For years, gardeners “in the know” have been amending their garden soil and potting soil with coconut coir. Coconut coir, or coir, is a natural fiber that is found between a coconut’s hard internal shell and its outer coat.
Commercial coconut harvesters remove the long coir fibers for use in products like doormats, brushes and ropes. The shorter, finer fibers that are left over are used in horticulture as a soil amendment.
The benefits of coir as a soil amendment are well-proven. For starters, coir lightens heavy soil and improves the flow of air. It holds moisture well without getting soggy. And, unlike peat moss, coir decomposes more slowly. It also less acidic and doesn’t contain the annoying small sticks and seeds that are typical of peat moss.
More important, coir can be sustainably harvested. In “Coir is sustainable alternative to peat moss in the garden,” OSU Extension author Davi Richards explains that peat harvested from a special type of wetland (known as a peat bog) can take hundreds of years to form.
Coconut coir, on the other hand, is a renewable resource. Turned into a soil amendment, it also helps solve a disposal problem in parts of the world like Southeast Asia, where farmers once threw it onto large waste piles—some of which are thought to be more than 100 years old!
The one thing that coconut coir is missing, however, is nutrients. Since we started producing Cascade Minerals Remineralizing Soil Booster from volcanic basalt, gardeners have been reaching out to find out more about the synergistic properties between coconut coir and volcanic basalt.
In our own greenhouse trials, we’ve consistently seen that Cascade Minerals Remineralizing Soil Booster can make a good product like coconut coir even better. Made of all-natural volcanic basalt, our product is rich in micronutrients like calcium, iron, magnesium and manganese that plants need for optimal and sustainable growth.
Basalt also contains soluble silicon which contributes to the strength of cell walls and makes crops more resistant to pests and disease. It strengthens stems, helping plants stand tall and capture more light to maximize photosynthesis.
When adding volcanic basalt to coconut coir, look for an all-natural product like Cascade Minerals Remineralizing Soil Booster which is made in the U.S.A. and is listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) for use in organic production.