Whether you’re just getting started with a hydroponics system for cannabis production or you’re an experienced grower looking to improve the overall health and quality of your plants, you may want to consider using coco for cannabis growth. Coco coir, both in loose and brick form, is a highly popular growing medium that offers superior water retention and aeration while simultaneously being eco-friendly and incredibly sustainable.
Coir, made from the fibrous part of the coconut, was considered a waste product of coconut harvesting and production. However, recent research has shown that coir is an effective growing medium and soil amendment that can help plants reach their full potential.
Benefits of Coco for Cannabis Growing
Coco coir is a very forgiving growth medium, making it an excellent option for new growers. It can be hand-watered, unlike some other mediums that require an irrigation system, and it’s easy to assess when your plants need water. Simply pick up the pot or grow cube they’re in. If the container or cube is light and dry, it’s time to water; if it feels heavy or looks dark, the coco coir is still maintaining hydration.
Many cannabis farmers, whether farming for commercial or personal use, consider eco-friendliness in their setups. As a renewable, sustainable, non-toxic resource, coco coir is a growth medium that’s very environmentally conscious. It’s also resistant to bacteria, fungus, and mold, providing a stable base for every variety of cannabis plant.
Prepping Your Coco Coir
It’s important to note that you can’t just order coco coir and use it without any prep. Because coco coir is an inert medium, it needs to be appropriately prepared before germinating seedlings. You can purchase pre-made blends of coco coir that are already rinsed, buffered, and fertilized, however, you can also have fun experimenting with your proprietary growth blends.
If using dehydrated coir blocks, the first thing you need to do is rehydrate the block. Because coir is highly water-retentive, this is a relatively fast and easy step. Once your block is rehydrated, you’ll want to strain it over a fine mesh to remove the coco peat particles. Coco peat tends to retain excess water, so straining the coir is essential.
You’ll also want to buffer your coir to remove any unwanted sodium and potassium. You should soak your coir fibers in your buffering medium for at least eight hours to make sure that they’re fully prepared. This would also be a good time to add an initial dose of liquid fertilizer to the mix, but when and how you fertilize your coir is up to you.
Although coir can be used on its own as an effective growing medium, many growers choose to add perlite to their coir blend to improve aeration and water drainage. Because coir is such a forgiving medium, it works well with many different blend ratios. How you choose to blend and use your coir is up to you, but if you prepare it correctly, it’s an unbeatable growth medium for cannabis production.