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Thread: would coco fiber work?

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    BuddhistAdam's Avatar
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    would coco fiber work?

    i bought a brick and i layed it down and planted the pots in it to ive them a more natural look. my question is would it work not only as a substrate ( humidity holder) but a media as well. and what types as well. i want opinions, facts, experiences etc. Please me!!!
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    future nursury owner...i hope CP_dude's Avatar
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    It would probably work well for Nepenthes, but that's about it...

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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Coir is a viable alternative to peat moss. Quality is suspect as is the salt content depending on the source:

    http://flrec.ifas.ufl.edu/Hort/Envir...0potential.htm

    http://www.greeneem.com/cococoirpeat.htm

    http://extension.oregonstate.edu/new...toryType=garde

    Researchers at Auburn University and University of Arkansas compared peat and coir as soil amendments for horticulture. They found that coir performed on par with peat.

    Coir has proven to hold moisture well, wet more easily than peat, drain well, decompose more slowly and withstand compression better than peat. Plus coir dust does not have the small sticks and possible seeds that peat has.

    Peat bogs are a special kind of wetland, many of which are thousands of years of accumulated plant material. They receive most of their water as rain or snowmelt rather than from runoff or streams. Peat mosses (genus Sphagnum) thrive, and acidify the soggy environment, making it difficult for many kinds of plants to grow. Only those that can cope under acid conditions survive. The acidity, low temperatures and lack of oxygen discourage bacterial decomposition, so over centuries and millennia, layers of peat moss and other bog plants become compressed, forming peat.

    The wet, acidic and low-nutrient environment in peat bogs foster plant and animal communities highly adapted to these conditions, including insectivorous plants such as sundews, Venus fly-trap, pitcher plants and Oregon's cobra plants, also known as Darlingtonia. These fascinating plants trap insects, "digesting" them for nitrogen, which is a limiting factor for plants in their wet, acidic environment.

    Built up layers of peat can preserve organic material that usually deteriorates quickly wool, hair, skin, bone, wood, plant parts and pollen providing an invaluable historic record. Peat bogs in Europe have turned up human artifacts as old as 12,000 years and preserved human remains from about 2,000 years ago.

    Use coir as you would peat to amend heavy soils and in potting mixes, recommended McMahan. Not as acidic as peat, coir is similarly low in nutrients.

    http://www.thecps.org.uk/content/view/53/40/


    Cocopeat

    Cocopeat is manufactured in the tropics, centred around Malaysia, and is a by-product of coconut production. The husks of the coconuts are composted and milled to produce a substance very similar to peat in structure and water holding capabilities. Cocopeat was my first choice for an alternative compost when I first started looking. At the time, Wessex produced large bags of coir compost and most garden centres stocked this, but it is not as available these days. The results from using cocopeat were not ideal. I felt that it contained more nutrients than peat and it also broke down more quickly. Additionally, it did not support the growth of Sphagnum moss. I found it an acceptable compost for certain plants, mainly mature plants of Sarracenia,Dionaea, Nepenthes & Pinguicula. Seedlings, and many of my Utricularias and smaller Droseras, did not do very well in the compost. Cocopeat has been superseded I believe by other composts, but if it is the only compost you can get then give it a go, especially for those plants which are less fussy about their composts such as Nepenthes and Pinguicula. Bear in mind that I did keep my entire collection going on cocopeat for several years!

    It is mainly available mail-order (in a dried, compressed state which needs re-hydrating) from various companies including The Organic Gardening Catalogue (see below). Don?t buy the version with added fertiliser!

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    Doing it wrong until I do it right. xvart's Avatar
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    Coir has proven to hold moisture well, wet more easily than peat, drain well, decompose more slowly and withstand compression better than peat. Plus coir dust does not have the small sticks and possible seeds that peat has.
    Well I suppose that is enough for me. I was sold at the part about wetting more easily part but jeese! Thanks for sharing those links and that information, NAN. I've never actually used coir myself.

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    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    FWIW, Ive used it with my cephs for several years now... very pleased with it

    also there are some refs to trichoderma being cultivated in coir, so it seemed a natural to me...

    dont know about the salt content, I had read it was potassium chloride not sodium... and it is naturally occuring, not based upon proximity to the ocean like stated in some refs...but I dunno, I just know it has worked very well for me personally
    Cheers'
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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Note also: "Not as acidic as peat, coir is similarly low in nutrients" so maybe add some LFS to up the acidity. NZ LFS is harvested in a sustainable manner, and supposedly Chilean LFS. As for Canadian LFS I have no idea.

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    i find if you use pure coir to grow plants in(the peat type, not the "orchid bark" type) it breaks dow rather quickly when kept constantly saturated........however when mixed with perlite, LFS, Schultz aquatic plant soil ect. than it works fine and lasts as long as any of the other ingrediants. im guessing a lack of air moving through the pure coir speeds up decomp but when yah add enough of some other product to allow some air movement in the soil than its fine and doesnt degrade any faster than regular peat or LFS
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    I'm trying it in one pot now. I got a small sample jar of it from a hydroponics store and split a N Judith Finn into separate pots. One pot went into the coco fiber and what little orchid bark I had around. For me, this stuff seems to be a bit more compacted and it seems to need watering more often than other neps.

    They have a bag of "coco croutons" that I wanted to try to add, but it was only a HUGE bag and I can't justify it at this time.

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