Seeds forum: Cocoa Coir

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Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
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Joannabanana
Feb 28, 2010 10:03 AM CST
I am very disappointed that I tried the cocoa coir. It is an absolute waste of money and seeds. I seeded an entire tray of wax begonias and although the germinated, they have not grown and you need a magnifying glass to see that they actually have 2 leaves. I have been fertilizing every water now and they are getting a little bigger.
Name: Bridgett
Sonoita, Arizona
Zone 8a
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Sonoita
Mar 25, 2010 2:18 PM CST
Hmmm, I just bought 5 packages and started my containers with mostly coconut coir mixed with potting mix and slow release fertilizer. I live in the desert and retaining moisture is a MAJOR issue, I was hoping the coconut coir would provide better moisture retention. I'll let you know. Confused
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Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Container Gardener Vegetable Grower Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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Joannabanana
Mar 26, 2010 7:34 AM CST
Well, it might be great with the slow release fertilizer. Personally, I will not use it again.
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hummingbirder Region: New Jersey Dog Lover
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Onewish1
Mar 26, 2010 4:12 PM CST

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need to agree to disagree.... I am loving it .. both for cuttings & seeds
Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (Zone 5a)
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mom2goldens
Mar 26, 2010 5:31 PM CST

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I've switched to coco coir in almost all of my outdoor containers last year, and really liked it. Haven't tried it for seed-starting yet, but probably will next season. It's awesome for self-watering containers (I do a lot of growing in Earth Boxes due to my limited space/poor soil). It does need a regular and consistant fertilizer, though. Even through our horrible rainy summer last year, I didn't find overwatering to be a problem.
Coir is so loose, it drains quite well in my opinion.

Everyone's situation is so different--there is no "one size fits all" solution, unfortunately. It's nice to hear the pros/cons of different methods.
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
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kqcrna
Mar 26, 2010 8:01 PM CST

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Linda, did you try a Worm's Way store to buy it?

Karen
Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (Zone 5a)
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mom2goldens
Mar 27, 2010 5:33 AM CST

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Karen, unfortunately the only Worm's Way store near us is in Bloomington, well over an hour away. Might be worth stopping in there if I happen to be down there, although I don't get there more than once a summer usually. Do you know how many of those small bricks are equal to one of the big blocks? Maybe 4? Trying to decide if buying a bunch of small ones from someplace like Menards might be more cost effective than having the big blocks shipped from Boca Bob.
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
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Onewish1
Mar 27, 2010 6:12 AM CST

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I know the small bricks filled 1 & 1/2 of my 3" x 2" 4 cell flats... Bob was thinking the big block will fill 10 regular 6 cell flats.. if you used it straight .. I had a bunch shipped from Bob just because I wanted the quantity all at once.. hate running out in the middle of work needing to be done
Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (Zone 5a)
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mom2goldens
Mar 27, 2010 6:19 AM CST

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Thanks, Allison. So it would probably take 6 of the small bricks to equal one large block. Probably no cost advantage if that's the case, and I've got more EarthBoxes to fill, so need quite a bit of coir.
How long have you been using the coir for seed starting? Do you mix in any fertilizer at the start, or wait until your seeds have sprouted before fertilizing?
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
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kqcrna
Mar 27, 2010 6:24 AM CST

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Oh well, sorry Linda. On this page they list Carmel as a community served by Worm's Way. I didn't realize it was so far away and thought it might save you shipping cost.
http://www.wormsway.com/indiana.aspx?t=store&AC=1
It's one of the few places around me with a nice supply of growing supplies and organic things. And the customer service is outstanding, at least in my experience.

I've not used coir. For those of you who have, how would you compare it to , say, ProMix? Does the coir hold more moisture, or less? Does it drain better, or not as well?

Karen
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
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Onewish1
Mar 27, 2010 6:54 AM CST

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this is my first year... and I use compost tea now and then... but I was using that before with peat based starter or pro-mix... I could never find the pro-mix with additives around here.. unless they were the small bags.. so I never bothered to try them... I would say it holds more moisture.. and drains better.. but I use polymer gels with everything so I am not a good judge ... in my mind using a few in the bottom of the cells is the same as bottom watering .. but I have been doing that for a few years now regardless of what medium I was using.. never really share that much because I know some seed people would think I was nuts for using gels with seedlings

here is a photo of my babies today... ignore my leggy dahlias in the back.. I always start them too early and do cuttings of them.. which is over due now.. having a lazy seedling year

Thumb of 2010-03-27/Onewish1/69a3a3
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
Mar 27, 2010 7:19 AM CST

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Hmmm.... you're right, Allison. Using those crystals in the bottom of cells is something that never even occurred to me.
Do you mix it in to your coir (after hydrating) or actually just place a few gels in the bottom then top with coir? Do you moisten the coir before filling the cells?

I'm sorry this is such a detailed interrogation, but was thinking of trying it on a batch of coleus cuttings. I'd have to get out and buy the coir first though because I'm ready to do a last batch of cuttings. (And there's just so much to do in the garden!)

Karen
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hummingbirder Region: New Jersey Dog Lover
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Onewish1
Mar 27, 2010 7:35 AM CST

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I put them on the bottom and top with the coir... the coir has to expand with water so that is done before use.. for my cuttings I added in perlite (which I now ran out of).. and I always expand the gels in advance.. don't want them to push everything out if I used too much.. as I have done in the past

I don't mind the questions... I am not an expert... by no means... but always willing to share my experiences
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hummingbirder Region: New Jersey Dog Lover
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Onewish1
Mar 27, 2010 7:40 AM CST

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here is a shot of my cuttings from Feb & last week

Thumb of 2010-03-27/Onewish1/2a376c
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
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kqcrna
Mar 27, 2010 7:40 AM CST

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Thanks, Allison. If I get out to get the coir, I might try it on a flat of coleus cuttings.

Karen
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
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kqcrna
Mar 27, 2010 7:43 AM CST

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Beautiful!

I have to say, though, that I do well with my coleus cuttings in potting mix. But maybe with coir I wouldn't have to watch the moisture so carefully, especially after I take off the humidity dome. Sometimes I'm a little negligent on that.

Karen
Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (Zone 5a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member Region: Indiana Dog Lover Container Gardener
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mom2goldens
Mar 27, 2010 7:45 AM CST

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My only coir experience has been in Earth Boxes and a few other containers. I find I need to water less with coir than other potting mixes (although I'm trying some Metro-Mix this year instead of the dreaded Miracle Grow). Even in the containers that were not self-watering, I found coir maintained it's moisture for longer, without being too soggy. I just mixed some long-acting pelleted fertilizer in my containers with the coir, and they seemed to do fine. The Earth Boxes, of course, have a fertilizer strip added at the start of each growing season.

Never thought about using the gels with coirs, although I've used them in containers in the past. May have to experiment with that this year.
Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hummingbirder Region: New Jersey Dog Lover
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Onewish1
Mar 27, 2010 7:54 AM CST

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I haven't used coir in my containers yet.. this will be my first year.. but I think I will mix in some potting mix with it.. and the slow release fert .. I have home made earth boxes and the blocks will come in handy.. so much easier to store than those huge bails
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
Mar 29, 2010 4:11 PM CST

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Allison, I bought some coir and did a batch of cuttings with it today. I don't NEED those cuttings, so if I kill them it's no big deal. I used this stuff
http://www.wormsway.com/detail.aspx?t=prod&sku=SCCB300&AC=1

Of course I still have some hydrated left, so I'll probably use it to pot up a couple of bigger coleus tonight and see how they do.

Karen

Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hummingbirder Region: New Jersey Dog Lover
Seed Starter Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Onewish1
Mar 29, 2010 5:58 PM CST

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might want to put some slow release in with the bigger ones

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