Coconut coir fibre

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ritamax

  • Full Member
Coconut coir fibre
« on: September 18, 2012, 10:16:03 AM »
Do you have any experience on coconut four fibre sold in bricks. Would it be suitable correcting claye, alcaline, compacted soil for exotic plants like grevillea, callistemon and metrosideros?
Hobbygardener (MGS member) with a rooftop garden in Basel and a garden on heavy clay with sand 600m from seaside in Costa Blanca South (precipitation 300mm), learning to garden waterwise

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ritamax

  • Full Member
Re: Coconut coir fibre
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2012, 02:56:17 PM »
I am answering my question myself, as I found out, that the pH of coconut coir can differ from light acidic to light alkaline. But I did use it in an awful compacted claye spot mixing it with the top soil and also in repotting, it makes a wonderful structure and could be surely used in many ways, for example seedlings, it is low in nutrients, pest free, light, retains moisture well and keeps its structure long.
Hobbygardener (MGS member) with a rooftop garden in Basel and a garden on heavy clay with sand 600m from seaside in Costa Blanca South (precipitation 300mm), learning to garden waterwise

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Janet Ibbotson

  • Jr. Member
Re: Coconut coir fibre
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2013, 08:05:34 PM »
I wanted to say how useful this morsel of information on coir was and to add my own experience of using it.  I'm currently planting into a mix of very heavy clay and builder's rubble and thought I'd try to find some coir here in Greece.  It came in 5 kilo blocks from a nursery in Athens.  Though a little bulky, it was clean and easy to transport and store.  Each block was then mixed with water.  We used a large rubbish sack sitting in an old tree planter.  If left to soak it broke down quickly to make about 50 litres of fibre.  its good stuff, clean to work with and improves soil texture and water retention. 

We then mixed the coir according to plant needs, with perlite (apparently Greece is one of its largest producers), manure (donkey/goat in our case and only available fresh so we have to be careful about using it round the roots of plants and be aware of its interesting range of grass and weed seeds), compost, gravel, some sand, schino homa - a type of compost/leaf mould found under the local mastic bushes, plus whatever soil we can find, to achieve soils suited to different plant needs.  Whether or not the mixes are entirely successful, I will report back as the planting becomes more established.  All the planting will be dressed with white gravel to provide a mulch, which we hope will retain moisture while acting as a weed suppressant.
Janet Ibbotson
MGS Member currently based in Skopelos, Greece but also gardens in Norfolk

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ritamax

  • Full Member
Re: Coconut coir fibre
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2013, 06:38:45 PM »
Good to hear! I am using coir all the time along with perlite. It is light to carry unlike sand and makes much better structure and drainage. And it does not fertlize, also important with many mediterranean plants. Also for potting mixed with perlite and top soil saves from buying and carrying potting compost around.
Hobbygardener (MGS member) with a rooftop garden in Basel and a garden on heavy clay with sand 600m from seaside in Costa Blanca South (precipitation 300mm), learning to garden waterwise