Has anyone used coconut coir in soil?
I started seeing Miracle Grow's new "Expand N Gro" soil at the hardware stores this summer. I was intrigued, since it supposedly contained a special soil that would expand 3x. Despite its high price tag, I gave it a try for my garden.
It worked well, though I think I got much closer to 2x expansion than 3x. But I liked the consistency - the bag said that it used coconut coir, a byproduct of coconut husks which is a great soil amendment. And I had to agree - it's light, fluffy, and appears to have very desirable characteristics similar to peat moss and vermiculite as a soil amendment - expanding to store water when saturated, and shrinking when dry. This stuff will really help aerate soil and improve drainage extremely well.
So I did some research online. I figured, if Miracle Grow even states that coco coir is a byproduct, and it's light as a feather...why is it so expensive? Turns out, it's not. Miracle Grow is just jacking up the prices, they must be making an insane profit margin on these bags. Plus they add their nasty artificial fertilizer.
Came across this stuff on Amazon and gave it a try:
It expanded to fill over a whole 6 cubic foot wheelbarrow with it - probably equal to 4-5 bags of the Miracle Grow stuff for the price of 1 bag. I love the consistency, and mixing about a third of this in with standard potting soil, it works great.
So I just wanted to pass this along, and was wondering if anyone else heard of coconut coir. I think it is superior to peat moss, vermiculite and perlite as a soil amendment, and it's cheaper too (if you find the right source). I think the heaping pile of fluffy coir that filled up my wheelbarrow was greater in volume than the big bags of peat you get at the hardware stores for the same price.