When planting season comes around, current pH soil levels influence decisions about which vegetables to grow, as well as where to grow them. Since conditions need to be met for optimal growth and high yields, starting with a neutral pH growing medium like coco coir takes some of the guesswork out.
Whether growing directly in the soil, a greenhouse, a raised garden bed, or in containers, understanding why vegetables prefer particular pH balances might mean the difference between a healthy, full crop and something less than ideal. The use of coco coir as a medium also means knowing what pH for coco coir is ideal and in consideration of what is being grown.
What is PH?
PH, or potential Hydrogen, is the measurement of lime (calcium) that naturally occurs in the soil of a given area. If the environment is too acidic– measuring 7.0 or lower when tested– the growing plant may not attract enough hydrogen. However, if the environment is too alkaline– measuring 7.0 or higher when tested– the plant may attract too much hydrogen. If pH balance fluctuates too much, growing may be slowed or crippled. Dry climates are often alkaline and moist climates are usually acidic. Soil can be tested at garden centers, or you can purchase an at-home testing kit. Purchasing a kit may be the best option in order to monitor pH throughout the growing season.
What pH for Coco Coir?
Coco Coir retains water exceptionally well and at the same time, it provides proper drainage. Unlike traditional acidic peat moss with a pH of 3.8-4.0, coir’s neutral pH of 5.5-6.8, makes it an ideal accompaniment to garden beds, containers, and greenhouses.
Since most vegetables prefer a pH anywhere between 5.0-7.0, coir makes an ideal medium that won’t interfere with and may balance pH. Its harmony with other mediums means coco coir creates a beneficial environment for growth.
Different growing methods allow for better pH control
- Raised beds/Container: Raised garden beds allow for several layers of growing mediums to accompany coco coir in order to adjust pH acidity up or down depending on the plant’s preference.
- Hydroponics: Since coir is considered a hydroponic growing medium because of its moisture retention and drainage, it can be the sole growing medium. High-quality coir results in low sodium and balanced pH, although coir may be buffered with calcium for optimal growth in a hydroponic environment.
- Greenhouse: Due to their higher humidity, greenhouses may create conditions for acidic soil. Since coir has neutrality it makes an ideal medium in greenhouse environments, and its addition can naturally raise soil’s pH.
Knowing soil’s pH is one of the building blocks of a healthy garden and a map to its success. Coco coir, a beneficial growing medium, can help balance pH and maintain that balance over time. Regular soil testing helps to monitor pH and make adjustments that most benefit growing vegetables. Coco coir allows gardeners to spend more time enjoying their results, instead of fretting over pH.