What are Coir Bricks?
When it comes to coconuts, most use its white flesh and milk and discard the remaining parts. Now, however, this former waste product is being harvested into a variety of products, ranging from fibers used for rugs and insulation to gardening and composting media. With unique natural qualities, coco coir is fast becoming a good gardening media alternative.
What Are Coir Bricks?
The bricks are made from ground coir and compressed into a brick form for easier transport and shipping. The process for maximizing this growing medium is extensive.
Husks are removed from the coconuts and then soaked in order to loosen and soften the fibers. They are then removed from the water and dried for up to a year.
After drying, the fibers are sorted and processed. The fibers used to make coco coir bricks are finely chopped and then compressed.
Rehydrating the Bricks
As a solid brick, coco coir must be hydrated to achieve the soft, fluffy soil-like mixture. Simply place the brick into a bucket, add the suggested amount of water, and let it sit overnight. If too much water is added when making coco coir bricks, you may need to allow the mixture to sit and dry, as too much water can cause damage to your plants by essentially drowning the roots.
Coco coir is a great medium to use if you’re new to hydroponic gardening and do not want to invest in a full hydroponic system. Coco coir is like soil gardening but utilizes the basics of hydroponic gardening. Coco coir is the most effective media for water retention, absorbing as much as 10 times its weight in water. Coco coir bricks are great for hydroponic growing.
Container and Organic Gardening
Coco coir is a great product to use for container gardening. However, it is best used with additional media, such as perlite and vermicompost. Because coir retains so much water, too much can cause damage to plant roots, essentially drowning them. The addition of perlite helps the mixture dry slightly and allows you to better control the moisture levels in your mixture. Vermicompost is an organic composting media that utilizes various worms to break down plants and food waste, creating a nutrient-rich material that is perfect for plant growth.
Once rehydrated, coco coir makes a perfect medium for worm composting, or vermiculture. Its natural ability to maintain moisture and nutrients while providing air pockets creates a perfect environment for the worms. Once the coir bedding is in place, add the worms, allowing them to burrow into the bedding. Organic food waste, such as coffee grounds, eggshells, vegetables, and fruits can be added and lightly covered with additional coir.
Things to Keep in Mind
Coco coir is an inert substance, containing no nutrients. When used for gardening, it may be necessary to add nutrients in order to achieve quality plant growth. You will also need to look for coco coir that has been processed in fresh water because coir retains salt and, if it is processed in salt water, the salt can kill your plants.”-The Coir.com Team