Thursday, 28 January 2016

Why Use Coconut Coir for Seedlings in Hydroponics or Aquaponics

There are two main reasons to consider coconut coir as a medium for seed starting. The first is the promotion of healthy seedling roots, and the second is because they are environmentally friendly.

Healthy seedlings:
  • Coir suppresses root rot and damping off: These two problems are the bane of hydroponics and aquaponics. Studies have shown coir does this because it suppresses soil-borne pathogens such as pythium. [1] [2]
  • Structure: Good water retention, oxygenation, and nutrient retention.
Environmentally friendly: 
  • Reusable, biodegradable, organic
  • It comes in pellet or plug form making it just as convenient as environmentally unfriendly products made from plastic or rockwool.
  • It is a sustainable product unlike peat. Harvesting peat releases greenhouse gasses and destroys important peat bogs that take centuries to recover.
Coconut Coir is very light and easy to work with. You can either make your own mix, or purchase the convenient pellet form.

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[1] Candole, B. and M. Evans. 2004. Suppression of soil-borne diseases caused by Pythium and Phytophthora species in coconut coir-based substrates. HortScience 39:665–666 (abstr.).

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