The success of your garden depends on the composition of your soil. Following a recipe to create an ideal soil mixture, such as a coir fertilizer, can greatly improve your garden’s ability to grow healthy plants. Coconut coir (also called coir peat) makes an excellent addition to gardening soil. When used for gardening, coir is typically sold in bricks or in a powder.
Coir Peat vs. Peat Moss
Coir peat has become a popular substitute for peat moss, which is commonly used to add nutrients to the soil and improve growing conditions for plants. Coconut coir, as a byproduct of coconut processing, is a renewable resource. Peat moss, in contrast, comes from bogs that take centuries to form.
Compared to peat moss, coir has lower acidity (usually a neutral pH) and higher rate of water retention. It can be combined with soil and fertilizer or be used to create a soilless planting medium.
How to Mix Coir With Soil
Soil-based mixes are dense enough to support either mature or container gardens. They are also a cost-effective way to stretch your potting mix further. To create a coir-soil mixture, you’ll need a bucket, water, and equal parts of hydrated coir, soil, fertilizer (or compost), and, if you want, vermiculite or perlite.
Soak the coir peat in water. If you have a brick of coir, you’ll need to use more water. The package will tell you how much water to add. Coir is highly absorbent, and you will notice that the water is immediately pulled into the coir.
Mix the hydrated material with your hands and blend it until the fibers separate and the coir becomes loose and fluffy. When this happens, it is ready to be mixed with the soil.
Combine soil and coir peat in equal parts. Add up to one part fertilizer, and mix with your hands or a gardening utensil. The mixture should be fluffy and moist. Make sure to incorporate all of the ingredients and mix evenly. If you’re concerned about drainage, you can add perlite or vermiculite.
You can begin gardening right away with your coir fertilizer.
A Soilless Coir Mixture
For this mixture, you’ll need equal parts coir, compost, and vermiculite; a teaspoon of lime; and warm castings or fertilizer.
Break up the fibers by soaking the coir in water, and use your hands to thoroughly mix the hydrated coir. Mix in the vermiculite with gloved hands or a utensil. If you’re going to use this mix for new seeds, pass it through a one-quarter-inch screen.
For transplants and established plants, use a one-half-inch screen. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. If you aren’t planning to use the mixture immediately, make sure to rehydrate it before use. It should be as damp as a wet but wrung-out sponge.
These recipes are only two of the many ways to use coir fertilizer in your gardening. Use them as a starting point, experiment, and adjust the ingredients according to your preferences. Remember to provide your garden with sufficient air, water, nutrients, and support.