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Pure Coco Vs Perlite(or Whatever ) Mix What Are The Arguments

Discussion in 'Coco Coir' started by cc503, Nov 14, 2014.

  1. cc503


    So I've seen some people on here doing pure coco killing it and gardens with a mix 50/50 25/75 75/25 also looking killer. besides more drainage and air I'm curious about why people like it one way or the other...
    JSmokes420 and FlyinJStable like this.
  2. Seamaiden

    Seamaiden Living dead girl

    I like that perlite doesn't require the extra Ca and Mg, let alone rinsing or precharging that coir does. I like the explosive growth you get with coir. I've discovered that I never get fungus gnats in pure perlite, either.
  3. Roots can't grow through perlite or other aggregate. So if you fill a 1 gal pot with 50% perlite then in my opinion you are limiting your root growth by 50%. I prefer 100 % coco you just have to learn how to water it properly. I think a lot of people use perlite as a crutch instead of just learning proper irrigation techniques. Using a quality buffered coco makes it much easier.
    symbiote420 and cc503 like this.
  4. Seamaiden

    Seamaiden Living dead girl

    They can't? Huh. I wonder where all those roots I clean out come from.
  5. Mycoryzhae through partys in perlite
  6. I think the roots are growing around the perlite instead of through the rocks. I do about 75 to 100 heirloom tomato vines out side every year grown in dutch pots aka..Bato Buckets. When grown in coir after a 7/8 month season the roots mass and coir fiber have become one and can not be seperated. Plants grown in chunky perlite simply need a good shaking and the perlite falls off and is ready to be used again.
    ugmjfarmer, Coir and symbiote420 like this.
  7. I have grown in straight pearl light it's kinda a bitch to keep feed. But if you use a wick system in the bottom with plan water you should have no problems with drying out cause they will drink as they need too. And then i top feed every day for there food.
    Seamaiden likes this.
  8. Coco is intersting because it can hold just as much of a root capacity as rockwool, meaning you can use much much smaller pots for a plant versus regular soil, which makes it suitable for hydro. just the same, coco retains a fair amount of moisture and has a very good CEC making it suitable as a soil base as well. So, with that being said:

    Add perlite if you're treating your coco like a soil and are either adding amendments or using a huge (10 gal +) pot. Helps distribute water more evenly and really helps cut back fliers vs. straight coco in a large pot.

    Use straight coco in smaller pots that are on a constant feed for hydro, feed like normal soil until they drink every day and then set up a drip. I know guys who clone into three gallon coco pots, once they drink every other day (about a month) they flower and never change the pot size, just water more frequently.
    RG420, MGRox and caveman4.20 like this.
  9. Seamaiden

    Seamaiden Living dead girl

    I no longer mix perlite into my coir mixes, I use rice hulls and have been using that for years. Great amendment, but you can't grow in straight or pure rice hulls, pH seems to be far too high.
    Ah, yes, I observe the same thing. But does that mean that we "want" roots growing into the perlite? And by that I mean, are you observing any significant differences in those tomatoes? I did not observe any significant differences when growing in perlite hempy tubs vs coir, other than the pH and Ca and Mg issues I mentioned previously.
    mugenbao, Samoan, MGRox and 2 others like this.
  10. I have not noticed and meaningful difference when growing tomatoes in coir vs perlite. Just made general observations that coco plants appear to have more roots. This is judged by my naked eye, not any scientific data like measuring root mass weight. As someone who sells gear at the retail level I have for years observed a lot of grower adding perlite to the mix "just to be sure they don't overwater". Same thing goes for Cal-Mag "just because".
    CallmeTex, Seamaiden and caveman4.20 like this.
  11. Seamaiden

    Seamaiden Living dead girl

    Gotcha! I don't really do perlite anymore as an addition to my mixes because I prefer the behavior and consistency of rice hulls. The cost, too. But growing in pure perlite I've found to be pretty darn easy. :)
    happy b and FlyinJStable like this.
  12. I have a media I feel out preforms all others I've used. I have used straight Rockwoll(6" cubes stuck in slabs), RWflock mixed with LECA, str8 LECA, diatomaceous rock str8, peat moss "soil" with perlite (big n chunky), coco with perlite, a mix of the two, coco st8... for a couple good years I made a coco based mix from seperatly sourced ingredients very similar to the "Just Right Xtra" pre mixed bags from GH except I used more maidenwell Diatomaceous Rock(DR)than they did, twice as much... Etc. etc....I now do something specific that works for me, but is centralized around what I call the mixture. It's just medium sized diatomaceous rock and coco croutons (coco chips). About 50/50. The croutons are the same material as the coir, same CEC, just much more in spaces and drainage. I irrigate 3x a day so they are Lil sponges. Tha DR holds nutrient solution or water(same shit right ;)) just as well, and has great capillary action, but dries faster. To nerd out further, the the air spaces in the media-, which DO comprise a certain amount of volume percentage, as pointed out by someone above, -are probably near 100% humidity. The root hairs are unimpeded in their growth in these areas, coupled with their extended reach from colonizing mycorrhiza, means MUCH more access to nutrients all day and much more % in successful survival of the root hairs past a few hours, turning into faster lateral root growth. So I don't believe that the air space is wasted in aerated mediums if the environment is well controlled. Which is the job of the CEA operator. It CREATES a situation of greater control if you want to keep the water moving. At least it has for me. I like the available silica in the DR as opposed to the perlite, and it holds my plants in place much better. The chips over the coir because I have better drainage. I do put a small 2" or so bed of coir with Glomus intraradices mixed in directly under the cutting or seedling. But hen top up with the mixture. I got tired or fingerings or pushing around my pots. And hand watering. And slow(er) veg.
    organix4207, ogbluntdoc and cc503 like this.
  13. I have run pure coco side by side a 70/30 coco/perlite mix all in 2 gal pots. I had very similar nutrient schedules for both tables and have to say they came out almost identical in yield and quality.
    organix4207, RG420 and seaslug like this.
  14. Were you watering them the same?
  15. yes, they both established substantial root zones very quickly.
  16. Does all Coco have to be rinsed out, These bricks you can get that expand that are sold for growing, I am assuming all of them should be rinsed.
    Enforcer likes this.
  17. As long as the roots get air(meaning you don't overwater) then I don't see why they wouldn't if both root zones were healthy... Same food. Same air. Same light. Etc.etc.
  18. most coco does need to be rinsed
    cocoJoe likes this.
  19. Suppose I will do a rinse and collect some runoff and see what the ec of it is.
  20. I am a Hempy Coco grower
    The use of the Hydroton (expanded clay balls) in my mix helps me to stretch my dollar and
    its how I learned. The small area of my containers is filled with Hydroton ob the bottom where the passive hydroponics take place then my 70/30 mix on top. works for me
    I have had plants almost 4 feet out of a 1/2 gallon Coffee creamer Container so it is a fair way to grow IMHO
    But the use of the Rice hulls sounds like a good idea and will help me to the Next level.
    I will have to do some reading on this to see how I can benefit my plants with the rice hull hempy
    Thank you SeaMaiden and @cc503 for some great info.
    organix4207 and Canalchemist like this.