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Mixing soil with coco

Peterpangreen

Well-Known Member
Hey guys,

Wanted to start a fully coco grow but unfortunatelly I can’t get some things done on time like auto dripsystem and run-off tray which is hard to get here. So I was thinking about a soil mixed with coco and some perlite.
Is it a benefit to make this mix and at what ratio’s should I start at?
 

TysonOG

Well-Known Member
Im sure you can, but I wouldn't. You have to treat coco differently than soil, so when you mix them you're kinda stuck in a limbo. You cant treat it like coco, but you cant treat it like soil either. I would really recommend one or the other. You can always cut with perlite. If your transplanting, you'll start in small containers so you shouldn't need much supplies for a couple weeks. You can get by without the auto system and run off tray at first anyway.
 

Peterpangreen

Well-Known Member
Im sure you can, but I wouldn't. You have to treat coco differently than soil, so when you mix them you're kinda stuck in a limbo. You cant treat it like coco, but you cant treat it like soil either. I would really recommend one or the other. You can always cut with perlite. If your transplanting, you'll start in small containers so you shouldn't need much supplies for a couple weeks. You can get by without the auto system and run off tray at first anyway.
How would you recommend doing this with 12 plants with the runoff ?
 

TysonOG

Well-Known Member
Is it dtw, or are you recirculating? Personally I wouldnt recirculate in coco. I would start them in solo cups of 70% coco 30% perlite and hand water them the first 2 weeks. After that, they would be up-potted depending on size of final container. You could get an individual cheapo tray for each one, 50c a piece, if you want to test the runoff or something. But the first couple weeks I wouldnt bother testing.
 

Ganjier

Active Member
Cannabis can be successfully grown in an organic soil/coco mix. Here's a recent pic of my girls in flower. They're sitting in 5 year old recycled organic soil/coco medium. I've been using this type of medium indoors for several years with very good results so far.
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I use a ratio of approximately 70% soil to 30% coco. I pre-soak my coir in water with dolomite lime added for approximately 1 week then drain and allow to dry before mixing with my soil. I mix the coco with my soil at the time that I pot up.
One thing that is different when using coco instead of soil/perlite is that you can't allow it to dry out as much as a soil/perlite mix. If the medium is allowed to dry out too much between waterings the coco will begin wick moisture away and out of both the soil and the plant with the plant losing out in the competition for the remaining available moisture.

I've found that the soil/coco combination promotes much more vigorous and healthy root growth when compared to soil/perlite. :peace:
 

d42zero

Well-Known Member
I can't comment for weed but I'm using 1/3 soil 1/3 perlite 1/3 coco mix for lettuce/basil/tomatoes etc outdoors. I just treat it exactly the same as soil, rather than treating it like a hydro medium like I do with my 70/30 coco/perlite grow... i.e. I wait til the top inch or so is before soaking it again, and I put the pots out in the rain whenever it comes down to give them a flush.

I only tried this because I had a bunch of coco and perlite left over and was due to plant some winter food, so I mixed it in to get rid of it. It seems to make the soil stay damp for a little longer than usual, but coco and perlite are inert media so I guess you lose any nutrients you would have had in the soil you've replaced... to combat that I water with seasol a little more regularly than I normally would and I also recycle my nutrient runoff from my coco grow to water the veggies.

Like I said I can't comment on an indoor weed grow but for an outdoor veggie grow mixing a bit of coco and perlite in with soil doesn't seem to hurt as long as you still treat it like soil, if anything my lettuces are pretty frickin massive this year but I don't track information on those so I don't know if it's because of the coco/perlite or the nutes or the extra seasol or a combination of all three :hmmmm:
 

Ganjier

Active Member
Other than having to water a bit more frequently and keeping the medium a bit more moist and not allowing full wet/dry cycling I haven't really changed anything compared to when I used to use soil/perlite w/o coir. I should also note that I use tap water for watering (non ph adjusted) and do not use any type of bottled nutrients. I use compost/worm casting teas, molasses, along with top dressings. If any nitrogen deficiencies are noticed I'll typically use blood meal, steeped grass clipping soup, or fish hydrolysate depending on availability at the time.
So basically the grow method is the same as soil with very minor differences. The growing method shares zero similarities with hydro/ebb & flow whatsover other than making sure that the medium doesn't dry out too much.

Pre-loading or charging the coir with calcium prior to use is important. If the coir isn't pre-loaded with calcium prior to use it will steal available calcium from the soil and not give it back to the plant when needed which causes calcium deficiencies in the plant. I guess instead of pre-loading this could be addressed by adding cal-mag to the water prior to watering but I've never bought or used cal-mag and find that preloading isn't much trouble.
 

Kip22

Active Member
I'm bout to find out myself. I've got two CC White Widow at week 4 in 65% coco 25% promix and 10% organic compost. So far they are the fastest / best looking WW beans I've grown. When I switch to flower it will really show one way or the other.

I'm using GH nutes grow micro and bloom plus cal mag. PH floating between 5.8 and 6.5. Because of the promix in there I'm watering about every 36 hours.
 
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