Coco Coir Plants vs. Soil Plants: What's the Difference?
With any medium of your choice, you can grow cannabis plants in coco coir, rock wool, clay pebbles or merely soil. Cultivation of the medium is dependent on your requirements, so make sure to do your research before investing in a product.
Soil and coco are two common media options for growing high-value crops. As to the fact that each medium has its pros and disadvantages, your decision on which would suit would set Coco Coir Plants versus Soil Plants in your media selection. Choosing one for your indoor planting can be hard.
Therefore, this article seeks to offer you a better grasp of both media so you can make the best decision.
- Part 1: Soil Planting: Positives and Negatives.
- Part 2: What is Coco Coir? How is coco coir made?
- Part 3: Coco Coir Planting Positives and Negatives
- Part 4: Which Is Best For Cannabis Planting—Coconut Coir or Soil?
- Part 5: Other Common Questions In The Coco Coir vs. Soil Debate
Soil Planting: Positives and Negatives.
Soil is by far the most popular, and accessible substrate for both beginners and commercial growers around the globe. cause it provides naturally-existing nutrients and minerals.
Soil performs three major functions. It provides a basis for plant growth, a habitat for bacteria and fungi, and it filters water and recycles raw materials.
The soil also helps healthy plant development by providing ideal conditions for your plants’ roots to extend downwards or outwards through the soil to anchor the plant. Soil provides additional oxygen that can be absorbed by the plant root cells, which can break down sugars to convert into energy for your plants.
Soil is the most prevalent substrate for growing plants. However, like any of the media we are looking at, there are pros and cons to growing in soil.
Soil Planting Positives
Rich soil consist of the primary plant nutrients of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium along with a host of minor nutrients that help fuel cannabis growth. According to Kansas State University's Department of Agronomy, there are at least 17 essential plant nutrients. The very decaying organic matter and minerals within the soil that provides these nutrients.
Soil is also an easy-to-use growing medium, adopted by both novices and commercial farmers. Organic gardeners may prefer soil because of its inbuilt naturally occurring nutrients and minerals. Hand-watering and irrigation systems both function well with soil. Soil stores nutrients easily without stopping them from reaching the plant. Soil also helps insulate the root system.
Soil Planting Negatives
One of the major downsides of soil is that it can be considerably more laborious to move and manage than other growing mediums, such as coco coir. Its weight might make it less appealing for some gardening systems, even with indoor crop growing. Soil has a variety of mineral and organic substances which may or may not be optimal for performance. It is not feasible to properly account for all nutrients or poisons in soil, like in coir. The soil might also come with undesired or competitive organisms already existing in it, whereas coir is largely sterile.
What is Coco Coir? How is coco coir made?
Coco coir is a byproduct of coconut fiber, so it is also called Coconut Coir. The fantastic growing media is made utilizing fiber that’s pulled from coconut shells. The microscopic grains of coir are removed from the coconut shell and pulverized into a packable growth substrate. First, the coconuts go through the retting process, a curing method that naturally decomposes the husk’s pulp. Traditionally, coconut husks were soaked in water for six months or more to decompose. Today, the retting process can be done in a little over a week using contemporary mechanical processes.
EPIC Gardening introduce cococoir more significantly in the following video:
Next, the coconut fiber is removed from the shells by steel combs, in a process known as defibering. Once the fiber, or coir, is gathered from the husk, it’s then dried and pressed into bricks, discs, or coir pots. or bundled as a loose mulch. In this dried, processed stage, the coir is always ready to sell and utilize.
Coco Coir Planting Positives and Negatives
Coco Coir Planting PositivesCoco coir gives gardeners benefits ranging from eco-friendliness to convenience of usage. Because coco coir is an airy material, it fosters a robust and healthy root system. Plus, coconut coir has the benefit of keeping moisture longer than many other growing mediums. This means it won’t dry up as rapidly and is more forgiving if you fail to water it regularly. It also makes for speedy harvests and big yields. Coco coir also has a neutral pH range of 5.2–6.8, but you’ll still need nutrient support because this range will shift over time. It also minimizes hazardous diseases and lessens the risk of pests.
Coco Coir Planting Negatives
One of the biggest concerns that gardeners mostly growers of cannabis plants, have with coco coir is that it not only holds moisture but it can also wick up extra nutrients. This means your plants might not be getting as many nutrients straight away. If the coir is being utilized as a growing medium for immersion hydroponics or aeroponics solution, merely pre-hydrating the coir with the needed nutrients will serve for the small modifications to nutritional requirements. It also has possible high salt content and can lock out calcium, iron, and magnesium.
Which Is Best For Cannabis Planting—Coconut Coir or Soil?
Are you intending on growing your cannabis plants or any other plants indoors? If so, the soil is likely the way to go, particularly if you plan on growing organically. However, if you’re going to grow inside and utilize liquid fertilizers, coco coir is your best option.
Meanwhile, basic soil has the minerals and nutrients your plants need already built in, so you won’t need to apply extra fertilizer at first. You can irrigate soil in any way you see fit, and generally, the soil helps insulate the root systems of your plants, too. But dirt can frequently be too heavy to haul about. This makes coco coir a more enticing option for specific growing situations, like container gardening.
That said, coco coir can lead to specific nutrient shortages in plants if you aren’t diligent about supplementing adequately. The most common nutrient shortages are magnesium and calcium, so keep this in mind at planting time and supplement with a calcium-magnesium supplement to offset it.
It is commonly believed that growing in soil is preferable for organic gardeners while growing in coco is better for beginners. This is because you may have better control over all of your factors.
Does Coco Coir Decompose?
Coco coir decomposes as an organic compound called lignins, closely related to wood. However, it is worth mentioning that due to its high carbon to nitrogen ratio, and cellulose concentration, it tends to decompose very slowly.
Can You Use Coco Coir Instead Of Soil?
Coco coir should not be used instead of soil to cultivate plants and herbs. This is because of its low nutritional content, and strong water-holding capabilities. Indeed, barring a few outliers, it cannot provide the number of nitrogen plants required to grow. It can get overly wet if not watered with utmost care and, over time, as a base on something closely related to wood, tends to deteriorate.
Is Coco Coir Reusable?
Coco coir is reusable in the garden, and often, especially if relatively new, no extra preparation is required.
Can Fungus Be Found In Coco Coir?
Fungus gnats can form in coco coir as well. Many gardeners face such problems, especially utilizing coco coir as a beginning mix where temperature and moisture need to be kept high.
And if you still worry about germs that maybe harmful to your plants you could use UV/IR LED light bar to secure plant healthy.