Introduction to Coco Chips
Just like coco fiber and coco pith, coco chips also go through a processing stage to reduce the salt content and balance the pH level, but coco chips are cut into small pieces. That’s why coco chips have the largest size among the three components of coco coir. Despite the difference in size, shredded coir still possesses the outstanding advantages of coco coir. Its large size also makes it advantageous in terms of aeration and water and nutrient retention for plants. Therefore, growers need to pay attention to these factors to choose the most suitable mix ratio for their plants.
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Product Coco Coir
What are Coco Chips and their composition
Coco chips are made from coconut husks by the cutting process into small and uniform pieces. They have excellent moisture retention and aeration properties, making them a sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional growing media. Coco chips are also often used as a soil amendment for gardening and landscaping.
The substances of coco chips may vary slightly depending on the specific product and manufacturer. However, typically, coco chips contain the following:
- Lignin: This is a natural polymer that makes up the woody fibers of the coconut husk. It provides structural support and helps to improve the aeration of the growing medium.
- Cellulose: This is another natural polymer found in the coconut husk, which provides additional structure to the growing medium.
- Hemicellulose: This is a type of carbohydrate found in plant cell walls. It helps to improve water retention in the growing medium.
- Lignin-Carbohydrate Complex: This is a complex of lignin and hemicellulose that helps to improve the overall structure of the growing medium.
- Potassium: This is a nutrient found at a relatively high concentration in coco coir.
Therefore, before use, coco coir needs to be processed to reduce its potassium content and avoid affecting plants. The appropriate amount of potassium in processed coco coir helps promote healthy plant growth and increase fruiting ability.
Choosing Coco Chips as a Growing Medium
Coco chips is a component of coconut husk, so it also possesses the advantages of coco coir in general when used as a growing medium such as environmental friendliness, good water and nutrient retention, good drainage, pH stability, and sterility,… They also have the strength in absorbing water and creating air gaps that make it easier for water and nutrients to circulate and prevent root rot. In addition, coco chips can also be used as a cover layer for plants, preventing the surface of the growing medium from being too dry.
Advantages of Coco Chips for planting
1. Environmentally friendly
Coco chips are made from renewable resources and do not harm the environment. They are also biodegradable, and compostable, and can be used as a soil amendment after use, making them an environmentally friendly choice for gardeners.
2. Low-maintenance solution
Thanks to its excellent water retention ability, coco chips do not dry out or clump, thereby reducing the maintenance needs for the growing medium. With nutrient retention and pest resistance capabilities, growers do not need to fertilize or use pesticides regularly, making it more convenient for farming.
3. Excellent water retention properties
Coco chips have excellent water retention properties, meaning they can hold water for a longer period of time. This leads to a reduced frequency of water irrigation, allowing roots to access water for a longer period, which creates favorable conditions for the healthy growth of plants.
4. Efficient drainage system
Coco chips have both excellent water retention and drainage properties. This means that it allows water to drain quickly but still provides enough water for plants. Therefore, planting with coco chips can avoid water-logging and root rot.
5. Maintains neutral pH levels
Coco chips have a neutral pH and the ability to maintain a stable pH over a long period of time. Therefore, the problem of the growing medium altering the pH is no longer a concern for growers when using coco chips.
6. Lightweight and easy to handle
Processed coco chips are moisture reduced, making them very lightweight, which is suitable for hydroponic cultivation.
Best Uses of Coco Chips in Gardening
Coco chips are very suitable for hydroponic cultivation or planting in pots or can also be used for making potting mixes. With the excellent characteristics mentioned above, coco chips will help plants grow strong and healthy.
Surface cover layer
Coco chips work very well as a surface cover layer for plants. Because of its good water absorption property, it will always keep the growing medium surface moist, not dry. Its structure also allows for good air circulation, creating more opportunities for airflow to reach the roots.
How to Use Coco Chips for Optimal Plant Growth
To maximize plant growth when using coco chips for planting, follow these steps:
- Prepare coco chips for use: Choose high-quality and reliable source of coco chips for planting. They need to be soaked in water before use to reach a certain moisture level.
- Mix coco chips with other growing media: coco chips can be mixed with other media such as peat moss or soil. Mixing coco chips with soil can improve its water drainage and aeration properties while mixing it with peat moss can increase its water-holding capacity, although not recommended as it is not environmentally friendly.
- Supplement nutrients: Although coco chips contain some nutrients, they may require additional fertilizers to promote optimal plant growth. Consider adding slow-release or water-soluble fertilizers to coco chips.
- Start planting: Place coco chips in a container or pot and then transplant the seedlings into either of them. Water the plants as needed, but note that coco chips retain moisture for a longer period, so it is important not to overwater.