Anyone interested in a coconut coir forum?

Lake Elsinore, CA

Seems like there is a lot of conversations and questions about this and it spans too many different forums, it would be really nice to have a coconut coir forum so all subject matter about it could be discussed in that one forum.

Who's for it?

Corte Madera, CA

I'm in.


Lake Elsinore, CA

The reason why I mentioned this is that everything I have is growing in coconut coir or coconut coir mixed in with other mediums and I want to feel as if I can talk about it freely somewhere on Dave's Garden.

(Zone 4b)

I may be interested.

Ames, NE(Zone 5b)

Pugzley good idea..You can hire the Lady Sheriff from Texas to make sure
there isn't any Hyjacking..LOL

(Karen) Frankston, TX(Zone 8a)

ROTF, Tubs I'sa gonna get you!! I'm in, we need a safe place where we can talk about coir to our hearts content.

Ames, NE(Zone 5b)

Hi Karen I was sure hoping you would catch that...LOL
Boy it is hard for me to keep my mouth "finger" shut..
DW said to be nice.So biting tongue..LOL

Lake Elsinore, CA

You two are highjacking my thread. :P

Johnson City, TN(Zone 6b)

Me 2 Me 2. Devota

Johnson City, TN(Zone 6b)

Is there any way to keep it a secret...teehee? It might keep me outta trouble.

Johnson City, TN(Zone 6b)

Karen, u have dmail

Lake Elsinore, CA

Tubby and Karen, I so hope you know I am teasing you guys!

Johnson City, TN(Zone 6b)

"Ain't scared are ya Pugsley?"

Lake Elsinore, CA

I am...

NOT scared.

Johnson City, TN(Zone 6b)

LOL new sheriff in town?

Dade City, FL(Zone 9a)


I can't keep up. All the good people are here and as it is I run a fine line with only 1 EB and 2 NJ stackers. I have so many systems going. Ack!!! I have no home....:( lol

Johnson City, TN(Zone 6b)

It's not the size of your trunk girl. It's the "stuff" in there. You are doing great. I have a 10 and a half by 10 and a half space and I'm as happy as if I had an acre. It's just too much fun...2 EBs, gro bags and DBuckets.

This message was edited Apr 19, 2009 9:10 PM

Lake Elsinore, CA

Don't feel bad, 2busy, I've got grow bags strewn all over my front and back yard, all kinds of pots all over the place, New Jersey stackers and no EB's so I really have no home.

Dade City, FL(Zone 9a)

Devota: Right now my 'trunk' ain't in too good of shape though. Ha. I can't wait until I get as good as some on here. I'm green with envy, just not on the thumb.

Concord, NC(Zone 7b)

Yes, please! A coconut coir forum would be at the top of my "favorites"!

Pembroke Pines, FL(Zone 10a)

Sounds good to me! Just like the Texas Gardeners have their own thread or forum. Why not ? There certainly is enough interest. My thread alone on the coir questions has been hit about 270 times. So much so that I'm thinking on making a continuation because of it's length. If anyone knows how to do so, please do?

Kerrville, TX

Aw.........I reckon as how we could use a coir forum. But one thing worries me. Im using about 50% per-lite and 50% coir. Would I be considered a full fledged member.......or just something like an "associate member"? I wouldn't wont anyone giggling and whispering behind my back, "this goofy old doofus puts per-lite in his coir." Kind of like them guys making fun of me for pouring 7UP in my bourbon while they drank theirs straight up. I don't wont to be considered a "sissy" cause I'm not a straight coir kind of guy. Ya'll gotta promise me I wont be discriminated against or I ain't joining. One thing I willl agree to though if its written in the by-lines, I promise never ever to put any cow poo or worm squezzings in the coir. That's plumb sacrilegious.

Mid-Cape, MA(Zone 7a)

Hey, Jaywhacker, I've been reading your stuff on coco coir. Tell me more about why you add 50% perlite to your coir? Is this because you feel it needs to be even lighter? I'm just beginning my coir-adventures in containers and have a lot to learn.

Lake Elsinore, CA

"One thing I willl agree to though if its written in the by-lines, I promise never ever to put any cow poo or worm squezzings in the coir. That's plumb sacrilegious."

Ruh Roh! I've mixed and moxed my coir up with all kinds of stuff... and yes! cow poo and worm squeezings, too.. along with garden soil! there! I said it! Garden soil! And potting mix... and and.. other things as well.

Kerrville, TX

I had 40 EZgro stacking containers which came with a grow mix of 80% perlite and 20% vermiculite.........a fast draining mix common to hydroponic type gardening. I have added another 50 EZgro pots and I wont a relatively fast draining mix in the new pots because all of the stackers, the old and the new, will be watered from the same automatic watering system. In other words, every stack of pots will get about the same amount of water each day and Im trying to match the gro mixes so that they all have fast draining mixes.

On the other hand, the first stacking planters I ever bought were from the Verti-gro company and they supplied a grow mix of 80% coir and 20% per-lite. Im still using that same grow mix about 4 years (maybe five) later and was so impressed with it that I will be converting everything over to a predominately coir based system. I will add, or not add, per-lite as I see fit. Being able to re-use your grow mix for more than one year and doing it safely is a big money saver and I am convinced that you can do that with Coir. Just dont pollute it with a lot of cow poo, worm squezzing's, etc, and clean and flush it after a growing season. Flushing with a weak solution of hydrogen peroxide is what hydroponic growers do.

I am a flower grower predominately and my way of doing things may not be what is best for vegetable growers and others. I add perlite to the coir to create a faster draining mix that will require more frequent watering. I think thats best for what I wont to do. Central Texas has strong sunshine and winds and I believe a faster draining mix and more often watering will work best for me. It may not be right for what others wont to do. Do I KNOW I am doing this right? No. I'm not to the point where I absolutely know about this stuff. I suspect a lot of things though. I guess you could call me a "suspicious gardener." much for my suspicious behavior. For those of you first trying coir as a grow mix, I would suggest that you stick with what Bob is doing because he is undoubtedly successful with it. And I believe he uses just straight coir. And so do a large percentage of the commercial growers who use hundreds of coir grow bags year after year after year. Stick with what is known to be working at first. As more and more of us on this forum gain knowledge with the coir medium, we can help each other improve our use of it. Everyone's growing situation is not exactly the same and experience my cause some of you to wont to modify the basic coir mix. Who might wont to mix in a little per-lite next year for a faster draining mix.............or not. :-) Sorry I'm not much help but I am still learning.......and still suspicious.

Mid-Cape, MA(Zone 7a)

OK, I'm going to ask, because I just don't know. How do you know how to "mix and mox" with your coir? I kind of get being a coir purist: using only coir in my containers (for good or for ill)-- but how do you figure out how to incorporate other things with coir into your soil or containers? Is it kind of like using peat moss, but not evil? Also, not naturally acid, so do you need to add amendments?
Such a neophyte.

Mid-Cape, MA(Zone 7a)

Thanks, Jaywhacker--you answered a lot of my questions in your post which came in while I was typing mine just above.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Um, I'm in wherever ya'll try 2 run 2, but ya'll gotsta behave or take a timeout in a corner with NO coir to play with! So what's it gonna be? ^_^ Don' hate -- participate!

Kerrville, TX

Pugzley........Pugzley......Pugzley........Gosh, I just don't know what to say. I cant believe you committed adultery and adulterated that virtuous and pure coir with all that nasty stuff. Geezzz! Even battery acid wont flush that stuff out. You done went and salomonellied and polluted your grow mix. Garden soil!!! Some of the nastiest stuff known to mankind. And cow poo too? Did it ever cross your mind that cows know best what to do with cow poo. If you had needed cow poo, the cows would have come over to your place and personally deposited it into your grow bags. I cant go on..........I am just speechless.:-)

Johnson City, TN(Zone 6b)

"I am just speechless" not likely...jman.

Lake Elsinore, CA

Yeah, I done and mucked up my coir, but the problem I have here is weather in the 100's a lot of the time, so my coir was for the purpose of holding more water in my mixes. Actually was 96 today in the shade, don't know what it was like out there in the sun. Had to be 104 at least if not hotter. It's still almost 80 degrees at this late hour. If this keeps up my season is over before it got started. And there is no humidity here, either.

I asked Boca Bob when I got the coir if it could be mixed in with other mediums and he said yes.

I still have about 8 pure unadulerated 5 kg blocks of coir, so hopefully I can still qualify for the school of coir purity.

The plants are all happy so far. I hope they stay that way.

Dade City, FL(Zone 9a)

well, it's settled. I'll just have to start converting little by little. Cuz I ain't stayin back!!! Like it or not, you guys are just stuck with me. :)

Kerrville, TX

Pugzley........You are fun to banter with. Here is what I suspect about soiless grow mixes. You have probably heard it all before but maybe some others have not.

Peat and Coir are both known to hold a certain amount of moisture while still allowing air to get to the roots of plants. They are pretty close to equal in water holding ability (I cant find a chart for comparison right now) but peat will pack down over a period of time with top watering and also break down structurally more so than coir. That causes peat to begin holding maybe too much water plus restricting air flow to the plants roots. Also, peat has a slightly acid PH and for some plants has to be modified with lime to grow some kinds of plants where coir PH is near neutral.

If you mix coir with any other growing medium, it probably shouldn't be something with the same moisture holding capacity and that will restrict air flow. If you add coir to garden soil in the garden dirt, it should improve the garden soil. But if you add garden soil to coir in a container, you are creating a wetter less airoated grow mix.

Vermiculite holds water pretty good so I wouldn't think a coir/vermiculite mix would be too good. Too wet.

Perlite, while holding some moisture, is mostly used to open up the pores of a grow mix and allow the plants to breath. It can be used by itself with frequent watering. Adding it to coir will create a more open grow mix hopefully allowing plants to get the moisture and air they need throughout the season. The more perlite you add, the more often you may have to water, depending on climate and a lot of other factors.

Adding some types of organic fertilizer stuff, cow poo, worm slime, etc, can tend to close off air pores in a container mix. There are some organic ferts available for container growing but I am not familiar with them.

Coir by itself looks like a pretty good growing medium. You may wont to modify it to better fit your growing conditions, climate, type of plants, etc. after you gain experience with it. But to me it definitely has advantages over peat based mixes. And yet, I will not hesitate to use peat based mixes like I always have at times. Whatever fits the situation as I understand it......and also at times........whatever fits the pocketbook. I can always run downtown and grab some peat mix but cant buy coir locally. I used some peat mix in my small 12 inch NJ stackers last year and stuff grew OK but the peat was a solid hard lump by the end of the season.

You notice that I never made an absolute statement in all the above stuff? That is because I am still studying and learning about this stuff, still going by what I "suspect" is right.

Your suspicious friend........Jay.

Lake Elsinore, CA

I'm doomed Jaywhacker! Doomed I say! :)

I've been worried about what I've been doing, too. Because no one knows for sure what's going to happen and I am anything but scientific and this is only my second year gardening and my first year with the coir.

So, do you think I'm ok? Everything is growing, the tomatoes have blooms, they're getting really tall and bushy with tomatoes on them, we've been eating lettuce for awhile now. My question is, could things suddenly go bad in the grow bags or something? Or would I have noticed it immediately if my mixing and moxing was going to be a problem?

Lake Elsinore, CA

ha! I know one thing for sure after this convo, Jaywhacker. My precious pepper plants are going into straight coco coir! LOL!

Alexandria, VA(Zone 7b)

I'm wondering about mixing coir w/ coco chips. I've grown orchids in the chips for a couple of years now, & I like how it doesn't break down & get mucky too quickly. I might experiment & mix it in 1 or 2 smaller containers to see how it fares...

Ripon, WI(Zone 4a)

I'm in for a coir forum. The more I can learn the better and it will be easier to find if it's all in one place. Or course, we had snow here this morning so it could be a while before I get to play in mine! Uggggg

Johnson City, TN(Zone 6b)

goldfiinch4 when is your "last frost date?" Devota

Lake Elsinore, CA

Here's a picture of my tomato plants in growbags all strung up on wires and using the vine clips. Looks weirder in person than in this picture. Also I'll include a pic of my determinants in 7 gallon pots. I've got steer manure/compost blend about 15 percent, potting mix about 15 percent and coco coir about 70 percent in these bags, along with granular 9-12-12, epsom salts and a little bit of oyster shell lime. The plants are actually about a foot taller than this. I filled the growbags 1/2 full and planted the plants, then I filled the growbags as they grew taller, pinching off the lower branches as they grew.

This message was edited Apr 20, 2009 8:32 AM

Thumbnail by Pugzley
Lake Elsinore, CA

Here's the determinants, same mix in these.

Thumbnail by Pugzley

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