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starting seeds in coco coir

Mary’s Heirloom Seeds

Unlike peat moss, which is highly acidic, coconut coir has a neutral pH level. Most garden vegetables and flowers grow best in neutral to slightly alkaline conditions. When you use peat to amend a garden bed, an addition of agricultural lime is often necessary to combat the higher acidity. With coconut coir, limestone isn’t necessary unless the soil naturally has a higher pH level. Coir use results in both a monetary and a labor savings, since you don’t need to purchase further pH amendments nor work them into the soil.

-Coir improves soil drainage in the bed while also helping to retain moisture in quick-draining soils. Since coir breaks down slowly, much like peat, it creates air pockets in the soil that allow excess moisture to drain away from plant roots. The coir itself holds onto some moisture so the drainage doesn’t occur too quickly and the soil doesn’t dry out completely. These dual drainage and retention properties allow coir to improve moisture management in both heavy clay soils and dry, sandy beds.

-Peat moss, which coir replaces as a soil amendment, takes centuries to regrow once harvested. Coir is completely sustainable since it is a natural byproduct of coconut harvests, and coconut trees produce new coconuts every year. Using the coir in the garden keeps it out of the landfill where it would otherwise go. Coir can take a century or longer to fully break down in these landfills, so it’s more sustainable to use it to improve your garden soil.

We've shared about Using Coconut Coir in the Garden here in several articles but we've had quite a bit of questions. Today we're going a bit more in-depth. First, Why do we use Coconut Coir instead of Peat? From Using coconut Coir in the Garden Coconut coir growing medium comes from the coconut's fibrous husk (known

Seed Starting In Coir: Using Coconut Coir Pellets For Germination

Starting your own plants from seed is a great way to save money when gardening. Yet dragging bags of starting soil into the house is messy. Filling seed trays is time consuming and the sterilization needed to prevent disease is a lot of work. If only there were an easier way…

Coir Discs for Seed Planting

If you enjoy raising your plants from seed but hate the hassle, you might want to try coir pellets. For germination of seeds, pellets are an easy, fast and clean method. When compared to peat pellets, coir discs for seed planting are an eco-friendly option.

Although peat is a natural material, it’s not considered a sustainable product. Peat is the decaying remnants of sphagnum moss. It takes hundreds of years to form peat bogs and considerably less time to deplete them.

On the other hand, coir pellets are made from the husk of coconuts. Once considered an agricultural waste, this coconut fiber is soaked and treated to remove excess minerals. It’s then formed into flat, round discs and sold as a seed starting product by various manufacturers.

Benefits of Seed Starting in Coir

In addition to being less messy, coir discs virtually eliminate the problem of damping off. This fungal infection can be transmitted through soil and unsanitary starting trays. It most often attacks newly sprouted seedlings, causing the stems to weaken and the plants to die. Wet conditions and cool temperatures contribute to the problem.

Coir pellets for seed planting are fungus free. Coir readily absorbs and holds water, yet doesn’t become supersaturated and soggy. The material remains loose for improved root formation and the netting surrounding the ground coconut hulls retains the shape of the pellet.

Starting your own plants from seed is a great way to save money when gardening. Yet, dragging bags of starting soil into the house is messy. If you enjoy raising your plants from seed but hate the hassle, you might want to try coir pellets. Click here for more info.