover fiber is called coconut coir, coconut pith or coco peat. It’s similar to but easier to use than sphagnum peat moss and it’s more sustainable too.
- This coir is biodegradable but it biodegrades slowly, more slowly than regular peat moss and other organic matters.
- It’s a naturally weed free and soil free product that smells good too.
- As a soil amendment it adds organic matter.
- Helps improve soil structure.
- Aerates the soil which is great for the plants roots.
- Improves water holding capacity–acts as a sponge to hold water in the root zone so that the plants can use it when they need it. Coir has a better water holding capacity than most soil amendments and it can hold seven to ten times its weight.
- At the same time that it holds on to water it will also get rid of excess water so that your plants don’t become waterlogged.
- Although it doesn’t have any significant nutrient value of its own, it helps the soil retain nutrients so that it’s available to the plants.
Just Add Water to Expand the Blocks
The coco coir fiber often comes in compressed blocks which will have to be soaked in water and then broken apart to use them.
- Just be sure and expand your block in a container that can hold seven times the volume of the block.
- Add water and let it absorb and expand.
- It may take about 15 minutes (maybe more).
- You can use a shovel or a digging fork to break apart any large remaining chunks and stir it until it’s fluffy.
How to Use Coco Coir
- In your garden or for your potted plants you can mix up to 40% coir with your soil or potting mix.
- Make your own seed starting mix–for starting small seeds it is best to use fine pith coconut coir.
- Coir is nice on its own but even better when combined with other amendments such as rice hulls and perlite. Using them in combination will provide you with the best results in drainage, aeration, and water retention.
- Coir also makes a great worm bin bedding!
Try some coconut coir fiber in your garden this season and grow organic for life!