TECH TALK: ULTRA COIR PREMIUM COCONUT COIR BLEND
For growers who want to learn and get the most out of SSA products, we’ve developed a series of Tech Talk articles. These articles cover the details of each blend as well as FAQs we get from growers. Don’t see your question answered here? Feel free to ask our experts any question you may have in the comments section below. Enjoy!
Sunshine Advanced Ultra Coir was designed specifically for growing indoor and outdoor foliage crops, vegetables, herbs and other consumable crops. Highly recommended for indoor use with crops that need a lot of water, although close monitoring of water retention is important to make sure they do not get too much water. If using outdoors, containers need to be heavy so that they will not blow over in windy situations.
BENEFITS OF AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THIS MIX
- Indoor and Outdoor growing medium with maximum water retention capabilities
- Coir mix with added peat moss and perlite
- Non-bark, non-compost mix
- pH – 6.00 – 7.00
- Soluble salts – 1.5 – 2.5 mmhos/cm
- Nitrate N – 25 – 60 ppm
- Phosphorus – 1 – 10 ppm
- Potassium – 150 – 450 ppm
- Calcium – 30 – 60 ppm
- Magnesium – 10 – 25 ppm
Sunshine Advanced Ultra Coir is formulated to maintain maximum water retention without sacrificing good aeration. It encourages the development of strong, healthy root systems for maximum stem, flower, and foliage growth.
RATIONALE/FUNCTION OF EACH INGREDIENT
Sunshine Advanced Ultra Coir has the dual benefits of coir (coconut fiber) and peat moss to hold water and nutrients for optimal plant growth. The perlite provides excellent drainage, resulting in a mix that is most suitable for growing conditions where plants need to be watered more frequently. Our organic nutrient package gives a supplemental charge to help plants get started, and our endomycorrhizal blend enhances the ability of plants to access the nutrients in the root zone.
This formula was modeled after our professional coir-based mixes used in greenhouses and nurseries on a wide variety of ornamental and agricultural crops. We’ve trialed the mix in our own greenhouses until we developed a formula that maintains high water retention while still providing excellent air porosity and nutrient availability. In addition, using our in house lab, we examined the roots for mycorrhizal colonization to determine that Sunshine Advanced Ultra Coir would optimize the effectiveness of mycorrhizae on root growth. Ongoing testing in our trial greenhouses ensures that Sunshine Advanced Ultra Coir will continue to provide the maximum results you expect from all Sunshine products.
Sunshine Advanced Ultra Coir is designed to provide a perfect background to your own fertility program because it is essentially inert when you receive it. An organic fertilizer is included to give a background boost to your seedlings or transplants. You should start your own feeding program within 7 days after planting or seedling emergence. Mycorrhizae require low phosphorus fertilizer for optimal growth. During the plant’s active foliar growth stage, it is important to remember to use fertilizer with high nitrogen and low phosphorus.
Using endomycorrhizae means you only get the mycorrhizal species that actually work with garden, foliage, and vegetable plants. Other growing mixes offer ectomycorrhizae as part of their mycorrhizal blend – but ectomycorrhizae only work for trees, such as pines, spruces and firs. Why pay for an ingredient that isn’t going to benefit your plants? Using a growing media with a multi-species blend of endomycorrhizae ensures that your plants will derive the maximum benefit from the same fungi that colonize their roots in nature.
1. How is Sunshine Advanced Mix Ultra Coir different from other competitive coir products?
Sunshine Advanced Ultra Coir contains washed coir, Canadian sphagnum peat moss and coarse perlite. Coir has unique properties of high aeration coupled with excellent water retention and is frequently used in peat mixes to aid in rapid rewetting of the mix. Many other coir products on the market are only coir and may need to be blended with other ingredients for optimal performance. In addition, Sunshine Advanced Ultra Coir is natural and organic.
2. What are mycorrhizae?
Mycorrhizae are a group of fungi which form a symbiotic relationship with plants in nature. These important fungi colonize a plant’s root system, sending their hyphae out into the surrounding soil to seek out nutrients and enhance uptake by the plants. It is estimated that 90% of the world’s plants are dependent on mycorrhizae in their native habitats.
3. Why should I use mycorrhizae in my growing mix?
The same benefits of using mycorrhizae apply to potting soils. Mycorrhizae will help the root system take up nutrients and may provide a healthier, stronger root system. If you transplant into a garden soil, the presence of mycorrhizae will also assist in drought tolerance and will continue to grow along with the roots, seeking nutrients to provide to the plant.
4. Why does Sunshine Advanced Ultra Coir contain an organic fertilizer?
Our custom designed organic fertilizer contains both feather meal and sulfate of potash and gives your plants a base fertility level. We kept the fertilizer at a low level so you would be able to customize your fertilizer program for the needs of your plants. The organic fertilizer is a low phosphorus feed so it will not interfere with the establishment of the mycorrhizae in the root zone.
5. So I need to use a low phosphorus feed?
That is correct. While the mycorrhizae are growing along with your plant, remember to use a feed containing less than 10% phosphorus. Mycorrhizae will not be active in soils with higher phosphorus levels. Look for a fertilizer where the second number is less than 10, such as 20-9-20.
6. Where can I go for more information on Sunshine Advanced products?
You can refer to our Products Page to find additional information on all Sunshine Advanced products. OR…ask us a question in the comments section of this page.