Coir and or Coir based compast

Christine Council
Fri, 02 Jan 2009 17:13:37 PST
Hello everybody,

Wishing you a wonderful new year and many blessings.

Thank you for your message regarding coir for I have been asking about it

and trying to find out who and where to purchase it. I am not up to snuff on

plant and gardening information but have been trying to catch up on all that
I have missed

for the last couple of years.  I am very interested in rooting agents and
the best way to handle one of my new projects, which is growing banana trees
or bushes or what ever they are. Thanks again and I think I will stick with

what I know.

Chris Council



 From: []
On Behalf Of
Sent: Thursday, January 01, 2009 4:14 PM
Subject: [pbs] Coir and or Coir based compast


Firstly can I wish everyone a stable and contented New year, to expect much
more given the brown liquid such as Madoff et al have dropped people and
companies into would be unsustainably optimistic, quite something coming
from some one whose wife describes him as a perpetual optimist. Sit tight
and work for the best is as much as can be hoped for.


As to the subject of Coir could I introduce a note of caution please. The
issue of carbon, costs and footprint is well enough aired elsewhere however
here in Scotland specifically and the UK more generally the issue of plant
growth media has been hotly debated, usually by those who don't properly
understand the issues, e.g. in relation to peat and carbon releases when it
is used. Because the gardens for which I am responsible operate on a carbon
surplus audit one aspect considered thoroughly was Peat versus Coir and
others such as husks from other crops. The resulting outcome demonstrated
that the carbon audit in relation to the use of Coir, quite apart from its
effectiveness, was truly dreadful and I would counsel great care when
considering going down that route. It is worth baring in mind that the
carbon footprint for the average North American is c. 7 tonnes p.a. the same
calculation produces c. 3 tonnes for the average European within the
boundaries of the EU prior to ex

 pansion taking in the former Warsaw Pack countries however I would very
much doubt it has improved following the advent of their joining the EU.
Interestingly there is a strange synergy between the above carbon footprints
and the number of people who are needed to support a single North American
and European [EU] which is respectively 7 and 3.


Aside from the ethics associated with the use of Coir, at least as far as
geophytes such as Cardiocrinum, Korolkowia, Lilium, Nomocharis and
Notholirion being the genera with which I am working, neither Coir nor Peat
[sphagnum types] are of any benefit what so ever either solely or in any
thing like a major component. The disparity of Lilium e.g. as to
requirements is as we know widely variable where quite frankly it matters
little what medium they are grown; provided they have an absolute free
draining location and irrigation able to provide, artificially, adequate
nutrients in solution sufficient to mimic soluble nutrients in rainfall it
seems neither peat nor coir brings much to the success of those taxa c. 130+
worked with so far, whether alpines growing in nature on insoluble
limestone, or temperate to semi tropical deep litter or virtual sand and
gravels has made little difference to outcomes here. The use and or reliance
on Coir is as alluded to in one post principally

  that of providing something for roots to hang onto in hydroponic cultures
in order to stay upright. 


The same post alluded to the use of bark as another medium in which to grow
presumably bulbous plants as well; it may be of assistance to note that the
use of bark from coniferous trees which has not totally weathered is likely
to lead to serious losses. In hot weather fresh, or freshish bark, releases
volatile chemicals similar e.g. in pines which are known as terpines, hence
the root for turpentine, try growing any plant in or remotely close to the
latter. Even when mixed with other material in various proportions such as
mineral soils the effects can be seriously damaging even to trees and
shrubs. All bark used must be composted bark and when handled should be as
black as possible for anything to be, its admittedly very nice stuff to work
with and handle but here we only use it as an anti weed mulch to a depth of
5 -  7 cms as well as introducing humus to land such as we have which is
basically devoid of both humus and worms prior to doing so, and refreshed in
alternate ye

 ars mostly with us.


Sorry to "go on" but all gardeners, as well as folk in general increasingly
need to think and act responsibly however it is not always possible for the
average gardener or anyone else for that matter to be aware of all research
and implications working as most do in relative isolation. The suppliers of
Coir et al are there to sell the stuff and even if they knew the ecological
implications attendant on what they do e.g. transferring it half way around
the globe in huge ships, would they consider it worth their while to look
into the ecological impact, obviously not otherwise they wouldn't still be
selling it! I would never the less welcome learning what advantages others
have discovered and benefited from in their use of Coir etc and the
circumstances in which benefits can be demonstrated.





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