Simply put, a substrate is the surface or material on or from which an organism lives, grows, or obtains its nourishment. There are many different kinds of substrates, like soil and hydro. In this blog, we discuss coconut or coir-based substrates and how to use them successfully.
What is a coir-substrate?
This type of substrate is made from the bark of coconuts, that consists of raw fibres. Coco bark is a residual product that would be discarded if it wasn’t used for our substrates. This makes coco substrates a sustainable choice that is very suitable for the ecologically conscious gardener! Examples of coco-products that are used to compose coco-substrates are: Coconut grit, coco fibre and coconut kibbles. These 100% natural materials can be used in substrates and have many benefits. They add airiness to the substrate and absorb and drain water very well, making coconut material a very good choice to grow your plants and crops on.
Application of coco-substrates
Coco can be mixed with soil to improve the airy structure. By itself, it’s already a more airy substrate with a coarse structure that allows the plant roots to get access to plenty of oxygen. This coarseness also doubles as efficient drainage, although coco is also very good for water retention. For growing strong plants, coco is an outstanding medium.
Like mentioned, coco is great at water drainage and water retention. It’s also a sustainable product, made from residual material. To make things even better, coco is very durable: it could be used for up to 5 years until it starts to decompose. Additionally, coco is not very susceptible to harmful bacteria or fungi. The bigger coco-kibbles are very effective to use as mulch. For all these reasons, gardeners that love nature and like to grow consciously are more likely to grow on coco than anything else.
Various Coco substrates
At Wilma’s Lawn & Garden there are several coco-based substrates available. Just make sure you know what it is that you want to accomplish with your substrate. Coco has so many properties and is very versatile, each one a little different than the other. And coco is also very suitable to mix with other substrates. Before getting started, find out which substrate suits you, your goals and your plants best! Let’s take a look at all our different substrates and their unique properties:
Atami Cocos Substrate
This is one of our classics, and has received the RHP-certification that guarantees top-quality. All coco fibres are washed, steamed and buffered to form the optimal growing substrate. It also contains enough nutrients for the first week of growing, and liquid nutrients and stimulators can easily be added at any time.
Atami High Porosity Cocos
All the benefits of growing on quality coco, with added perlite for more airiness which will result in better root development for your plant. The coco is free of any salts, which means a very balanced pH-value and perfect nutrient absorption by the plant.
Atami Hydro Rokz Cocos 60-40
This micture of high quality coco and clay pebbles is a match made in plant-heaven! It offers all the benefits of growing on pebbles with outstanding drainage and excellent oxygen-supply. The coconut fibres make sure there’s a perfect level of moistness around the roots of the plants.
Improving the substrate
If you’re cultivating on a coco substrate, your plant will need nutrients. We have some products that are especially suited for growing on coco: Atami Coco Nutrition A&B is applied while watering. It’s very rich in minerals and is especially developed for growing on coco, feeding the plant and the substrate at the same time! Coco substrates are very convenient for adding nutrients and fertilizers, as they are airy but still good at retaining water. Any nutrient added will remain in the substrate for quite some time, allowing the plant to gradually absorb the nutrients or fertilizers over an extended period of time. This benefits the plant greatly and is also economic for you, as you don’t need to add nutrients that often!
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