Some Thoughts on Coco Coir

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Some Thoughts on Coco Coir

by oval » Fri Sep 28, 2018 4:34 pm

On the strength of this video (he gets 0 ppm for a bag of non-compressed coir):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keAueRtsroI

I bought this 5k bale of Mother Earth Coir (for about $11):
https://www.amazon.com/Mother-Earth-Nat ... =coco+coir

I expanded a very small portion of the bale (the remainder still weighs about 11 lbs) to make a bucketfull. I squeezed out some of the water and tested it with my TDS meter (the best 99 cents I have spent on eBay, by the way) and I got 140 ppm above the tap water I had used (260 ppm total). Maybe the machine used to compress the bale has some salty residue that transfers to the bale.

After the first rinsing it came down to 50-something ppm, so I was relieved. I rinsed it another time or two to make sure it was ready to use on my plants.

All in all, I think I really like this stuff. It seems light and airy. You can squeeze the water out of a handful and it springs back to the original volume, whereas peat tends to stay compressed. I have only been using it for a few months but so far I don't see much if any algae or mold on it.

If there could be some kind of rinsing standards at the manufacturer's to assure a truly lower TDS and not just sales pitch claims on the labels this could be a very useful medium.

One more phenomenon about coir that I have noticed recently: When I rinsed some already-rinsed coir with 122 ppm tap water by mistake and measured the TDS of the runoff after squeezing it out, the reading was around 90 ppm. I repeated the "experiment" a few times since and got readings between 70-90 ppm.

What is happening? Is the coir actually absorbing solids from the water? Perhaps keeping them away from the plants, or storing them up to unleash on my poor unsuspecting plants later?

Has anyone noticed this before?

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Re: Some Thoughts on Coco Coir

by Fieldofscreams » Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:17 pm

crazidirtbiker on youtube uses it too, check out his videos, he has one hell of a big pot of VFT's.

But, I don't see the point. Between coco coir and LFSM, volume for volume the cost is the same. At least with LFSM you don't have to do anything except get it wet and pot your plants.
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Re: Some Thoughts on Coco Coir

by Huntsmanshorn » Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:17 am

Fieldofscreams wrote: I don't see the point.


In some countries, peat or LFSM is hard to get and/or expensive. Also, I think I read somewhere, that it will become unavailable in the U.K. sometime in the future.

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Re: Some Thoughts on Coco Coir

by oval » Sat Sep 29, 2018 10:18 pm

Fieldofscreams wrote:But, I don't see the point. Between coco coir and LFSM, volume for volume the cost is the same. At least with LFSM you don't have to do anything except get it wet and pot your plants.


I'm not sure yet, but I think I will get somewhat more than the 3 cubic feet in the large peat bale at Lowe's. I barely wet an edge of the block and got about 2 gallons of coir. But yes, it's a little more work than the peat.

If peat becomes unavailable in some areas then maybe it will spark the coir industry to step up and provide guaranteed washed product or a guarantee of no (or a specified low level) of sodium.

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Re: Some Thoughts on Coco Coir

by Fieldofscreams » Sat Sep 29, 2018 10:21 pm

I'm not talking about peat. I'm talking about long fiber sphagnum moss.
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