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Hydro-Organics - The Coco Alternative

Looking for superior taste and excellent yields? Well, there's no need to compromise any more - growing in coco can give you the best of both worlds! Read our article on growing in coco and get clued up on this great growing medium.
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GroWell Team


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Over the years using coco (sometimes called coir) in pots as a hydroponic media has become an increasingly popular way to grow plants. There are 3 main reasons for this occurrence:

 

1. QualityCoconut - The quality of plants grown in coco is often exceptional and more than a match for all competing mediums. With good formation, colour, look and taste, we’re not surprised that so many people have become fans of it!

 

2. Quantity - The yield and weight of crops grown in coco compares favourably against results that can be achieved using other hydroponic mediums such as rockwool – so there’s no need to compromise on quality or yield!

 

3. Eco-friendly - It is natural, environmentally and ecologically friendly, and made from renewable sources of coconut fibre. This alone should be a good enough reason to consider growing in coco!

 

Coco Growing Medium:

What exactly is coco and why is it so good?

 

All types of coco are different forms of media derived from the same raw component - coconut fibre. Traditionally most coco fibre is produced in Sri Lanka or thereabouts, with the most popular commercially available growing medium being Canna Coco Professional Plus.

 

Loose cocoCoco possesses all of the qualities of a great growing medium, having very good air content, drainage and structure – by this we mean that it doesn't compact, lose ability to drain (or air content) or restrict root growth and diversification. This adds up to make coco an ideal medium for growing plants in pots since there’s no need for any perlite or pebbles – you just use it as supplied for rooting cuttings or growing plants from start to finish! It will actively encourage roots to develop to full potential with the results of this root growth clearly visible through increased foliage and strong healthy plants. A lack of nutrient content in coco gives you complete control of plant feeds too - particularly favoured by experienced and experimental growers who strive to achieve the very best results. All coco media have also been impregnated with a beneficial mould Trichoderma that not only acts as a good root stimulant but also prevents pathogens and other harmful bacteria from entering the root zone.

 

In terms of usage, the systems that coco is suitable for are indicated below. It proves far more flexible than soil and more old-school types of media such as perlite and vermiculite.

Coco usage

Canna CocoOK, I'm convinced... what are my options?

 

Canna Coco Professional Plus - 50 litre bag

Coco Professional Plus has been a favourite coco medium for a long time now. There's no need to mix the coco flakes with anything else when using it in pots, just moisten with some half strength coco nutrient (this will read cF 10 - 15, dependent on your tap water start cF. For 2-part nutrients use 2ml of A and 2ml of B per Litre of water) and pot your plants up with the mix – simple as that! Continue to use half strength feed at every watering until the plants get much bigger, 60cm (2') or more.


Code Price Qty
Canna Coco Professional Plus Growing Media - 50 Litres 0888 Canna Coco Professional Plus Growing Media - 50 Litres
£12.95

 

Canna Coco Professional Plus SlabsCoco Slabs

 

Coco Professional Plus 1m Slabs are also available (if you give us a call on 0845 345 5177), containing the same coco flakes as the bagged growing medium. The slabs ideally need loosening up before wetting and using by rolling them on their side or firmly pressing the sides. They should then be lightly moistened with a half strength (cF 10 - 15) Coco Professional feed or Plagron Coco feed before use. Place Cubes on or in the slab and use with drip lines. Start plants on a nutrient strength of approx cF 10 - 15 dependent on your tap water start cF. Aim for about a 10% to 20% run off of solution out of the slab at each dosing cycle. Make sure the slabs can drain freely. When the plants get big, two foot or more, you can gradually increase the feed strength over a few weeks, up to a maximum of cF 18 - 24.

 

Coco Nutrients and Boosters:

What feeds work most effectively with coco growing medium?

Coco nutrients For dedicated coco growers, industry giants Canna and Vita Link spearhead an ever-widening choice of coco specific feeds. The Canna Coco two-part offering has an established reputation but you cannot fail to be impressed by Vita Link Coir and its finely tuned formulation of ingredients. There's also coco nutrients from House & Garden, Plagron and B'cuzz that are well worth checking out.


Code Price Qty
Canna Coco Professional Nutrient - 2 Litres 0994 Canna Coco Professional Nutrient - 2 Litres
£13.95
Canna Coco Professional Nutrient - 10 Litres 0995 Canna Coco Professional Nutrient - 10 Litres
£37.95
Canna Coco Professional Nutrient - 20 Litres 1019 Canna Coco Professional Nutrient - 20 Litres
£61.95

 

Hydroponics nutrients and booster supplements also work effectively with coco media. This is very convenient if you want to switch from one method of growing to the other and not have to make immediate wholesale changes. Recommended additives include Rhizotonic - which stimulates lifelong root growth and also provides stress relief, and Cannazym - for breaking down old roots and aiding nutrient uptake.


Code Price Qty
Canna Rhizotonic - 250mls 0794 Canna Rhizotonic - 250mls
£10.95
Canna Rhizotonic - 1 Litre 0796 Canna Rhizotonic - 1 Litre
£29.95
Cannazym - 250mls 2000 Cannazym - 250mls
£6.95
Cannazym - 1 Litre 0798 Cannazym - 1 Litre
£16.95
Cannazym - 5 Litre 0976 Cannazym - 5 Litre
£74.95

 

Plants grown in coco can suffer from a lack of calcium when roots struggle to transport the much needed mineral at an efficient rate. To counter this problem we recommend applying Vita Link Foliar Feed. It delivers vital supplies of calcium along with various other beneficial elements - just apply by spraying a 100mls per litre of water solution on plant leaves.


Code Price Qty
Vita Link Foliar Feed 250 mls 1733 Vita Link Foliar Feed 250 mls
£7.95
Vita Link Foliar Feed 1 Litre 2189 Vita Link Foliar Feed 1 Litre
£23.95

 

Like the sound of growing in coco and now want to give it a go? Start out on the right foot by reading our 'mastering the basics' article here.


This post was posted in Buyers Guides, Growing Media, New Growers, Nutrients & Boosters, Your First Grow and was tagged with canna, Coco, cocoa, coconut, Coir, core, coya, fiber, fibre, organic, organics

 

7 Comments - Add Comment


  • chip
    Posted November 29, 2013 at 9:52 am
    Is coco mixed with perlite (50/50) good for growing tomato plants or should I just use coco?
    Reply
    • Replies

    • GroWell Team
      Posted November 29, 2013 at 10:28 am
      Hi there,

      Of the choices you have highlighted there, we would recommend only using coco - mixing it with perlite is more suited to heavier soil blends.

      However, you could add a layer of clay pebbles at the bottom of your pots (assuming your are growing in these) to improve drainage and sit your plants above any run off of water and nutrients.

  • Rick James
    Posted November 12, 2013 at 5:38 pm
    I like to grow as organically as possible, but I've read that lots of liquid organic feeds like the ones by BioBizz are not suitable for coco. Are there any organic nutrients that can be used with coco?
    Reply
    • Replies

    • GroWell Team
      Posted November 13, 2013 at 11:07 am
      Hi Rick,

      Coco is a natural growing media but also one that proves to be completely inert, basically making it more suited to hydroponics and mineral feeds. Organic nutrients need to be broken down into a plant ready form by microbial action which will happen in soil but not coco. You could potentially use a coco/soil mix (with more of the latter growing media for the reasons just explained) but we would not recommend using organic feeds in coco.

      Hope that helps!

  • Joseph Kapak
    Posted February 26, 2012 at 7:37 pm
    Thank you.
    Reply

  • Joseph Kapak
    Posted February 15, 2012 at 9:44 pm
    Would you recommend the use of coco for Fruiting trees grown in pots and is there a compost compatible with coco? Thank you.
    Reply
    • Replies

    • GroWell Team
      Posted February 17, 2012 at 10:47 am
      There is the potential for nitrogen lock out in coco for plants with a longer flowering cycle. Also to get the best from the coco you would need to use a coco specific feed. Some people do use a coco/soil blend, which helps increase the aeration capability of the soil.
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