Though relatively new to the market, coco coir starter plugs are an excellent choice for home gardening enthusiasts. Coir is a great material for holding moisture, maintaining a neutral pH level, and providing good aeration and sufficient nutrients. As people move away from classic seed plugs, coco coir starter plugs have become a popular medium for new seed development.
What Are Coco Coir Starter Plugs?
Starter plugs are small, compact masses of plant-growing medium. They can be made from coco coir, peat, soil, or other materials. Some gardeners choose to add their seeds to basic plugs, but you can also purchase plugs that already have seeds. Starter plugs provide the necessary aeration and moisture control for successful seed germination.
To grow, seeds need good aeration and the proper amount of moisture. Coco coir starter plugs can be purchased in ready-made trays or in bulk in bags. Either way, they are a great way to grow seedlings before transplanting them to larger containers or into the ground. Try these methods to use your coco coir starter plugs.
Using Bulk Coco Coir Starter Plugs
Place a single plug in a clear 1-ounce cup and add water. (You can also use an egg carton, which will provide a built-in humidity shield.) Add about 20 milliliters of water, and the plug will quickly expand. Add water until the plug is fully saturated.
Push around the coir fibers to hydrate and mix up the material. In the center of the coir, form a hole where you will plant the seed. Once placed, cover the seed with the coir. Add extra water so that the seed will germinate. Place the cups on a tray and cover with a humidity shield. Check the seedlings daily and make sure to add water when needed. When they germinate, they are ready to be transplanted to larger containers.
An Alternate Method
You can also purchase coco starter plugs in a preformed container. If you do, you should use a different method to prepare the plugs. Mix 2 parts boiling water to 1 part cold water. Slowly pour the water over the starter plugs. You’ll see the plugs absorb the water immediately and grow in size.
Coir is highly absorbent and will retain water for a long period of time. Use a skewer or knitting needle to poke holes in the plugs to make sure that they are entirely soaked. Aerating the plugs like this will help promote root growth. Tip and move the tray around to ensure that the coir is fully saturated with water. After the plugs cool, form a hole in each for the seed. Place the seed and cover the top of the plug. Be sure to check the moisture levels every day until the seeds germinate and are ready to be transplanted.
Whichever option you choose, coco coir starter plugs are excellent for seed germination. They are easy to use, and they provide just the right amount of nutrients and hydration that your seeds need.