1. We are currently experiencing issues with viewing and uploading images, our team is working on the issue.
    Dismiss Notice

Idiots Guide To Coco Coir

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself' started by Outkast Seeds, Feb 7, 2008.

    Outkast Seeds

    Outkast Seeds Well-Known Member

    Okay, if you've read this far you're obviously intrigued by the prospect of growing in coco coir. If you know any little tricks, please add them on.

    Choosing a brand or type of Coco.

    There are a lot of different brands out there. We won't name any one type. There are also a lot of different grinds and varieties of coco. They range from plain long strands, which come in bags or in pucks ( see profit disks ) to coco croutons, essentially very course chopped coco nut husk, to very fine chopped which has a few fibers and little chunks of coconut husk. We like the kind that comes from the pet store and is used for reptile bedding. It has a lot of long fibers and a good mix of small to large chunk coco husk. We use this in hand water to waste. We've seen profit disks used in ebband flow, and croutons in drip, but the beauty part is you could use any one of them for almost any system. Scope them all out and choose one that meets your needs.

    Hydrating (Fluffing ) Coco.

    This is pretty easy. You will want at least one big rubbermaid tub with small holes drained in the bottom, ands a pair of elbow length rubber gloves.

    First of all coconuts are grown by the sea. They are harvested by the sea, and up till recently really the husks have been discarded by the sea and lain there absorbing salt. No matter what brand of coco you choose, flushing it out is a good idea.

    So here's what we do. We take a couple of bricks of coco and throw them in a 10 gallon bucket. We add 3 gallons of warm to hot water per brick. Then We leave it alone. The coco will slowly absorb the water. If you're in a big hurry, put the gloves on and kinda peel it while it's sitting. The wet outside layers come right off. We don't like bending over the bucket so we go watch tv or play with the cat while this is going on.

    After the coco has absorbed all the water, put the gloves on and reach in and fluff it all up, make sure there's no large clumps. While doing this, Keep an eye out for chunks of salt. We have found about a ping pong ball size chunk in a bale one time. It can happen. Now each brick hydrates out to about 3 gals. of coco. So if you have a bad back, this next part sucks. Ours are not the greatest but we can still manage it. Dump the coco into a large rubbermaid tub with a lot of small holes drilled in the bottom. Get your bucket and start dumping warm to hot water thru it, flushing out all the salt. Figure at least 3 times the water to coco. We'll pour a bucket thru,wait for it to filter thru, then we have another rubbermaid tub that slips inside on top and we'll stand in it to press all the water we can out. Pull the top tub out, fluff the coco again, and repeat. Do this till you've poured 2-3 times the amount of water to coco thru it.

    That's it. Your coco is now ready to use, as is. Wait a sec, no additives?no perlite? no nutes? no lime? bone meal? wormcastings? guano? Nope. Nada. You really don't need any of that stuff really, because you're going to be watering everyday so it doesn't dry out. You'll also be feeding everyday. Depending on which system you use you may be feeding more than once a day. Coco is essentially a hydro system. The biggest mistake we made, and we made every mistake there was, was to insist on treating it like soil. You'll be tempted we know. It seems wrong to water everyday till you get 10-15% runoff. Do it anyway.

    ph and Nutes for coco.

    We have one friend who keeps his ph at 5.2. Ours is about 5.5. The safe range appears to be 5.4- 6.2 . IMO 6.2 is the very high end, and you see better results under 6.0
    The good news about nutes is you can still use organics, but we'd recommend using them in liquid form. Liquid guanos, worm poo, teas. we've seen growers add them directly to the coco and get great results. Seen other growers add them and have nightmares. IMO it's easier to control them when adding them into your daily water schedule. You may need cal/mag and extra N to offset the naturally high level of K in coco. This is particularly a problem if you let the coco dry out or the ph gets out of whack. We like hygrozyme 1 tsp per gallon with every watering. Suffice it to say, almost anything works, you just have to get to know your plants and to figure out the formula that's working for you. If you want simple and easy, get a 1 step coco specific nute like CNS17, about 1/2 tsp per gallon a day works for me. We like the KISS approach to nutes and coco. Keep It Simple Stoner.

    That's about all the knowledge we have to impart on this subject.

    VictorVIcious Well-Known Member

    Thats interesting. Guess you need to do some research then. Most of the coco doesn't need to be rinsed anymore, Seems a couple of years ago the producers figured out the salt thing, none of that except adding water and fluffing has been necessary for some time now. May want to update your information if you are going to post it.
    The only thing I have noticed with coco is the fungus knats are always there. I am experimenting with putting about an inch of flock rockwool on the top of the coco to see if that will control them. I may try some sand on the next group.

    skunkushybrid New Member

    I grow in coco and I got to admit i treat it exactly like soil... aside from the pH of course. I've found that 5.8-6.0 is the optimum pH range in the coco coir I buy (plagron). If I go lower the plants don't seem to like it.

    I recently experimented with the lower pH ranges and found that my plants didn't like it.

    I'm also wary of overwatering, despite adding perlite to the coco (around 40%) I've found that they don't need watering every day, and I grow in 500ml pots. I just vegged 6 plants from seed for 4 weeks in 500ml pots, and will carry them through to harvest in the same pots. Yet they will not need watering every day. They usually do, but I'm fine to leave them for another day if I so chose... but I imagine that were I to have the same plant in a larger container then the waterings would be even less frequent. Obviously as the plants grow larger they will need more frequent feedings. Which is strange as when I did the same thing with clones they only needed feeding 3 times a week right at the end of harvest. Yet these seed plants (of around the same size) are drinking more.

    ACSCorp Well-Known Member

    Doing my first grow of Jock Herrer (or Jack Horror, seen it spelled different ways) I sprouted in seedling mix and then went to a coir medium. My mix is equal part of coir and peat moss and 20% perlite. So far so good.

    Question: Should I be using a hydro mix as opposed to soil? (Fox Farm Nutes). Seems so since this is a hydro type grow medium huh?

    I've been keeping my ph at 6.3 and ppm at 600 in the beginning but am beginning to increase it to 1200. Reading here, I guess I should lower my ph even more.

    Azadeh Active Member

    Hi guys, I have just started my first grow in coco coir. I first germinated them in rock wool and when they had roots coming out of the bottom I moved them to coco. I wonder how much and how often I should give them nutes. They are 14 days old. I have Ionic grow as nute. Thanks!

    ganjagoddess Well-Known Member


    just watch yur ladies they will tell you when to water...well that plus a little knowledge helps for sure.

    VictorVIcious Well-Known Member

    I have a journal using the Ionic line, may want to check it out. VV:blsmoke:

    Azadeh Active Member

    I don't know what I did, but one of my seedlings first set of true leaves are getting yellow, it happened during night. I might have over watered. But I am not sure. I pretty much soaked the coco in water until water run from the bottom out. They were green and healthy in the rock wool and then I planted them in one liter coco. At that point I checked the PH for the first time, it was 7.5 (I did not have meter before) and I changed it to 6.5. Can that be a reason why they got yellow? Did they get stressed?
    I have been giving them 0.25 ml/l Ionic nutes all the time.
    Please help!

    Azadeh Active Member

    Hi guys,
    these are two pics of my seedling. The leaves are actually more yellow than this, they are drooping down and getting yellower for every hour. I don't know what to do, I stopped watering last night.
    any help would be appreciated

    Attached Files:


    ACSCorp Well-Known Member

    YES! Don't water with your present water anymore! Drop the ph to 5.8. i has similiar problems;


    Check this the very first comment of this thread which states;

    We have one friend who keeps his ph at 5.2. Ours is about 5.5. The safe range appears to be 5.4- 6.2 . IMO 6.2 is the very high end, and you see better results under 6.0

    VictorVicious also told me the same thing. Both these guys really know what they are talking about.

    Your plants have been stressed and are experiencing nute lockout. Ph you water to 5.7 or 5.8 and flush them really good (two to three times the volume of water to the volume of the pot). Measure the ph of the runoff on your last flush. It should be close to what you are watering. Just for grins, ph your first runoff also, I think you will see it is rather high.

    Then let them relax and start nutes up with 1/4 strength and gradually increase.

    Good Luck. Let us know how it goes.

    Azadeh Active Member

    thanks ACSCORP!
    I wonder if I can drop the PH from 6.5 to 5.8 in one day. Is it to much? should I decrease a little at a time or just drop it? Some books say that PH should be changed gradually! I don't know what to do.

    ACSCorp Well-Known Member

    I really screwed up mine and they did an almost miraculous recovery overnight. Your ph is way to high. I'd drop it now since it's only going to get worse. Also, your ph'ing the water AFTER you put your nutes in right? That's the way to do it.

    Azadeh Active Member

    Yes I nute them first with 1/4 before I fix the PH. If I flush the pot with water, don't the seedlings get over watered? they are sitting in 2 inch rock wool in coco. I have only coco with no mix and the roots are really tiny. wont they get drowned if I flush them several times with water? I am really confused. Should I take the rock wool out of coco and flush or let it sit in coco?
    thank you for your help, I really appreciate it!:roll:

    ACSCorp Well-Known Member

    Don't take the rockwool out. You will upset the roots. Coco is good because it is difficult to overwater. It drains well and draws air into the medium when you water. Just make sure the plants don't sit in water (that is, make sure the plate the pot sits in is dry).

    Your plant doesn't look all that bad. If you are really concerned about drowning, I'd still do a flush with 5.8 ph water, no nutes until you get about 1/2 the volume of the pot. Do this 1 or more 2 times and then start them on about 1/4 nutes andf build up.

    Azadeh Active Member

    I have watered it with PH 5.8. We will see what happens. I saw that the new leaves are also getting a little bit yellow. Hope it helps.

    Azadeh Active Member

    I flushed the seedling once and now I can see it got some color back on the lower leaves, they are still hanging down kind of but look much better. thank you you were right!:hump:

    ACSCorp Well-Known Member

    Glad to hear! When using coco, flushing (with correct ph water) always seems to be the right thing when you're having problems. Hard to hurt the plant by over watering in coco due to its properties.

    In soil you have to be a little more careful but you have to get the bad stuff out. That is why it is important to always make sure you have good drainage.

    iBLaZe4tozErO Well-Known Member

    60/40 coco to perilite. Drainage and still holds its of water.

    blackout Well-Known Member

    with you on the over watering they grow much better with out to much , v.v was saying to put a layer of sand on the top to keep fungas knats away ,which is the only hassle i have had with it ,but love the stuff , but buy a good brand ,my is nuterfield ,aussie ,but good shit ,no doubt a bit like canna??

    ganjagoddess Well-Known Member

    20% perlite here, I find you can water once every two or three days...

    I treat it just like soil, but kinda a hydro version...

Share This Page