49p Home Bargains Coco Coir experiment


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Found these Coco Coir blocks in Home Bargains the other day for only 49p each, so we grabbed half a dozen for testing purposes. Branded under the typical poundshop style name of Smart Garden, the packaging doesn't give a lot away as to the exact contents or it's processing, but it does have an EcoLabel.eu badge so surely have to abide by some kind of standards ?

I took one block, added three litres of water as instructed, and a few minutes later had 10 litres of expanded Coco Coir. I decided to test a spare ventricosa and four recently germinated sibuyanensis x burkei seedlings (prematurely pricked out of their sphagnum) in 100% cheapo coir, so we'll see how they do.

 

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I'm wondering if these blocks could be a cheap way of bulking out my usual sphagnum/orchid bark/charcoal mix in order to make it go further. But i have no ideal what mineral content or other unsuitable ingredients these blocks may contain. Anyone else trying these out at the moment ?

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Doesn't coco coir have a high (relatively) amount of natural salts in it?

I believe so, but it is supposedly thoroughly washed through during processing to remove these trace elements before sale. Some companies use chemicals to do this flushing.

We'll see how these go, but i'm not holding out much hope for the seedlings !

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I've been using coir for years as a base for all my planting media including cp's and i bought 20 blocks of the Home Bargains stuff 2 or 3 weeks ago now to give it a go. It seems to be ok right now, a nice mix in structure and not so much dust as in the Fertile Fibre stuff (thats my usual coir of choice)
I buy coir in anyway because i use it for substrate in spider tanks and i use alot of it, but never on its own as it comes.
for general use i first make it up with boiling water (reverse osmosis) but then i put it in a large bucket with drainage holes, give it a first rinse with more RO water and then leave it outside for a while, a week or two depending on the weather.

to use it for the cp's i mix 2 parts coir, one part moss peat, one part vermiculite, one part granite sand and one part perlite. i put an inch of coarse gravel in the bottom of the pots first then fill them to 1" below the top of the pot with the coir mix and then lastly and inch of sphagnum moss.

Am i overcomplicating things? i probably am, but i feel that it works and it hasnt killed any plants as of yet

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to use it for the cp's i mix 2 parts coir, one part moss peat, one part vermiculite, one part granite sand and one part perlite. i put an inch of coarse gravel in the bottom of the pots first then fill them to 1" below the top of the pot with the coir mix and then lastly and inch of sphagnum moss.

 

 

I avoid the use of vermiculite in CP mixes, except for Mexican pings, as it can turn alkaline.

 

50:50 coco chips/peat is working good for me at the moment, but early days yet.

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  • 1 year later...

I clean forgot about this thread until recent talk of coir again in a newer thread, so i'll update this one with my findings.

Personally, i found this cheapo coir to be horrible nasty stuff. The surface developed a thick slime algae within a few weeks of potting (intermediate/highland greenhouse conditions, very humid). Suffice to say, the tiny seedlings didn't survive getting suffocated by the slime. The ventricosa appeared to continue to grow fine (admittedly only a few weeks had passed) but i decided to repot it in my usual orchid bark based mix.

I don't know therefore if this stuff is suitable for other CP's grown outdoors maybe, but i wouldn't recommend it for a warm humid greenhouse.

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  • 4 weeks later...

saw this when looking for something else and as it was only 49p picked up a few. Must admit haven't got round to using it but the above will no doubt avoid a few pitfalls.

Will stick a sacrificial lamb in an outside planter and see what happens.

Failing that the Mrs can have it for the baskets.

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