Hydroponic means growing plants without soil/ soilless. Be it the indoor or outdoor, the hydroponic can be deployed by any means as long as the grower is willing to provide essential grow nutrients, adequate water supply with optimal lighting system.
With utmost grasp over plant growth, grower’s can make miracles within hydroponic systems.
While, Coco Coir being a potential alternative to soil, is compatible with hydroponic growing and can yield positive results.
Coir is made from fibrous extraction of coconut husk and available in 3 major types, and is by nature a renewable, non-toxic, ecological asset.
There are few tips to set up a Hydroponic System using Coco Coir, most commonly used bucket system, where the grow pots are placed above the bucket of aerated nutrient solution with numerous drainage holes, while in ebb and flow the grow pot is suspended in nutrient well with constant flow (in-out).
Here the plant sits in new pots with newly added grow medium.
Coco coir are commercially available as bagged loose coco coir and compresses blocks and also ready-to-use cultivation blocks.
The typical coco coir available on the market are pre-washed, buffered, hydrated and ready to use right out of the bag.
Even the Coco coir comes as pre-washed and fully treated, always prefer to wash and rinse it before using since it may contain salt and chemical residue.
By hydrating using distilled water, you can take note of precise nutrient composition, EC and pH of present in Coir block and calculate for further analysis.
The block expands on hydration, making it a loose-fluffy coir pith when broken down. This expansion releases air pockets and ensures optimal oxygen flow.
You can make use of other grow amendments to heighten the aeration and drainage system, such as perlite mix, or bottom placed expandable clay pebble. You may prefer adding coco-perlite mix of 70-30 (i.e., 70% coir pith, 30% perlite), this will boost productivity of cultivation.
In hydroponic, the growers are the sole responsible for nutrient feed.
Coco Coir is well-known for its inert nature and is void of many essential nutrients for plant growth.
And nutrients like Zinc, Iron, Potassium, Copper and Manganese are required for the nourishment of your plant.
There set of nutrient supplements dedicated to Coir-based hydroponic growing in the market. These are the water-soluble solutions that are mixed with water to feed your plants and also called as Hydroponic Fertilisers.
The mostly recommended nutrient solution of NPK ratio 3-1-2.
Or the formulated dry mix, mixed in water(label mentioned) at the time of use.
Based on the type of hydroponic system you use and kind-age of plant you grow, the watering duration and schedules changes.
Coco coir is itself a super absorber and retains water for a longer duration of time.
Typically, coir in a hydroponic system requires fed and watering once in a day. Make sure to water till 10-20% of runoff occurs. And always keep the substrate saturated about 90-95%; check if the top of the grow system is dry, if so, add some water every now and then to keep the substrate moist.
With these essential tips, we hope you enjoy your hydroponic growing experience with coir as main grow medium. Also, after the main of coir as substrate, you can make a course use as soil amendment/ aeration tool in your garden and pot mix by reset-recycle-reuse.