Understanding Coconut Coir Mulch?
Coco coir, or coconut coir is the product made from the coconut husk- which is considered a by-product of the coconut industry. The coco pith (also known as coco peat) has a fine and spongy material, coconut fibers are stringy and the coco coir contains both of the aforementioned. These products have a variety of uses like basket, growing medium, soil amendment etc. as it is also a popular mulch product
What is Coconut Coir and its Role as Mulch?
Benefits of Coir Mulch for Plants and Soil
A mulch layer is the top most layer that is applied to the soil. Mulching is a gardening technique, it is the act of covering the soil with mulches such as wood chips, leaves, tree bark, and organic material, aimed at the conservation of soil moisture, improving fertility and health of the soil, while reducing weed growth and enhancing the visual appeal of the area.
By mulching the soil with coconut husk’s fiber, growers are benefited from their:
- Renewability: coco coir is from a renewable resource of material, therefore they are naturally sustainable and more eco-friendly than peat moss or tree bark, which also effectively makes them much more affordable than the others.
- Water retention rate: they can hold more water than peat. Researchers find out that by mulching with them, water used in gardens at destinations of drought could reduce up to 50% of the amount used by gardens that do not mulch.
- Composability: coco coir is carbon-rich, which is useful in compost pile as it helps balance nitrogen-rich materials added. A rate of 2:1 of coir to green material, or 1:1 of coir to brown material is recommended inside the compost bin.
- Soil amendment: improving soil is a perfect role for such a versatile substance as coco coir. Bringing nutrient and water retention ability to sandy soil, or improving soil quality, structure, preventing compaction of clay soil is an example of what they can do.
- Level of pH: coir has around neutral pH level- 5.5 to 6.8, which is ideal for most plants, making lighter work to implement them to pre-established gardens. By that, it means that mulching with coco coir will usually be easier to control as you can skip the pH managing step unless your plants specifically do not want neutral pH level.
Drawbacks of Coconut Mulch
As we can’t talk about benefits without warning about drawbacks, as there is no such perfect substrate. But if there are examples of any perfect substrate, coco coir would inarguably be one of them. That is said and done, the following are something that you should keep in mind while working with coco coir:
- Chemical: Some coir is treated with chemicals to deal with pathogens, be sure to read the manufacturer’s label. But some of the lower quality ones still have left-over substrate that are non-fit for the plant, so be sure to find a reliable source. When you are skeptical, you can wash your coco coir that is currently available multiple times to clean them off yourselves.
- Salt: sometimes coir mulch isn’t washed fully, causing left-over that could affect plant’s life. Rinse the mulch in clean water before using if it is a case, and maybe look for another trustworthy source.
- Nutrient: coco coir mulch lacks some nutrients that could be essential, so be sure to add fertilizer. This is also the reason why coir are the way they are, do not contain any nutrient (they do, but the amount is small enough to ignore most of the time), while as well fend off diseases. Their content usually lacks iron, magnesium, and calcium, so find supplements that would provide specifically those mentioned nutrients before starting to use it.
So as you can see, these drawbacks can be solved by preparing carefully and buying from a reliable source. Get these aspects out of the equation as soon as possible to enjoy the benefit of the coco coir mulching layer in your garden.
Tips Using Coconut Coir as Mulch
Techniques and Tips for Effective Mulching with Coconut Coir
Like it can not even get any easier, the process to mulch with coco coir is simple and indifferent from mulching with other materials. To get the most out of coco coir while using them for mulching:
- If you use the coco coir brick product, be sure to soak them carefully before using, preferably 15 minutes or more. The brick will expand more if it is fully soaked in water, making them easier to spread out. Also the volume of the coco coir plus the water as they expand are much bigger than the original brick, use a suitable container. You don’t have to worry about this step as loose coco coir products are also available in the market, which are ready-to-use products that you buy-open-use in a simple manner.
- Use a thicker layer in the case of weed. This coco coir mulch layer creates a barrier to prevent the weed from growing. A cloth barrier works well too if you can not afford to thicken the coco coir layer.
- This layer of coco coir mulch could be just plowed back into the garden at the end or at the start of a season, as they also break down and provide all the nutrients back into the soil. Garden soil mixed with coco coir have very good aeration, water drainage ability, and all other upsides that they have, as one of coco coir other uses is also being a very popular growing medium.
Considerations and Solutions for Coconut Mulch Usage
Coco coir mulching is no differ from other types of mulches, which mean the thickness of the mulch layer which would be around 5-7.5cm, adjusted accordingly. But as mentioned, if there is a demand to thicken the layer to prevent weed, do it, as there is no harm doing so unless there is not enough material available.
Coconut coir mulch is an all-natural material you should consider adding to your gardening routine. It’s affordable, eco-friendly, and offers a variety of benefits that go beyond what your old mulch can do for your garden.
- The Benefits of Coco Coir in Gardening: Things You Need to Know
- Aloe Vera Soil Mix: Choosing the Right Soil for Healthy Plants
- Coco Coir Potting Mix: Composition and Benefits
- Coco Peat vs Coco Coir: Understanding the Differences and Similarities
Thank you for reading.