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Coco/Perlite vs. Soil/Perlite

L

Landing

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I've just run into Coco Coir and I'd like to ask what you guys think.

The differences as I see them:

Coco
- Requires a pH of 5.8 like Hydro
- Requires daily watering
- More expensive

Soil
- Requires a pH of 6.5
- Watered every 2-4 days
- Cheaper

Both can be mixed with Perlite, increasing the frequency of watering.

So, since I already balance my pH for every watering and I already spend time in my grow room on a daily basis, what advantage does Coco have over Soil?
 

chazmaine420

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I've been using coco for a while. I mix 2 parts coco with 1 part fox farm ocean forest. I cant see that it would be more expensive than soil. I buy bricks for $10 at agway that fill about 5 5 gallon pots. Also i water every 2-3 days and have left them for up to five without a problem (i grow in 10 gallon totes). I find the bricks convenient to carry over several bags of soil.
 
L

Landing

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What if I mix Soil, Coco and Perlite?

Would that be better than just Soil and Perlite?
 
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It depends on what is in your "soil". Soil can be anything from clay dirt you dig out of your yard to super soil you make up and allow to age and everything in between. I never just add perlite to my soils--I start with an organic soil that already has some goodies in it and then add a bunch of my own--perlite, lime, peat moss, and usually some kind of organic something like Bio-Tone.
 

pcduck

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Soil is a mixture of clay, loam, and sand.
 

zem

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in coco, you will need hydro ferts, unlike the soil where you need soil ferts. I never saw the benefit of using coco over hydro medium like growrocks because it can be overwatered and you cannot increase or decrease the watering frequency like you can in hydro, which almost cancel out the benefits of switching from soil. it has very high water retention, so you can probably water it just like soil. I like it for sprouting seeds and vegging clones because I can easily transplant to the growrocks from that. I will most probably try and master cloning in this stuff because it can make things cheaper and easier for me that way. as to my flowering/fast growth medium, I yet have to find something that can surpass the flood and drain in growrock in overall rating. IMO go with soil or hydro, not soilless,, JMO
 

Iron Emmett

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I really like Coco, if you give your plants a week or two to get a good root structure going by watering once daily until you get a little drainage you will get explosive root growth, its a night and day difference between a "soil" and a coco grow, it is very hard to overwater coco if you let your roots get established, in flower i have watered 4-5 times a day, its more time consuming, but working with a 70%coco 30% Perlite, i have seen a increase of yield with coco by 20-25% this is growing the same cuts in the same environment.

If you have the time and are curious, give coco a shot man, you wont be disappointed

Small edit here, i forgot to mention using coco in the way i mentioned you want to use small pots, like 1 gallon size, that way once your roots get established they just drink it all up, they will fill the pot and you will water multiple times daily.

If you have any questions feel free to shoot me a PM if i can help i would be happy too help you get started.
 

PencilHead

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Coco mix is a lot more forgiving. I've been using coco for a long time. My simple, cheap mix is:
(1) 3.8 cf Pro-Mix BX
(3) 5 kilo coco blocks
(1/2) 30 lb bag of Wiggle Worm
(1/2) 4 cf bag of perlite (15 gallons)
(6) pounds Espoma Bio-Tone Starter Plus (18.5 cups)

That should yield about 140 gallons/18.5 cf of prime media at about $8 per 1.5 cf. Use it like you would Roots or any other quality coco mix. Not for seedlings without buffering a bit though.

Good luck.
 

rickyjack9

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im doin coco/chunky perlite 50/50 indoors. GH 3 pt Lucas during Bloom (as the Hemp Goddess has said). COCO feels nice and esthetic somehow with extra chunky perlite ive found the dream medium. lightweight. four 5 gal buckets for 1000k in 5x4.5 area.
veg closet separate. cfl's there. I ventilate my closet into my flower area. drain to waste.
cal/mag+ with feed, 4 days to dry, plain water maybe nutes if needed. wait 4 days. repeat
 

Riddleme

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There is a guru on the web for regular garden container growing named Al Tapla, when it comes to growing in containers/pots he just simply knows his **** !!!

I use his gritty mix which is peat and calcined clay but he also talks about coco, if you google "tapla coco" here is an example link,

http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/houseplt/msg1113555221823.html?10

The more of his stuff you understand and use the better grower you become ,,,, simple
 

rickyjack9

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I read recently some guy is saying 100% perlite (in pots, not hempy) is best for various reasons...
where's the water retention? you'll have to water at least daily. also later read his yield was not too great.
imho, adding some coco would seem better so u wouldn't need to water daily (maybe drip would work ok) (im a drain to waste guy) hydro is cool, but if a timer goes out your entire crop can die like mine did.
this has happened twice, over the years.
I tried organic soil and find the soil needs to be 'aged' unless u r a tea expert perhaps,
like the Goddess (Hemp). I don't have that much patience or knowledge. my yield with soil
was 'fair' . I just don't like the soil runoff, dirty/kinda muddy. with coco/perlite and 3pt-gh
im expecting a cleaner overall experience. and will do the bucket 'lift' test to water.
just my thoughts. winters comin. may have to reduce my light exhaust fan speed.
and of course coco will require slightly weaker nutes and cal/mag. reading more about coco/perlite
 

Hushpuppy

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I have used coco coir for several years now and love it. But while it "feels" similar to soil ffor the plant and its roots, it can be quite different from soil. But its use and how you use it really depends on what type of grow you want to do and what type of nutrients you want to use. There are many different growing methods that serve in different ways, and each of them require a certain medium/nutrient combination to work they way they are meant too.
 

PencilHead

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Hushpuppy nailed it. With soiless mixes, I watered when the plants needed it. With coco mix, I water as soon as I can. Over-watering isn't as easy in coco as in soiless--the coco allows the roots to "breath" even when relatively wet.
 

rickyjack9

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everybody says coco retains more moisture than rockwool and soilless. for me its perfect as I mix 50/50 with perlite. I think coco retains LESS moisture than they say. whoever they is. tried soil couple times, but seems I always screw it up due to adding 'teas'. its always over-nuted somehow. grrrr. if I ever use soil again, I'd dilute anything I add. better to go slow and carefully with soil. seems to be all about good roots. coco cloning gives white roots.
 

blowinthatloud

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i have been thinking about trying coco out but i see alot of different recipes for it 50/50 with perlite,70/30 with perlite, an a few others. what would be the best to start out with? i use a homemade soil mix now with no nutes in it and use fox farm nutes, i am having good success but ive read that i can get better results an quantity is this true or is it just personal preference?? thanks ..BtL
 

lyfespan

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i have been thinking about trying coco out but i see alot of different recipes for it 50/50 with perlite,70/30 with perlite, an a few others. what would be the best to start out with? i use a homemade soil mix now with no nutes in it and use fox farm nutes, i am having good success but ive read that i can get better results an quantity is this true or is it just personal preference?? thanks ..BtL
BTL I too am trying the coco out, went with the sunshine advanced ultra mix, I'll be running it in a Hempy system.
 

techrons78

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I mixed up coco and ffof..plants love it..usuing Gh bloom@6.3-6.6 with my leds I got my tent rockin....
 

gottaloveplasma

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My friend is using pure coco and is watering 6x a day. You have to establish roots and keep them in SMALL pots.
 

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