Coco Coir comes from a renewable source. Coconuts are widely grown in many parts of the world, and the coconuts we purchase from our grocer are only the internal part of the whole coconut.

Something needs to be done with the coconuts external layer and over the centuries these coconut fibres have been milled into ropes, door mats, twine, brooms and many more everyday items. The coconut fibres are also used as a reusable and reliable hydroponic growing medium.

But as with everything in life coconuts aren’t just coconuts! Or should I say - treated fibres aren’t just treated fibres. Quality handling and the way these coconut fibres are processed is a major concern, and if you want healthier growth and greater produce you need to invest in a quality product that has been treated effectively and undergoes a superior treatment process.

For starters, here’s a rundown of the advantages of using coco coir products:
• Better water retention
• Better aeration properties
• pH stabilised
• Clean and pest-free
• Holds between 7 to 9 times its volume in moisture
• Low EC
• Renewable sources
• Recyclable
• Organic based
• 100% natural and bio degradable
• If buffered - can prevent nutrient lock out

Be on the look out for coco that is enriched with neem, it will generally be an inferior grade of coco. A superior grade coco will contain the naturally beneficial microorganisms trichoderma - the predatory microorganism that devours detrimental fungi and pathogens which eliminates the need for neem to be added to control disease and parasite infestation. Added neem is a good indication you are holding an inferior product in your hands. Also coco that has been aged and treated properly will have longer lasting physical properties and will prevent the media from decomposing around your plants precious root mass while in use.

So here's what you want from your coco coir products. These are important if you want a thriving hydroponic environment. Look for a buffered coco product. Pre-buffered coco coir not only destroys any harmful properties that may be lingering in the coconut by-product, but it results in a more consistent growing medium with reduced sodium and potassium levels that will help to prevent nutrient lock-out.

You also want a product that has been washed thoroughly throughout the manufacturing process. Coconut fibre can retain high levels of salt and if this is not washed away properly your plants will suffer. Cheaper coco coir mediums aren't thoroughly cleaned of their sodium content. Another way to assure you are using a quality product is if the coco carries the RHP mark. This mark ensures the coco coir product you have selected meets the Dutch Certification Scheme's requirements for a high quality product.

As for those recyclable attributes I touched on earlier, when you’re finished with the coco coir in your hydroponic growing system, try turning it through your soil in the garden - it’s a great option for organic gardening. One more thing to remember – Organic plant mediums like Coco coir require specific nutrient blends – make sure you are using the right liquid fertilisers in your hydroponic nutrient schedule. Nutrifield has a range of Coco Mediums, and Coco Nutrients to get your Coco Coir garden started!