Coconut fiber comes from the fibrous inner shell of the coconut.Previously
considered as a waste, it is now widely used as a soil amendment to replace
peat moss in the garden.Coir
provides similar garden benefits compared to peat when added with organic
fertilizers to improve the fertility of the garden bed.
peat moss, which is highly acidic, coconut coir has a neutral pH level. Most
garden vegetables and flowers grow best in neutral to slightly alkaline
conditions. When you use peat to amend a garden bed, an addition of
agricultural lime is often necessary to combat the higher acidity. With coconut
coir, limestone isn't necessary unless the soil naturally has a higher pH
improves soil drainage in the bed while also helping to retain moisture in
quick-draining soils. Since coir breaks down slowly, much like peat, it creates
air pockets in the soil that allow excess moisture to drain away from plant
roots. The drainage and retention properties allow coir to improve moisture
management in both heavy clay soils and dry, sandy beds.
Coconut coir contains few nutrients so it doesn't add to the nutrient quality of the soil. Further fertilization or compost amendments are necessary for heavy-feeding plants such as vegetables and some flowers, but most herbs develop their best flavor in low-nutrient soils. Coir also works to improve the overall quality of the soil over time since it adds much needed organic matter to the bed. Annual coir amendments can result in a loose, friable soil over time, which is the preferred soil quality for most garden plants
Coir is completely sustainable since it is a natural byproduct of coconut harvests, and coconut trees produce new coconuts every year. Using the coir in the garden keeps it out of the landfill where it would otherwise go. Coir can take a century or longer to fully break down in these landfills, so it's more sustainable to use it to improve your garden soil.