Over the last decade cannabis production has come out of the closet, quite literally. The first person I knew to have grown his own cannabis (or marijuana or pot or whichever name you prefer to call it) grew several pots of it in his bedroom closet, hidden away from his parents. And while some folks may grow cannabis in places unseen by parental and other authorities’ eyes, at-home and/or commercial legal cannabis production is now A-OK in 18 states and Washington, D.C. with more coming on board every year.
If you’re just beginning to grow cannabis legally, you’ll want to grow it correctly. While we won’t get into the day-to-day details of cannabis production here, we will explain how to get your cannabis crop off to the best start possible. It all starts with your growing media (and we know growing media). Specifically, one growing media of choice for many growers is coco coir.
What Is Coco Coir?
Professional cannabis cultivators all agree that drainage and aeration are key to a successful crop. Many achieve this by using coco coir as their growing medium. Coco coir, if you’re not familiar, is produced from the humble coconut, specifically the fibrous material found between the husk and the coconut itself. This material holds water well but also allows for good drainage. (I know it’s hard to wrap your brain around being both water-holding and water-draining at the same time, but let’s chalk it up to science.) Well-draining growing media allows for good air flow, which is good for root growth. And a good, healthy root system is the secret to a great crop of pretty much anything, including cannabis.
Coco coir has another beneficial aspect that is good for not just cannabis but also the planet. It’s a renewable product. Coir’s water-holding-and-water-draining characteristic allows it to be a great substitution for peat moss, which is not a quick-to-renew resource. Less peat being used means less mining, which means less damage to the sensitive and diminishing peat bogs of the northern hemisphere. We came across an article in the New York Times that explains the peat and climate change situation HERE.
The Science of Coir
I mentioned “science” above, and it turns out “science” is a key aspect of why coco coir is an ideal medium for growing cannabis as well as other crops. Some of the properties of coir that allow crops to thrive when grown in it include:
Neutral pH. Its pH is close to neutral (6), so coir can be used straightaway. Peat is acidic (as low as 3-4) and needs to be treated with lime before use. This neutrality is good because it allows the user to add the nutrient mix of their choosing.
High cation exchange rate. This allows nutrients to be stored and used as needed, except for calcium and magnesium, which coir tends to hold on to. Adjust your nutrients accordingly. A calcium and/or magnesium supplement is a must do when growing in coco coir.
Packed with nutrients and biostimulants. It’s a formerly living thing, so it comes packed with its own set of nutrients, such as potassium, iron, manganese and zinc, to name a few. Again, you should take this into account when considering what nutrients to apply. It also contains biostimulants, which act as growth enhancers and give whatever is planted in it a boost.
Watch for salts. If there is a downside of coir it’s the fact that the product in its raw form contains salts. You, the end user buying coco coir products, don’t really need to worry too much about the salt level because it has been processed and washed extensively before you receive it. But if for some reason you’ve found some compressed blocks of raw coir, do know the salts need to be rinsed away or else it can harm your crops.
What Makes Cocodelphia Great
We at Organic Mechanics think our Cocodelphia coco coir product is one of the best on the market. Why? For one thing, we buy our coir from just one farm in India, so our variability in quality is essentially non-existent. That farm washes the coir several times and relies on the monsoons of Southeast Asia to accomplish this. Once we have received the coir, it’s washed again as we rehydrate the air-dried, compressed coir blocks. Essentially, Cocodelphia is triple washed.
Our Cocodelphia is also continually tested for heavy metals, and each test result comes back clean. Don’t just take our word for it! Our customers have done their own testing and tell us it’s the cleanest heavy metal-free coir for cannabis production around. And for you professional cannabis growers out there, you know cannabis that fails a heavy metal test means a lost crop and lost profits.
Cocodelphia is also ready to go straight out of the bag. Add in some other beneficial amendments such as Biochar Blend or Worm Castings for a punch of nutrition. Or plant in the bag and save yourself the time of potting.
For more information about coco coir, check out the great content on the Maximum Yield site, beginning with THIS ARTICLE.
Do Note! Cannabis production is not legal nationwide. While it may be legal to cultivate cannabis where you are, many states do still consider it illegal unless you possess a state-issued license. Check and abide by your state and local laws before you grow. If, however, you have the option to grow cannabis and you know you are doing everything legally, by all means, please do! And give our Cocodelphia a try while you’re at it.