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OfflineSirius
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Registered: 04/20/08
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The Wonders Of Coco
    #126598 - 09/29/08 06:12 PM (8 years, 2 months ago)

I thought I'd post some excerpts of an article I was reading about growing in coco when I was searching for some info. It basically outlines why coco is such an amazing and unique medium for growth - kind of a good introduction for those who've heard of it and might be interested in trying it out. If anyone is interested in sharing more good information, maybe we can combine it all together and make a good article for the main site on coco. :smile:

Quote:


http://www.sciencenet.cn/blog/Print.aspx?id=31100

Occasionally I get onto websites and discuss coir with novice growers. The way I explain it to them is that coir represents the best of soil and hydro in a single media. While this is a simplistic method of describing coirs unique properties, it is also an effective way to help growers understand the media’s natural buffering qualities, natural root zone preservation qualities and the ability to provide optimized nutrition via hydroponic technologies. To me, this makes coir the ideal media for novices who often grow in less than ideal environments. That is, coco coir, more so than any other media is extremely forgiving.


Coco coir buffers at between pH 5.5 and 6.5. This means the media helps to maintain optimum root zone pH (resulting in optimum nutrient uptake). Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) Coir has a high cation exchange capacity. Cation exchange capacity refers a medias ability to exchange cations between mineral and organic matter and the plants roots. Cations are positively charged elements such as calcium (Ca++), magnesium (Mg++), and potassium (K+). Cations are held by negatively charged particles called colloids. The defining feature of colloids is that the particles are small and consequently the total surface area is huge. For this reason the negatively charged colloids are capable of holding enormous quantities of positively charged cations. As plant roots uptake cations, other cations in the nutrient replace them on the colloid. If there is a concentration of one particular cation in the media, other cations will force them off the colloid and take their place. This means that a mineral balance is maintained in coir and these minerals are readily available for uptake.


Coco coir provides excellent insulation. This means that coco coir isn’t as prone to overheating, due to excessive ambient air temperatures, as many other mediums (making it ideal for warm geographical zones). This is because water tends to make its way into the lower regions of the coco coir, leaving the top layer dry. Because of this, heat needs to penetrate a drier top layer of coco coir before reaching the watered areas of the media. As water is a great conductor of energy (in the form of heat) the lower wet area being protected by a drier surface helps keep the lower areas of the media, where the bulk of the root mass is found, cooler. As media temperature and oxygen levels are interrelated (the warmer the media, the less oxygen) this insulation plays an important role in promoting root health. Compare coco coir to rockwool, another run–to-waste media. There are some significant differences in moisture distribution and media insulation qualities. Rockwool tends to become evenly saturated. Water, thus, distributes evenly from top to bottom, leaving the rockwool, typically, very damp. This means that heat can travel throughout the media (dry rockwool is an excellent insulator; it is simply that water conducts heat). When the ambient air temperature is excessively warm, so too is the media. Depending on the extent of this problem (too warm – not enough oxygen), oxygen availability to the root zone can become dangerously low. As I’ve already pointed out, coco coir tends not to do this. Water displaces from the surface of the media and moves into the lower regions. Because of this the media generally remains significantly cooler around the root zone of the plant.

Secondly, coco coir contains natural rooting compounds, in the form of potassium (electrolytes) and phosphorous (enzyme function/sugar production). Both potassium and phosphorous stimulate root growth and development.
Thirdly, coco coir has excellent air filled ‘porosity’ – the term used for the levels of oxygen availability (critical for transpiration) in the media. This is due to the large surface area of coco coir particles. As oxygen plays an all-important role in respiration (roots pumping nutrient to the plant) this factor further promotes root and (hence) plant health. What all of these factors add up to is that coco coir provides a sound environment for the plant’s root zone. This factor should not be underestimated because healthy roots invariably lead to a healthy plant (and a healthy yield).


The coconut palm, unlike many other plants’, is a salt tolerant plant. What happens with salt tolerant plants’ is that they uptake salt and displace it to areas of the plant where the salt can do the least harm. In the case of the coconut palm the salt is displaced to the coir – the very thing that we use as a growing media. This means coir can contain high levels of salt (sodium chloride), something which can prove toxic to many/most plants. On top of this coir contains large amounts of potassium and quantities of other elements. What this means is that coir requires special treatment to ensure a premium quality hydroponic media product is supplied to the end user.
The most significant elements in the analysis are the high potassium levels and the extremely high sodium and chloride levels (sodium chloride = salt). Potassium competes with magnesium and calcium while sodium competes with potassium for uptake. Furthermore, sodium chloride can be highly toxic to certain species of plants; even in relatively low levels, sodium chloride can have devastating effects on root health and development. What this means is that coir requires special treatment to ensure a premium quality hydroponic media product is supplied to the end user.




:ganja:


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Offlinet0ad
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Registered: 09/28/08
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Re: The Wonders Of Coco [Re: Sirius]
    #126644 - 09/29/08 08:18 PM (8 years, 2 months ago)

I've used Coco for mushroom cultivation, but how badly does this effect your pH w/ MJ and is it strictly coco or do you mix w/ soil amendments? (perlite, verm, soil, etc.)


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InvisibleMagashM
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Registered: 04/21/08
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Re: The Wonders Of Coco [Re: Sirius]
    #126710 - 09/29/08 10:20 PM (8 years, 2 months ago)

Grown in soil and like it a lot. Grown in coir and liked it even more. Grew in rockwool and didn't care for it much. Just about every hydro way out there so far I still like flood and drain with hydroton the best. Buuuuuuut as far as ease of use and such I have to give it to the coir.


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OfflineSirius
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Re: The Wonders Of Coco [Re: t0ad]
    #126861 - 09/30/08 09:55 AM (8 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

t0ad said:
I've used Coco for mushroom cultivation, but how badly does this effect your pH w/ MJ and is it strictly coco or do you mix w/ soil amendments? (perlite, verm, soil, etc.)




It works quite well as far as pH is concerned. I think most coco naturally has a pH of around 6.5 or so, and we usually aim for a pH of 5.8-6.3 for the best availability of nutrients, especially magnesium. We grow 100% coco which works quite well (coco naturally has excellent water retention and, at the same time, provides a great amount of oxygen to the roots), but some people do mix in perlite.


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OfflineSirius
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Re: The Wonders Of Coco [Re: Magash]
    #126863 - 09/30/08 09:56 AM (8 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Magash said:
Grown in soil and like it a lot. Grown in coir and liked it even more. Grew in rockwool and didn't care for it much.




I have found, though, that rockwool seems to work better for germination than coco does. Just tossing that out there. :wink:


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Offlinewangchung00
Registered: 10/08/08
Posts: 2
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Re: The Wonders Of Coco [Re: Sirius]
    #130477 - 10/08/08 03:59 PM (8 years, 2 months ago)

I've been using coir as a soil amendment for two seasons with great results, I've always like it but not i see why its such good stuff, thanks for sharing that with us.


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Offlineimpgl

Registered: 04/20/08
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Re: The Wonders Of Coco [Re: wangchung00]
    #130706 - 10/09/08 04:39 AM (8 years, 2 months ago)

im about to make a little grow bed in my wardrobe: pretty much a big tupperware with the bottom lined with hydroton, soil on top, and 4 PVC pipes on the side for air.

the reason Im going do this is because i hate lugging out runoff water (its too messy for me).

soooooo does anyone think that instead of soil, I can use coco instead?


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OfflineSirius
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Re: The Wonders Of Coco [Re: impgl]
    #130708 - 10/09/08 05:35 AM (8 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

wangchung00 said:
I've been using coir as a soil amendment for two seasons with great results, I've always like it but not i see why its such good stuff, thanks for sharing that with us.




Yep, its amazing stuff. Welcome to the Growery, man! :bigweed:

impgl, it might be possible, but I wouldn't recommend it, but only because I have a hard time conceptualizing how to best go about using a setup in which one can't have runoff water in the first place. I think soil would work better for beds like that, although I'm sure mixing some coco in would be great. I guess I just don't know enough about kind of setup though.... I love using individual containers and being able to flush frequently, to help keep the chemistry where it needs to be for individual plants. Hopefully someone who knows more on that will chime in. :wink:


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Offlineimpgl

Registered: 04/20/08
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Re: The Wonders Of Coco [Re: Sirius]
    #130753 - 10/09/08 12:38 PM (8 years, 2 months ago)

i got the idea from Soma's organic grow guide. its the same concept.

http://www.somaseeds.nl/magazine_articles/GrowingwithGuano.html

im thinking of maybe improving on the idea, and instead of 4 passive exhaust tubes, maybe using 2 at opposite corners and adding some sort of inline fan as an exhaust?


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Offlinepong
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Re: The Wonders Of Coco [Re: Magash]
    #173573 - 12/31/08 05:08 PM (7 years, 11 months ago)

Quote:

Magash said:
Grown in soil and like it a lot. Grown in coir and liked it even more. Grew in rockwool and didn't care for it much. Just about every hydro way out there so far I still like flood and drain with hydroton the best. Buuuuuuut as far as ease of use and such I have to give it to the coir.




how does coir differ from other soiless system like the hempy bucket?


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Offlinenewpala21
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Registered: 07/27/10
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Re: The Wonders Of Coco [Re: Magash]
    #455373 - 08/05/10 01:39 PM (6 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Magash said:
Grown in soil and like it a lot. Grown in coir and liked it even more. Grew in rockwool and didn't care for it much. Just about every hydro way out there so far I still like flood and drain with hydroton the best. Buuuuuuut as far as ease of use and such I have to give it to the coir.


  ok magash so u liked the coir idea better, so my question is if ur growing just one plant say in a 2-3gal pot what nuts would u use,at what ratio for watering and how often and which ones at which stage of the plant. i got organics, bone and bloodmeal, worm castings, and im gonna get some guano from walmart, no shit right, walmarts got guano, so my friend says.


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Invisiblemaryanne3087
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Registered: 06/27/10
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Re: The Wonders Of Coco [Re: newpala21]
    #455374 - 08/05/10 01:49 PM (6 years, 4 months ago)

Floranova @ 2.0 EC with a pH of 5.5 is easiest.

I like the Flora series better I think I use 6 micro, 9 bloom, with added humic/fulvic acids, roots excelurator(going to cut this at week 4 or so flowering), and super thrive (cut this in flowering). Seems to do really stellar.

I use both but I don't think I'll be buying the Floranova again any time soon.


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