So you’ve finally bitten the bullet and decided to start growing your own cannabis, but now you need to figure out the right growing medium to help you grow the tastiest buds. Whatever you decide, it’s a good idea to run a quick online search to show you the nearest garden centers or to use our tool below.
Just typing “Garden centers near me” will pull up a list of places suitable for you on the map. Then, you need to look into the exact growing medium that will work best in your growing area and in terms of giving you the best control over your plant’s growth. For our money, the best growing medium for cannabis cultivation in this respect is coco coir.
Table of Contents
- Why is Coco Coir the Best Growing Medium for Cannabis?
- What do you need to make a coco coir potting mix for cannabis?
- What Nutrients do I need to grow Cannabis in Coco Coir?
- Top 7 Best for Coco Coir Growing in 2020
- #1 Best Coco Coir for Cannabis Online: Kempf Compressed Coco Fiber Growing Potting Mix
- #2 Best Perlite for Cannabis Potting Mix Available Online: Espoma PR8 8-Quart Organic Perlite
- #3 Best Cal-Mag Available Online: Botanicare CAL-MAG Plus Plant Supplement
- #4 Best pH Control Kit for Coco Coir: General Hydroponics pH Control Kit
- #5 Best pH Tester: Cakie Digital Meter, 0.01 High Accuracy Quality 0-14
- #6 Best Coco Coir Nutrients for Cannabis: General Hydroponics Flora Grow, Bloom, Micro Combo Fertilizer set
- #7 Best EC/CF Meter: Bluelab 716441 Combo Meter
Why is Coco Coir the Best Growing Medium for Cannabis?
Coco coir is derived from the fibrous husks of coconuts. Coco coir’s beneficial growing properties have only relatively recently become understood in the western world, but it is now fairly widely used by green-fingered people in the know. In terms of cannabis growing, this medium is so good because it gives you total control over the nutrients your plant gets as, unlike soil, it is a neutral material to grow your plant in.
Whereas with soil, building up the perfect batch can take years of careful planning, coco coir allows you to make the best of specially designed nutrients online that will help produce huge yields and flavorsome harvests. Another major benefit of coco coir is that it has excellent properties for both water retention and drainage. This makes it the perfect medium for strong root growth which is great for the vegetative growth phase of your plants.
Other major benefits of coco coir are that: it is environmentally friendly as coconuts are an entirely renewable energy source and produce their fruits all year round in the tropical climates they thrive in; the husks don’t attract unwanted insects reducing the likelihood that you’ll have to opt for the use of pesticides, and; cannabis plants grow faster in coco coir as the nutrients are provided in the easiest way for the roots to absorb their goodness.
What do you need to make a coco coir potting mix for cannabis?
Although coco coir can be mixed with soil to improve its water retention and drainage, you will then lose the benefit of total control over the nutrients your plant is getting. A better idea is to mix it with about 30% perlite and provide all the nutrients to your plant through water packed with nutrient and mineral supplements. Here is a quick ‘recipe’ for 10 gallons of the best coco coir potting mix for maximum yields and healthy cannabis growing indoors.
- Coco coir blocks equalling 1.3Kgs.
- An 8-quart or 250z bag of perlite.
- A fabric plant pot that can hold at least 10 gallons.
- A 5-gallon plastic bucket.
To make your coco coir mix you will need to rehydrate your blocks first, so pop the coco coir bricks in the fabric pot in the bucket and allow the handles to flop over the side. Measure out around 2.5 gallons of water and pop in a Cal-Mag supplement to the water to make sure it is at the right pH level of 6.0. Pour this into the bucket and over your coco coir and wait at least 10 minutes or until you can feel no more hard parts in the mix.
Once the coco coir has been fully hydrated you can pull up the fabric plant pot liner and allow the water to drain off into the bucket below. Add the perlite to the hydrated coco coir and mix the perlite in with your hands. Make sure that you have a good even mix and watch out for the clumps of perlite loitering at the sides of your pot. This is then good to go and can be used in your pot or pots of choice for your cannabis plant’s home.
What Nutrients do I need to grow Cannabis in Coco Coir?
You can use any cannabis nutrients made for hydroponic setups so long as you remember to use the calimagic supplement alongside them. When growing in coco coir it is good idea to use coco coir specific nutrients. You also need to measure and monitor your plant’s pH and EC/CF (Electrical Conductivity/Conductivity factor) levels and can take measurements as part of your irrigation strategy. The pH level should be kept between 5.5 and 6.5. The EC/CF needs to change as the plant grows:
Young plants: Keep between 6-12
Established Plants: Keep between 15-20
Mature Plants: Keep between 15-20
Top Tip: Make sure to measure the EC/CF level of your water as manufacturers give a target level that assumes a base level of 0. Tap water contains minerals so will not be rated 0.
Top 7 Best for Coco Coir Growing in 2020
#1 Best Coco Coir for Cannabis Online: Kempf Compressed Coco Fiber Growing Potting Mix
This wonderfully fibrous coco coir comes in a whopping 17-gallon pack that will help you build a potting mix that cannabis plants flourish in. The root growth inspired in this coco coir once rehydrated and added into the potting mix ‘recipe’ outlined above is phenomenal. This coco coir is particularly beneficial in terms of water and phosphorous retention too which means your plants will grow healthily through their well-nourished roots.
Other pros of this coco coir are that: it is 100% recyclable and great for the environment; plants grown in this will be less susceptible to insects and fungal infections; it has perfect water retention and drainage properties for healthy cannabis growth, and; it has a neutral pH value that will always fall between5.2 and 6.8 so you won’t have to struggle with this. Just remember to buy a bag of perlite and get nutrient solutions that are specifically designed for coco coir use.
#Coco_Coir #Perlite #Nutrients #Cannabis #Yields
#2 Best Perlite for Cannabis Potting Mix Available Online: Espoma PR8 8-Quart Organic Perlite
If you’ve opted to grow in the coco coir growing medium then don;t be tempted to leave out the perlite as this ensures the perfect drainage that roots will love when included in the potting mix outlined above. Perlite is also neutral so you don;t have to worry about its effect on the pH level. This is a fine grade organic perlite which works great with coco coir and those who like maximum control over where and how their plants grow.
Other major pros of this product are that: drainage of coco coir setups will be improved; it helps root growth making plant growth quicker; it is lightweight, making it easier to move your plants when necessary; seedlings and clones do well with this in the mix, and; it comes in the perfect sized bag for the potting mix described.
#Perlite #Yields #Root_Growth #Coco_Coir #Cannabis
#3 Best Cal-Mag Available Online: Botanicare CAL-MAG Plus Plant Supplement
When growing in coco coir you are going to need to get your hands on some Cal-Mag supplements, especially at the beginning of the growing phases when you should use it full strength for around two weeks. If you don’t fancy getting this product in down the local garden center, then this is a great product designed for use with coco-coir. There’s even a pretty decent 1-year warranty with this product if you aren’t happy with the results.
Other big pluses of this product are that: it is packed full of calcium, magnesium, iron and other beneficial minerals and nutrients; it works well with auto-flowering cannabis plants; it can be used throughout all growth phases, not just at the beginning, and; it will lead to improved yields and encourage vegetative growth so you can get into making some tasty edibles or hash from the extra vegetation.
#Cannabis #Coco_Coir #Hash #Edible_Weed #Yields
#4 Best pH Control Kit for Coco Coir: General Hydroponics pH Control Kit
If you are having trouble controlling your pH levels then it’s a good idea to get a pH control kit which enables you to adjust the levels. This kit is ideal for use in coco coir potting mixtures and actually comes with a basic pH test indication tube. Whether the level is too high or too low you have what you need with this kit. You’ll soon notice improvements in plant growth if you take proper care over your pH levels.
#pH_Level #pH_Tester_Kit #Yields #Cannabis #Plant_Health
#5 Best pH Tester: Cakie Digital Meter, 0.01 High Accuracy Quality 0-14
Although coco coir is pH neutral you will need to keep on top of your pH levels as you add nutrients to your pots and ensure you don’t start burning your roots. A good way to keep on top of your pH levels is to regularly measure it from the runoff water solution you get after feeding your plant. Although measuring pH levels sounds challenging, with this nifty little device you’ll have the power of science at your fingertips to make it easy.
The major benefits of this device are that; it is supremely accurate thanks its sensitive electrode sensor; it is set up to automatically calibrate itself in different temperatures improving accuracy of readings; it comes with a detailed user manual to make the most of it but is easy to use if you don’t fancy reading through the whole manual, and; it is a great price. The downside of this product is that it is a bit cheaply made so you will need to take good care of it.
#pH_Meter #Cannabis #pH_Levels #Coco_Coir #Measurement_Tool
#6 Best Coco Coir Nutrients for Cannabis: General Hydroponics Flora Grow, Bloom, Micro Combo Fertilizer set
Once you’ve made sure your pH level is right for your roots to be able to absorb all the nutrients your plant needs your ready to go with your nutrient schedule. Remember that using nutrients in water is an aggressive growing method and without careful care you can burn your roots so it is a good idea to flush your plant with plain water every other time you water it. This will help prevent nutrient build up. This trio of nutrients alongside Cal-Mag is all you need in a coco coir setup.
The major pros of these nutrients are that: they are designed for use with coco coir; they provide all the nutrients your plants need when used with Cal-Mag; they have been developed primarily for cannabis cultivation; they can be used to create the right EC/CF levels throughout the growing phases, and; they lead to impressive yields and build depth in the flavor of your buds. The downside of these nutrients is they are more costly than others on the market.
#Nutrients #Cannabis #Yields #Coco_Coir #pH_Balanced
#7 Best EC/CF Meter: Bluelab 716441 Combo Meter
Although you might be tempted to leave an EC/CF meter off your shopping list, you shouldn’t be tempted to do this if you want to make sure your plants grow optimally and want to prevent root burn. If your CF drops this means your plants are hungry and have used more nutrients, if it rises, they’re thirstier and need some more water. Without a measuring tool it’s very hard to know exactly what your plant needs but this tool makes it easy.
The major pros of this product are that: it measures pH levels, conductivity and temperature; it is highly accurate; it is easy to use; it is suitable for large or small growing setups; it has a replaceable pH probe; it is easy to calibrate at the click of a button, and; it gives you super control over the needs of your plant. The major downside of this probe is that it is costly, but as it comes with a pH meter and will get the best out of your plants it is truly worth the cost.
#Cannabis_Growing #Coco_Coir #Conductivity_Measurement #pH_Level #Yields
Growing in coco coir is a great choice for cannabis growers looking to control the exact nutrients your plants receive and to improve consistency in yields and flavors. By investing in the proper equipment you’ll soon see that coco coir can improve your plant’s growth rate to levels you could never have dreamed of if just growing in soil or without monitoring your plant’s needs.