HOW TO WATER COCO FOR BEST RESULTS.

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Aqua Man

Aqua Man

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Ok writing this cause i see this issue often and rather have a thread to link than explain this each time. This is not my work but a collection of info from many members here and I have put into practice myself.

So first off COCO is NOT soil. For best results we want to keep it saturated between 90-100% that does not mean you can't go below this but you may see slower growth or nutrient issues over time if your consistently letting COCO get to dry.

Coco has an amazing gas exchange and air holding capacity when compared to soil. For this reason it is next to impossible to over water. Over watering is NOT to much water... its lack of o2. You will see this in soil with less drainage but because of coco's high drainage, air holding capacity and gas exchange its highly unlikely to see this in coco.

I do suggest if growing in more than 1 gal pots to add perlite if you are seeking faster grow rates. However if you want to water less often then you can eliminate the perlite as this will lower the drainage. As a rule of thumb:

1gal no perlite
2gal 20% perlite
3gal 30% perlite
4gal 40% perlite
5+gal 50% perlite

You can do more or less but it will affect the frequency of watering required. More perlite the more frequent you will have to feed. Personally I feel the better the drainage the faster the growth but its a balancing act and the above ratios i would say are a great place to start.

Coco has a low CEC (cation exchange capacity) so it does not hold onto nutrients as well as something like soil so we feed with every watering to keep a balanced nutrient ratio, ph and ppm in the coco. To do so we also need to flush out some of the last feed with each feeding to prevent a nutrient buildup which can affect all of these. THINK OF COCO AS SOILESS... much closer to hydro and very similar to rockwool.

I won't get into ppm in detail as thing will change quite a bit from grow to grow depending on many factors. But generally speaking start at around 300-400ppm and work up to around 800ppm. Now some may need to alter that as it will depend on your specific grow conditions.

HOW OFTEN DO WE FEED!!!

Ah the always debated subject.. 2 times a day, 1 time every 2 days, 10 times a day????

Forget that nonsense... like I say each grow is different so we need to use a better method. Let the plants tell you!!!!

Ok here is how we calculate it simply to your specific grow conditions, stage of growth, pot size and every other variable. You will never need to wonder am I feeding to much or to little again.

The formula:

1.Feed 5% of the pot size as your nutrient solution.
2. Of that we want 10-20% to come out as run off.
3. If you get more you can lower the frequency.
4. If we get less we need to increase the frequency and for that feed we need to add more to get our run off.

So I will do the calculations up to 5gal below to save you all some time. Feed the amount listed and check to make sure you get runoff of the amount listed from there adjust to dial in the feedings as they will change as the plants grow.

REMEMBER THIS IS A GUIDLINE AND NOT A HARD RULE. Our goal is to get as close as reasonably possible. It's not gonna kill your plants if its not exact.


I'm gonna round up.

1gal. Feed 250ml get 25-50ml of runoff

2gal. Feed 500ml get 50-100ml of runoff.

3gal. Feed 750ml get 75-150ml of runoff.

5 gal Feed 1litre get 100-200ml of runoff.

By doing this your plant will tell you how often you should be watering for best results.

Plant transpiration happens during photosynthesis so we only need to water during the lights on period. But in smaller containers you may find that you need to fertigate once in the middle of lights out if fertigation events are higher. Its unlikely but if your coco is dry before the first feed its not a bad idea to toss one in. Generally feed a couple hrs before lights out for the last time but you want to split the events evenly throughout lights on.

It may sound like you will be watering way to much but when you calculate how much you are feeding and then the frequency its not much more than most already do, just supplied in a manner that provides much greater stability. You will be using much smaller amounts of nutrient solution and by feeding much more frequently it doesn't take much to get your runoff while keeping the rootzone ph, ppm and moisture content ideal.
 
Last edited:
Tesla666

Tesla666

I would like to discuss about that. In my short experience whith coco i think that keep the coco saturated at the 90% it's not good at all during veg.

When u start the veg with a cutting, the root system grow faster if we let the coco get dry until 30% of humidity. That dry cycle since the moment you water the coco until 70-80% humidity and gets dry to 25-30% stimulates the root system to grow looking for water when the coco is getting dry.




If we produce many dry cycles a day like 2 or 3, being necesary water 2-3 times a day, we Will be getting a very fast and explosive grow, and a very strong root system.



I only get some run off 1 time a week ir two weeks, and i use enzimes 1 time a week and i'm very happy with my results.

Thats My way of work with coco.
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

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I would like to discuss about that. In my short experience whith coco i think that keep the coco saturated at the 90% it's not good at all during veg.

When u start the veg with a cutting, the root system grow faster if we let the coco get dry until 30% of humidity. That dry cycle since the moment you water the coco until 70-80% humidity and gets dry to 25-30% stimulates the root system to grow looking for water when the coco is getting dry.




If we produce many dry cycles a day like 2 or 3, being necesary water 2-3 times a day, we Will be getting a very fast and explosive grow, and a very strong root system.



I only get some run off 1 time a week ir two weeks, and i use enzimes 1 time a week and i'm very happy with my results.

Thats My way of work with coco.
I would have to disagree a wet dry cycle is for soil... the reason being soil cannot stay saturated and provide adequate o2. Soil is a balancing act of water nutrients and o2... inorder to achieve that we need a wet dry cycle or they don't get all of those

If you treat coco like soil it will grow but you also get soil like results.

In pure hydro which is much faster than soil the roots are completely submerged.

I have not seen or read any evidence (excluding bro science) that says coco needs a wet dry cycle. Soil yes for the reason I explained... bit this is not soil.

If it works for ya that's great. Maybe one day you will give high fertigation coco a try and compare.
 
Tesla666

Tesla666

I would have to disagree a wet dry cycle is for soil... the reason being soil cannot stay saturated and provide adequate o2. Soil is a balancing act of water nutrients and o2... inorder to achieve that we need a wet dry cycle or they don't get all of those

If you treat coco like soil it will grow but you also get soil like results.

In pure hydro which is much faster than soil the roots are completely submerged.

I have not seen or read any evidence (excluding bro science) that says coco needs a wet dry cycle. Soil yes for the reason I explained... bit this is not soil.

If it works for ya that's great. Maybe one day you will give high fertigation coco a try and compare.
Thank u friend for ur explanation. Of course i Will try ur method. Ur arguments are very solid.

Thank u again
 
Terpz719

Terpz719

Ok writing this cause i see this issue often and rather have a thread to link than explain this each time. This is not my work but a collection of info from many members here and I have put into practice myself.

So first off COCO is NOT soil. For best results we want to keep it saturated between 90-100% that does not mean you can't go below this but you may see slower growth or nutrient issues over time if your consistently letting COCO get to dry.

Coco has an amazing gas exchange and air holding capacity when compared to soil. For this reason it is next to impossible to over water. Over watering is NOT to much water... its lack of o2. You will see this in soil with less drainage but because of coco's high drainage, air holding capacity and gas exchange its highly unlikely to see this in coco.

I do suggest if growing in more than 1 gal pots to add perlite if you are seeking faster grow rates. However if you want to water less often then you can eliminate the perlite as this will lower the drainage. As a rule of thumb:

1gal no perlite
2gal 20% perlite
3gal 30% perlite
4gal 40% perlite
5+gal 50% perlite

You can do more or less but it will affect the frequency of watering required. More perlite the more frequent you will have to feed.

Coco has a low CEC (cation exchange capacity) so it does not hold onto nutrients as well as something like soil so we feed with every watering to keep a balanced nutrient ratio, ph and ppm in the coco. To do so we also need to flush out some of the last feed with each feeding to prevent a nutrient buildup which can affect all of these. THINK OF COCO AS SOILESS... much closer to hydro and very similar to rockwool.

I won't get into ppm in detail as thing will change quite a bit from grow to grow depending on many factors. But generally speaking start at around 300-400ppm and work up to around 800ppm. Now some may need to alter that as it will depend on your specific grow conditions.

HOW OFTEN DO WE FEED!!!

Ah the always debated subject.. 2 times a day, 1 time every 2 days, 10 times a day????

Forget that nonsense... like I say each grow is different so we need to use a better method. Let the plants tell you!!!!

Ok here is how we calculate it simply to your specific grow conditions, stage of growth, pot size and every other variable. You will never need to wonder am I feeding to much or to little again.

The formula:

1.Feed 5% of the pot size as your nutrient solution.
2. Of that we want 10-20% to come out as run off.
3. If you get more you can lower the frequency.
4. If we get less we need to increase the frequency and for that feed we need to add more to get our run off.

So I will do the calculations up to 5gal below to save you all some time. Feed the amount listed and check to make sure you get runoff of the amount listed from there adjust to dial in the feedings as they will change as the plants grow.

REMEMBER THIS IS A GUIDLINE AND NOT A HARD RULE. Our goal is to get as close as reasonably possible. It's not gonna kill your plants if its not exact.


I'm gonna round up.

1gal. Feed 250ml get 25-50ml of runoff

2gal. Feed 500ml get 50-100ml of runoff.

3gal. Feed 750ml get 75-150ml of runoff.

5 gal Feed 1litre get 100-200ml of runoff.

By doing this your plant will tell you how often you should be watering for best results.
Thanks for writing this up! It and you're pH post are like grower's poetry. They ought to be required reading for new members.
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

Staff member
Supporter
Nice write up it really clears things up.

Would you mind doing a little comparison between coco and another soilless like a promix peat moss and perlite blend?
Grow wise? I did peat last grow. If you add enough perlite you can treat it more like hydro also but the drainage is not quite as good as coco. Did mine with sunshine#4 perlite and vermiculite in 3 gal pots. It was a good mix for handwatering.
 
Grownsince95

Grownsince95

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Ok writing this cause i see this issue often and rather have a thread to link than explain this each time. This is not my work but a collection of info from many members here and I have put into practice myself.

So first off COCO is NOT soil. For best results we want to keep it saturated between 90-100% that does not mean you can't go below this but you may see slower growth or nutrient issues over time if your consistently letting COCO get to dry.

Coco has an amazing gas exchange and air holding capacity when compared to soil. For this reason it is next to impossible to over water. Over watering is NOT to much water... its lack of o2. You will see this in soil with less drainage but because of coco's high drainage, air holding capacity and gas exchange its highly unlikely to see this in coco.

I do suggest if growing in more than 1 gal pots to add perlite if you are seeking faster grow rates. However if you want to water less often then you can eliminate the perlite as this will lower the drainage. As a rule of thumb:

1gal no perlite
2gal 20% perlite
3gal 30% perlite
4gal 40% perlite
5+gal 50% perlite

You can do more or less but it will affect the frequency of watering required. More perlite the more frequent you will have to feed.

Coco has a low CEC (cation exchange capacity) so it does not hold onto nutrients as well as something like soil so we feed with every watering to keep a balanced nutrient ratio, ph and ppm in the coco. To do so we also need to flush out some of the last feed with each feeding to prevent a nutrient buildup which can affect all of these. THINK OF COCO AS SOILESS... much closer to hydro and very similar to rockwool.

I won't get into ppm in detail as thing will change quite a bit from grow to grow depending on many factors. But generally speaking start at around 300-400ppm and work up to around 800ppm. Now some may need to alter that as it will depend on your specific grow conditions.

HOW OFTEN DO WE FEED!!!

Ah the always debated subject.. 2 times a day, 1 time every 2 days, 10 times a day????

Forget that nonsense... like I say each grow is different so we need to use a better method. Let the plants tell you!!!!

Ok here is how we calculate it simply to your specific grow conditions, stage of growth, pot size and every other variable. You will never need to wonder am I feeding to much or to little again.

The formula:

1.Feed 5% of the pot size as your nutrient solution.
2. Of that we want 10-20% to come out as run off.
3. If you get more you can lower the frequency.
4. If we get less we need to increase the frequency and for that feed we need to add more to get our run off.

So I will do the calculations up to 5gal below to save you all some time. Feed the amount listed and check to make sure you get runoff of the amount listed from there adjust to dial in the feedings as they will change as the plants grow.

REMEMBER THIS IS A GUIDLINE AND NOT A HARD RULE. Our goal is to get as close as reasonably possible. It's not gonna kill your plants if its not exact.


I'm gonna round up.

1gal. Feed 250ml get 25-50ml of runoff

2gal. Feed 500ml get 50-100ml of runoff.

3gal. Feed 750ml get 75-150ml of runoff.

5 gal Feed 1litre get 100-200ml of runoff.

By doing this your plant will tell you how often you should be watering for best results.
Question...why isn't bottom watering coco not effective/popular? Asking for a friend lol
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

Staff member
Supporter
Question...why isn't bottom watering coco not effective/popular? Asking for a friend lol
Imo it leaves residual salt build up and needs to be top fed every so often to clear that out. I guess if someone flooded it until the waterline reached the top of the media it would eliminate that issue but I think its just easier to top feed than try and set that up???

Never done it so take this with a grain of salt.
 
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