Whether you garden for fun or for profit, you want to get the most out of your seeds. One of the newest and most innovative gardening concepts is using coconut coir instead of a peat blend or other potting mixes to grow vegetables. There are many benefits to planting seeds in coco coir to grow vegetables in your garden, including the fact that it’s renewable and eco-friendly.
What Is Coco Coir
Coco coir comes from the inner fiber of a coconut’s thick husk. It is a byproduct of harvesting coconuts for food and for fiber, and it is very inexpensive. Some advantages to coco coir include the fact that it is environmentally friendly, biodegradable, and easily renewable. Each coconut tree produces between 50 and 200 coconuts each year, so even as the fruit is harvested, more continues to grow.
Advantages to Planting Seeds in Coco Coir To Grow Vegetables
Coco coir has a naturally aerating structure that allows it to hold up to eight times its weight in water, but because it is fibrous, the water easily drains to the bottom if you have it in a container. It is naturally free from weeds, seeds, and bacteria, and it doesn’t contain any fungal spores or pathogens. All this means that it will last longer than regular soil. Planting seeds in coco coir to grow vegetables allows you to save money and improve the soil structure.
Coco coir for planting comes in several forms including compact blocks. These small, compressed blocks are easy to carry and store, and they also do not take up much space if you are planning to start your planting indoors. Start by unwrapping the blocks and putting them in a large bucket. Follow the directions on the pack to add the right amount of water and then let it sit for a few minutes. Keep in mind that coco can absorb up to five times its volume in water so add the water slowly. Once the blocks absorb the water, it will start to crumble and fall apart. You can then use your hands to mix it all up. Add the mix to your pots or starting trays, and plant the vegetable seeds at the required depth.
Using Coco Coir
You can either use 100% coco coir for your soil or mix it with your favorite potting soil or potting mix. If you want to make your own seed starting mix for small seeds, it is better to use fine pith coco coir. Since coco can hold so much water, you don’t need to water your seeds as much as you would with regular soil. The water drains well too, so even if the surface of your soil feels dry, just an inch down it can still be very wet. Monitor the amount of water you use very carefully, and don’t water more than every two days.
Coco coir is an excellent alternative to peat moss and soil. It is eco-friendly, renewable, and free from weeds and other bacteria found in soil. Your vegetable seeds will love it and so will you.