Coconut Coir vs Potting Mix Test : Soil Porosity Explained

Is growing in ready to use potting mix better than coconut coir? Well let’s
find out [music] So in this episode its a face-off between ready to use potting mix and coconut coir and this coconut coir
is just plain coir with nothing added the potting mix is a ready to use potting
mix which has some added fertilizer
in it so we sowed some fenugreek seeds in
these two containers and after exactly a week we can see that the germination is
pretty much consistent between the coconut coir vs the potting mix now when seedlings emerge that don’t need much nutrition it’s only
when they develop their first set of leaves do they start feeding on the nutrients in
the soil so as you can see here the plants have
really taken off very well in both these containers and at this
stage it’s really hard to say which of these mixes is doing better the one on
the left what we see here is the coconut coir and the one on that right is the ready
to use potting mix so depending on the type of the ready to use potting mix that you use
you will either get a lot of organic ingredients
in the potting mix or you might have a lot of organic
ingredients but you might have some kind of slow release fertilizer added to the potting mix the whole idea
of the added fertilizer is to make sure that the plants are being well fed for the next three months or
so so yes the coconut coir doesn’t have any
fertilizer but it has naturally occurring potassium
now although fenugreek doesn’t need a lot of heavy feeding you can see that as the
plants are growing the plants that are growing in the ready to use potting mix which is on
the right is showing much healthier growth which is even more
evident at this stage the coconut choir is a great potting
medium but the lack of nutrition in the coconut coir is beginning to
show in the health of the plants this also goes to show how important it
is for you to provide adequate nutrition to your
plants in order for them to grow well so let’s
go ahead and harvest these fenugreek plants this a good
stage to harvest and consume them so let’s go and harvest these and let’s look at the way the plants have
grown so as I was pulling out these plants from the coconut coir
potting medium I noticed that the roots had developed
very well And let’s take a closer look here so as you
can see here when I pull out the roots from this coir you can see that how well the root
systems have developed and the were able to penetrate the
medium very comfortably and this is one of the
benefits of using coconut coir is that it is such a
nice and fluffy growing medium that the root vegetables
or the root plants are able to send out these nice
looking roots very easily into this coconut coir
medium Now porosity of the container medium is
one of the things that I feel is a very important aspect of
growing in containers so what is porosity Porosity is nothing but how porous your container growing medium is
so for example coconut coir has a lot of porosity because air can freely move through the coir
itself and if you add other elements to your
potting mix like perlite or vermiculite that really helps your container medium to
become more porous and it also enables the plants
to send out their roots very easily into your containers so if you’re not having a lot of success
growing plants in containers I would highly recommend that you
try out creating your own potting mix by mixing
up a lot of porous medium like coconut coir, perlite, vermiculite while also adding nutrition
in the form of either compost or worm castings and you can watch this video that I had
created a few days earlier to give you an idea
of how to create your own potting mix So we’re almost done with the harvest here from the coconut coir medium
and that looks like a good harvest great leaves and a great root system So now let’s harvest our fenugreek greens
from the potting mix so as you can see the plants have grown
slightly bigger and have developed sturdier stems and the
reason for that is the added fertilizer in this potting mix has enabled the
plants to grow really strong and hence you can see the difference in
the results now when you’re buying potting mixes if you want to go organic you need to buy potting mixes that are
strictly organic and have only organic matter if you buy a potting mixes that are
not listed as organic they might contain synthetic
fertilizers so its up to your discretion whether you need to use them or not and as you can see
as I am pulling out the roots here the root systems are not as
thoroughly developed as the ones in the coconut coir however
you get better results on the top part of
the plants so all in all I think our ready to use potting mix
with some added fertilizer definitely has an edge over something like coconut coir alone so in my opinion the best way to create your potting mix is still
mix your own coconut coir with a porous medium like perlite or vermiculite and also add in a lot of
compost I think that is what what will give
you the best container solution for growing all your container plants and I
have discussed that in detail in my previous video as I
mentioned and that actually creates a veryoptimum
medium So you use a 30 percent mix of either Coconut coir or peat moss then add 30 percent of compost and then thirty percent of
perlite or vermiculite you can add 10 percent of worm
castings or additional compost and a handful of fertilizer and garden lime so although there was a close
competition between using ready to use potting mix and coconut
coir, I think we have a winner and the winner is ready to use potting
mix now partially this result is
skewed towards the potting mix because of the added fertilizers but most of the ready to use potting
mixes that you find in garden stores will have some kind of organic material
added to it which means that it has added nutrition
and it’ll feed your plants better so I hope you like this video and I would like to hear from you how
you create your potting mix or your container growing medium do you use your own recipe for creating your container mix or do you use
a ready to use container mix or potting mix I would like to hear from you I would
like to know what kind of mixes you use and how successful are you
with those let me know your suggestions and
I’ll see you again soon Happy Gardening! [music]

100 thoughts on “Coconut Coir vs Potting Mix Test : Soil Porosity Explained

  1. Greetings! Love your videos and I find them soo helpful. I was wondering what you would suggest for growing Salvia Apiana, it is White Sage. Any suggestions or info would be appreciated.

  2. Great comaprison. I would like to see a side by side of plain coconut coir, compared to coconut coir with azomite mixed in. Maybe I'll have to try it!

  3. Discovered coir a few weeks ago.  Used it as a replacement for peat.  A bit pricey but it works as advertised. Made a soil mix of approximately 30% soil, 25% coir, 25% manure, 20% peat (kept the peat low to maintain the ph value.  Seedlings are thriving.

  4. Great video! Learned a lot from this and your channel in general. I think the reason why roots on the coco coir are more than the roots on the potting mix is that it needs to have more roots to capture more nutrients from the coco coir while the potting mix already have enough nutes so roots don't have to be that much to capture it. Just my observation. Don't take my word for it. Overall it's a very informative video. Keep it up!

  5. Why do so many of these test give nutrients to the soil but not to the coco? Coco is like Hydro it needs to be given nutrients with each feeding of water.

  6. I live in Belize and see a ton of coconut husks being discarded. I think with a small shredder/ masticator I could help a local get started with his own micro business here. First buy educating and supplying local farmers and landscapers and then perhaps compressing and exporting. I found this while researching mediums for my vertical garden and it was great info. Thanks

  7. Sorry but this is for people that have no idea what or how to use coco coir. Please make the test fair as coir must be treated as a hydroponic medium.

  8. Do you eat the roots of the fenugreek along with the green or do you cut them off? Because if you pinch off the greens wouldn't they continue to grow? Thanks

  9. I would have added weak hydroponic fertilizer solution after the first set of leaves. I think if you tested in this manner you would have much better results from the coir.

  10. Root growth is much better in the coconut coir. It's ideal for starting seeds that you plan to transplant later into soil or compost

  11. I suggest a test with a cocopeat alone, cocopeat + compost, and potting mix. Maybe a fourth with perlite also just for reference to the actual mix you create. My results have been best with cocopeat + perlite + compost. Also making your own mix gives the flexibility to adjust it to the plant you are planting. Some prefer less water holding to others and some don't need as much compost as others.

  12. You could've used blackstrap molasses ( organic ) in filtered water. You would have calcium, magnesium & some iron to balance with the potassium. They may have done a bit better.

  13. bad test. coco is a hydro. you treat it like a soil. it is not.
    you don't have a nutrition schedule. poor

  14. I know it can replace pete. that has no nutrients as well.
    it looks like you are treated a hydro like a soil. they are not the same.

  15. In order to perform as a potting mix, coconut coir need to be composted, so that it can supply nutrients to the plants.
    Nice video.

  16. You dont need to worry aboud the top part of the plat, you need the roots to perform better if you transplant it now in firtile soil it will out grow the potting mix dew to the better root system.

  17. Fish/Blood/Bone/Feather? In order to grow a pot plant a little healthier they would take a life of an animal? I don't think pains & sufferings of animals would do any good to my plant so I would rather prefer to go synthetic or use many other organic (plants only) alternatives out there.

  18. Learned a lot from this informative video. I liked the fact that you started from planting to end stage harvesting so that we were able to see the result. Would it be o.k. to add fertilzer to Coir in the later stage? And, is Coir good for container flowers? Thanks.

  19. Hi. I'd like to grow some lettuce & basil. Is it ok if I combine the coco coir & potting mix? And since the coco coir is good for the rooting system will it be beneficial to use it in growing radishes? Thanks.

  20. Nature does not guarantee supply of neither of these special items for natural germination. Ordinary soil from back yard should work if some horse/cow manure aged is added. But it is a good experiment.

  21. Piss-Bonemeal-wood~ashes-coir-leaf mould -perlite-little bit o' rock dust-worm castings-compost. My plan for a potting mix+fertilizers. Ik it's compicated.

  22. The roots in the coco lead me to conclude that 50/50 coco/perlite or 100% coco coir plus nutrient supplementation might be the best combination.

  23. Thanks for the video. I use an organic seed starter soil but next year will add some coir to for moisture retention. I'm will be using coir in my container garden this year to condition the soil and help with moisture retention.

  24. I have just started making compost at home. what should I buy from the nursery. cocopeat is available, sand(can it be substituted for perlite) and ready organic fertilizers are available. please reply.

  25. this was an awful experiment and video.. You're very informative, but why didnt you use a fertilizer free soil to get a much better and more accurate test result or fertilize the coco mix??.. there's no way to tell from this video which one is a better medium to grow in than the other.. basically I just watched plants grown in fertilizer compared to plants that weren't grown in fertilizer.. geeeh, no big surprise that the plants NOT grown in fertilizer are the weakest… what was this video about again 🙁

  26. I am a relatively new subscriber to your excellent videos. Your seedlings look fantastic! Do you use grow lights or keep seed trays indoors? Living in Southern California myself, I find that starting my seeds indoors and moving them outside attracts insects, especially earwigs! Please share your technique! Thanks for such informative videos.

  27. 50% off on Coconut coir. Buy here:
    Organic Potting Mix:

  28. Coco Coir is good to mix with ordinary potting mix as it aerates and makes it easier for the plant to make roots.

  29. I mixed coco coir with builder's sand (approx. 5:1) for a tropical hibiscus, and it's not doing as fine as it did in a regular mix. It seems to hold to much moisture. Last time I planted it in a cacti/bonsai mix and it grew crazy, lots of leaves & flowers. What can I do/expect?

  30. You should add compost/nutrients to some coco coir and then test it against traditonal potting mix and see which one does better…

  31. wow the roots look fab in coir.. thank you for making such videos.. they all are very informative.. can you please do a video on how to tackle pests, organic pesticide, and companion planting.. I'm from Mumbai India and hence I just have the luxury of having 4 balconies.. thank you Angel

  32. Coco peat MUST be buffered with calmag first. Add 50g to 20l (60 to 25l, depending on your brick's instructions) water, then pH and add coir. Doing it in the bath is convenient. It has to stand for 12 hours, then move it to one side and pull the plug up a bit, for the water that is not soaked up, to drain slowly. then add vermiculite or perlite to your own desire and climate.

  33. Another reason the roots from the coco coir is much longer and more developed is because the coco coir is so poor in nutrient and that forces the plants to send out more roots to suck up whatever little nutrients there are. You don't get that situation with the potting mix because it has added slow release fertilizers and therefore the plants don't need to be that desperate for nutrients as to force them to extend their roots out too long.

  34. How do you think they would compare if you were to water using a diluted liquid fertilizer twice a week? I've been watering twice a week with a 6-6-7 fertilizer. Also, did you top water or bottom water?

    I actually just planted some plants yesterday using a mix of 1/2 coconut coir and 1/2 potting mix. First time playing with coconut coir but sounds like it should be a good starting mix.

  35. potting soil with added fertilizer our performed coconut coir alone…..weird…, Coir is really good for moisture retention, I blend potting soil, coir and cow manure for my potting mix. This has worked great and is better than vermiculite and perlite imo.

  36. this is misleading really to people that are new to coco peat, try a potting mix made using coco peat for a fair trial, and explain washing coco peat and need to buffer with cal mag

  37. I disagree with your conclusion. The root systems of the coconut coir is far better developed. That is where the health of the future plant will develop from once planted in soil. Nitrogen slow release in the potting soil inhibits root growth. Do a follow up on how they respond to planting , I'll put odds on the coir plants.

  38. You have to fertilize coco coir…are you kidding? If you aren't going to fertilize you would not grow in coco.

  39. If I were to make a mix of coconut coir, worm castings, azomite rock dust, and a but of vermiculite would work well?

  40. This year I made a mix of Coconut coir 1 part (25 %), grade 1 part (25%) vermiculite and 2 parts (50 %) compost for new 4×4 raised bed. The tomato plants, carrots, and tarragon appear to like the mix. Too soon to confirm if Genova basil likes mix or not., calendula also appears to like mix. If this works, I will do same mix for any new beds. I blended sheep compost, mushroom compost & sea compost in equal parts

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