Tell me about coco

Discussion in 'Coco Coir' started by bulletcatcher, May 27, 2010.

  1. I know some vague information, but it seems like everyone always says its a hydroponic media... but it's always listed different than hydro for nutes, and more like soil.

    So can you grow in straight coco like it's soil? How often do you have to water? How does pH work in coco?
  2. You do not treat it like soil. I water when it starts getting dry (every other day to two days depending) Try and let 10% run off. PH it 5.8 This was my first Coco grow about to finish my harvest but seems to be working.
  3. ^^ and your just using the coco like soil? not a hydro set up or anything?
  4. #4 gmd, May 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 27, 2010
    Let me rephrase that I water before it gets dry cause you don't want it to dry out. It looks like soil with the vermiculite and perlite but its not ;) Works very good. Roots grow so fast that I have to transplant a lot! lol
  5. Coco is an inert media. That's to say it is a blank slate for you to do what you will with.

    You can use completely organic nutrient systems or you can use purely hydroponic systems. Coco has a different CEC than other medias and it holds on to cations and ions and needs a specific balance of elements in the mix to be efficient. Fortunately, Coco does a pretty good job regulating itself as long as the grower doesn't really throw the wrong stuff into it.

    Specifically it's phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These are the core elements when it comes to what makes coco nutrients different from standard nutrients.

    Since coco is both a good moisture retainer and a good aeration media you can keep it pretty moist once the roots are set. This allows for some REALLY explosive growth from the 3rd to 8th week of life.

    Coco specific systems can be found from Advanced Nutrients, Botanicare, House and Garden, and Canna. I hear other companies are catching on. Most two part and three part systems can be adapted to coco by an individual grower, but these need to be "A & B" style systems.

    The advice I can offer is to use containers that breath very well. RootMakers, SmartPots, AirPots, are all excellent for coco applications. Water from the bottom up, ebb and flow is perfect or you can use tall drain pans or improvise. When you allow the coco to soak up what it needs you keep the top layer semi-dry. This will discourage any fungus or gnats from taking hold in your grow.

  6. I've been using fine coco husk for dripper, flood/drain and Autopots and it seems to be a very good medium. Can I get some advice/devil's advocacy?
    , you seem to know a bit about this stuff.

    I've been using a 1 part system Green Dream, and have been thinking of switching to Canna specific coco feed. Would it make that much difference?

    I'm paranoid about whether I'll get wet feet if I use pure coco in Autopot (feed to use) or Flood/drain. With the flood drain I raise the coco on upturned seedling trays and only get an inch or so hitting the bottom of the pots. Can I get rid of the trays and sink the coco deeper...feed 15 mins every two hours at 12-1300ppm.
  7. Since coco is so absorbent it doesn't require frequent waterings. It actually preforms better when moist then it does when saturated. You never want it to dry out of course but you also don't want to keep it always totally wet.

    Coco wicks up moisture very well because the microscopic structure of the fiber is very "spongy" allowing for excellent capillary action. so 15 minutes would be entirely too long if you're going to do it more than twice per day. I'd say doing a very quick soak of the media every 6 to 8 hours is probably ideal for most grows. The soak shouldn't last more than 3 or 4 minutes in this regularity, and this will take some tuning based on the individual grower.

    I'm very unfamiliar with Green Dream but the odds are that if it is a one part system it won't work especially well in coco. Almost a guarantee that you get calcium issues. I use Canna, and I think it's the best available for the cost, the best grow I've ever seen was on Canna Aqua on a drain to waste (1 plant 1 pound 400w bulb).

    It is possible to overwater with coco, aim for as much time in the moist range as possible. For most growers this is a liter or two, twice a day ideally. Just enough water to allow it all to dry out in 12 to 24 hours.

  8. Thanks mate, Would changing from one type of nutrient to another for bloom do any damage? I will give the Canna a go! Cheers.
  9. Unfortunately, yes, bloom nutrients can do damage to a system that has been prepared on a different nutrient. Coco will hold on to some nutrients during the beginning of veg. The coco builds up a bank of phosphorus and potassium, and once that bank is full more phosphorus is available on the same nutrient system.

    Thus, you only need a single system for vegetative life and for flowering as the profile of available nutrients will change as the coco is conditioned. Once the grow is completed you would ideally want to soak your leftover coco in an enzyme to break down the roots and then flush it back to less than 50ppm. Now you can reuse the coco as though it were completely new again.

    Using a secondary bloom system will ultimately create an imbalance in the media and salts will form. You want to use the same system from start to finish for the best results. You can add and remove supplements and additives but your main macro-nutrient system needs to be the backbone of stability in your coco grow.

  10. Thanks
  11. coco is a replacement for peatmoss it basically has same structure,u can use it as hydro or mix in whatever to make it soil like
  12. #12 oneshot, Jun 4, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2010
    dont usually post but im loving this new interest in coco.
    i have been using pure coco in good ol' plastic pots and hand feeding. i use canna A and B, at about 2.5 - 5ml of A and 2.5 - 5ml of B per 2 litre of tap water.
    the feed schedule that comes with canna is too hot. i also use 5-10ml of biobizz topmax per 2 litre in flowering. (topmax is cheaper than canna boost, but just as effective.)
    i harvested about 4.5oz of sensi star dry, all from one plant. i should add that i didnt measure ph or run-off after feeding throughout the grow.





    not bad for my first grow ;) i love cocooo :D
  13. great job i was intrested before now i gotta try it myself im glad gc got this up
  14. getting more oxygen to the roots would be beneficial right? does anyone store thier water in a bucket w/ a bubbler or something before giving it to plants?
  15. I run a small air pump and 4" air stone in a few gallons of solution for a few hours before feeding. Usually about 12 hours worth or run time. The movement keeps my solution mixing while the pH balances.
  16. thanks snow crash, what kind of pump if you dont mind me asking?

  17. To me the best way to determine if it's time to water coco is by weight. This works great with light containers, I wouldn't recommend this for clay pots for example.

    If you lift a container that's totally dry, you can tell the difference between one that's watered. When the plant weighs a little less than halfway, then it's time to water. A week of picking up the pot will train your brain easily.

    Coco can fool you because the top layer dries due to gravity pulling the water down, it's not like soil where it dries a little more uniformly. This layer of air up top is a great insulator and allows outdoor plants to take a lot more heat since the roots won't get hot.

    If you ph everything to 5.8 going in, I doubt you'll ever have a ph problem other than salt buildup.

    I normally go 2 to 3 days between waterings in 3 gals, 3-5 days in 5 gals.

    I've changed nutrients several times in flowering without any issues, with more than one plant. In one case I have a plant refusing to feed organically so I've switched her to chem nutes around week 6 of flowering. I do this a lot with my veggies too (my lab rats :devious:), they actually love the variety of nutrients. I've always felt it's a good thing to use more than one nutrient brand unless you're doing DWC. Soil grows benefit especially from using more than one source of nutrition (what one lacks, another may have).
  18. I'm going every other day with a 5 gallon pot right now. She seems to prefer it over every third day.
  19. Since coco can't be overwatered, is it safe to say that you could leave some kind of drip system on your plants if you had to leave for a few days to a week?
  20. idk if someone has said this, but you should go read AskEd's guide..

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