hi all i found and read this a while ago and about coconut and the medium we all love to use it an interesting read however it contained a few inacurate bits which i have edited it tells a bit of the history of the use of coconut i hope it captures some interest,peace
first of with the do's and dont's:
do check ur PH! - range from 5.6 to 6.2 works really well
do make sure you use nutes specific for coco! - this will give the best results and easy of use.
do make sure you use pots big enough for the watering intervals you want to have. bigger pots means less watering. but more water is needed to flush out properly.
do make sure you have run off when watering. about 20-40% is enough.
do make sure the coco never gets dry - this is a hydro medium. watering often gives better results.
do be careful when using ph up and ph down not to mix the two or even use the same syringe as this will cause chemical reaction,allways dilute ph down with tapwater making using easier and safer.
DONT treat coco like a soil grow.
Coco coir is a relatively new growing medium available these days for the hydroponics soil less culture. Coco coir is being produced as a bi-product of the coconut tree. Coconut husk is processed to produce fibrous material for use as a growing medium.
the quality of your water will make a difference re feeding and the background ec(ec is measure of feed strength in ms) should be taken into account when setting the ec in coco .so if for eg your waters background is 0.50 and you are needing a total of 1.2ec (adult plant) then you would add nutes to reach 1.2 ec not including the waters background ec this means inc bg meter will read 1.7 ec the plant is now getting what should be just about enough for an average adult plant after a few days feeding this look at the colour of foliage if it is pale next feed up your ec by a tad and check again in a couple of days this is the safest method and will not burn a healthy plant,basically what i think im saying is less is more and im certain in coco less nutrient is required than in other hydro systems imo this is because plants easier utilise nutrient in coco so needing less would make sense.
Coconut coir (fiber made out of coconut shells) has been used in different parts of the world for many years. Initially this fiber had been used for making twine, mats and brooms by western civilizations, but it had never been looked at as a growing medium for plant growth in the western world, although it had been used as a growing medium in ancient India and China. The use of this product as a medium for plant growth started in the late ‘80s, and moved into the commercial sector in the early 90s. Since then its use has increased day by day in home gardening, commercial roses and vegetable production, and in the hydroponics industry in general.
Coconut coir is one of the most versatile materials man has ever extracted from Mother Nature. It has traveled a long way since its humble beginnings as the ubiquitous tying ropes. Coir today is used to make everything from door mats to rugs, rubberized coir mattresses, decorative rugs, garden articles and growing medium. It is not just a natural product - it also has some winning advantages that make this product a premium choice for modern soil less growing systems.
Coco coir is a proven best alternative to any growing medium. Its use as a growing medium outperforms any other medium used for growing vegetables, ornamentals and tree plants. Its soft structure promotes easy root penetration and healthy growth. Coco coir is 100% environmentally friendly. It is a renewable resource that is consistent in quality. Coco coir has the best physical and chemical properties to promote better plant growth.
· Coco has high water-holding capacity. It can hold water up to eight times of its weight and release it over a period of time.
· Coco has ideal pH in the range of 5,6-6.2 with 5.8 being the sweetspot
· It has excellent drainage and air porosity for better plant growth
· Coco is very low in EC and carries mostly potassium salts, which is an essential major plant nutrient
· Cation exchange capacity is very good
· Coco coir has some antifungal properties that help plants to get rid of soil borne diseases. It inhibits pathogens like Pithium
· Coco is very easy to re-hydrate after being dehydrated
· It is a biodegradable source that degrades very slowly and has a life of three to four years
· Contains significant amounts of phosphorous (10-50ppm) and potassium (150-450 ppm)
As mentioned above Coco coir is not just a natural product with very good properties for plant growth - it also has some winning advantages over other growing mediums.
Advantages of Coco Coir
· It is a 100% renewable resource and can by use of either enzymes or earthworms be reused many times
· Coco coir is light in weight
· It is consistent in high quality
· Coco coir is completely environmentally friendly
· The coco holds water/nutes better than any soil based medium
· Coco coir never shrinks, cracks or produces crust
· It promotes better root systems in a short time
· Coco coir is odorless, pleasant to handle, and uniform in composition
How to Use
Coco is available in disks, bricks, or blocks. Simply break the blocks or bricks into smaller pieces.
Soak these broken Coco blocks (smaller pieces) in water for a few hours.
Removal of Excess Salts (Untreated Source)
There are many untreated coco coir products available in the market, and a few that are already treated. For those untreated products, after soaking, add additional good quality water and let it stand for a few hours. This will bring out the excess of sodium and chloride in the solution. Drain the coco in order to get rid of the excess sodium and chloride. This coco is now ready for use. Use in containers or in bags for better growth of any kind of plants.
Coco coir can also be used as compost in gardens after plants have been harvested. With the use of coco as a medium there would be no problem of over or under watering. Once it is filled in bags, coco coir can last up to three to four years. It has naturally occurring potassium. Coco coir also has 60% water-filled space, and the rest is air-filled space which makes the product a very good choice for better plant growth.
This is why, boys and girls, I am a coco grower and I absolutely love the stuff. I'd smoke it if it got me ripped.
All other soiless mediums are inferior.
i also found this tutorial and thought it maybe of use to those using coco for the first time here is a link http://www.breedbay....utons-back.html
i also found little info on making cuttings/clones using coco so thought i would add this simple guide
I do use root stimulator but it may not be necessary.
Get your stuff together cause the only way to really mess up is to go too slowly and let the cutting dry out a little.
1. Pruning snips
2. Solo cups with drain holes in the bottom.
3. Plain tap water (some don't pH at this point but I pH it to 5.8) - NO NUTES!
4. Powdered root hormone or cloning gel if you use them.
1. Get your solo cups and fill with 100% coco. Pre wash the coco if necessary.
2. Water the coco till water comes out of the bottom of the cup.
3. Take a pencil and insert it about an inch into the coco, making a hole for the cutting's stem.
4. Take the cutting from the mom. I slice at a very shallow angle to expose more of the stems cells. After the cutting is separated from the mom, immediately I make two or three more cuts into the stem at upward angles. I just snip these cuts about 1/3 or 1/2 the diameter of the stem. That way, as I insert the cutting into the coco, these cuts are spread open and I get even more exposure of the stem to the coco. This improves odds of rooting.
5. I immediately dip the stem into water and then into the rooting compound.
6. Insert the cutting into the hole made in the coco and with your finger tips, press the coco together around the stem to ensure the stem makes contact with the coco.
7. Put the solo cups underneath a high profile dome. I do this so I won't have to worry with watering the cuttings. The dome will keep the humidity up and the coco won't dry out. Make sure your lighting isn't too intense as the new cuttings don't need much of anything at this point, except peace and quiet. lol.
I really can't tell the new cuttings are even aware of what just happened because they don't miss a lick. Mine don't droop and the plant's cells maintain their turgor well.
Keep all fans and strong drafts away from the cuttings at this point. The roots that begin to form start out as just a few cells and any movement of the stem as these roots try to get started will cause them to rip off as they attempt to attach to the medium.
You'll know the coco is still moist by looking at the condensation on the inside of the dome. You should be able to see condensation on the inside of the dome if you moistened the coco before you put the cutting in and if you haven't kept raising the dome.
After a few days, you can water the cuttings with a mild solution meant for new cuttings. Very mild...
I use the dutch pro nutrients as they are cheap and work very well but i have seen some confusion as to mixing the a&b type so here is the guidance from dutch pro on the matter,
How to use two part A + B Nutrients
Dutch Pro nutrients come as a two part formula = A + B
A should be added to water first, stirred, left to settle, then add the B. When following the Dutch pro feeding chart, equal amounts of A & B should be added.
Why is it important to mix nutrients properly?
Nutrients are designed as two Part A and B formulas as the mixture of elements they contain would clog up and therefore become less effective if they were mixed together. That is why it is important to follow the instructions and ensure to add the A to the water, stir then add the B.
i hope this is clear and helpful, just to add i would not myself go by the dp chart because im certain it is far higher than needed and is quite wasteful your far better learning to judge by the colour and vigour of the plant than following any feed chart,a good way to learn this is to pick 2 clones and feed one at the minimum one at the higher ec and observe the changes and remember then just find the happy ec number for the particular plant as they are all different and no chart can account for mixed strain grows,peace
right meters you need do not need to cost the earth i use these and for the price they are good simple to calibrate and accurate enough link to ph meter is https://www.ebay.co....=item213225dbd5
ec meter here, https://www.ebay.co....=item25eb19e826
and coco i use is this ugro 70ltr xl (not the organic one) https://www.ebay.co....zuco9AdL3gjMjSw
nutrients i use are these dutch pro again not expensive but consistant quality, just make sure to get the coco specific and choose for hard or soft water types