Poorly draining soil is a common yet frustrating issue that plagues many gardeners. To solve this issue, we need to turn to soil additives, but there are so many it can take a lot of work to know what is suitable for your situation.
You may have seen coco coir used in an ornamental setting, but can it be used as a soil additive?
So, can you mix soil and coco coir? Mixing coco coir and soil is a popular practice that helps improve soil aeration and drainage to help your plants grow at their best.
The quality of our garden soil is something that can sometimes feel out of our control. Luckily, many organic additives and products on the market are created just for this purpose. Coco coir is one of those products.
This article is going to explain what coco coir is and whether or not it is a good idea to mix it into your soil.
What is Coco Coir?
Before we get to our question of the day, we need to get to know our subject a little better. So what is coco coir, and what is it used for?
Coco coir, also known as coconut fiber, is a fibrous substance found between the hard internal shell and the outer coat of the coconut.
In a gardening setting, coco coir is used to help with soil aeration, water retention, and a decorative soil topper. While it is an organic and renewable material, coco coir has no nutritional value to add to the soil. For this reason, it is often used in conjunction with fertilizers and compost.
It is sold in fine ground form as well as in compressed bricks that need to be rehydrated before you use them.
This substrate is commonly used as a growing medium for mushrooms.
Can You Mix Soil and Coco Coir?
Yes, you can mix coco coir with soil to help improve the aeration and drainage.
If you have dense, poorly draining soil, coco coir will help aerate it and drain it naturally. On the other hand, when mixed with sandy soil, it helps aid with water retention. It’s the best of both worlds!
Coco coir is a natural way to improve soil texture in pot plants, container gardens, and garden beds.
But how should you mix in the coco coir?
Here is our recommendation for mixing a container soil mix using coco coir:
- Take a container filled with fresh or reused soil (reused is preferable and more cost-effective) and remove around half of the soil.
- Fill the empty half with coco coir and blend the two together with your hands.
- Level it out and see if it needs to be topped up further. If so, top up with half soil and half coco coir.
- Optional. If you are going to use the container for growing vegetables, we suggest mixing a few tablespoons of fertilizer into the soil.
Although this is a guide for container soil, coir can also be mixed into your garden soil by putting down a layer and turning over the top layer of soil until it is combined.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is it good to mix coco coir with potting soil?
Yes, we recommend using coco coir for both garden beds and potting soil to help with water retention and soil texture. You can even make your own DIY potting mix using coco coir and other ingredients for the perfect soil texture.
Is it better to grow in soil or coco coir?
Coir tends to dry out very quickly and requires frequent watering when used as a growth medium on its own. This is why, in most cases, we like to use a good mix of soil and coco coir to maintain balanced moisture retention.
Coco coir is a great soil additive that can do nothing but good for your garden.
We recommend mixing coco coir into your soil to help regulate drainage and aerate the soil using organic materials.
It’s incredible that adding a simple organic material can be a total game-changer in your garden. We hope this has encouraged you to grab some coco coir to try for yourself.