If you have decided to grow weed at home, then you must next decide how you are going to grow. There are many options available. First, you should decide whether you want to grow traditionally in soil, or one of the many hydroponic styles.
As we previously discussed, hydroponics simply means that that plant receives its nutrition from the water (i.e. what you put in the water) as opposed to from the soil.
There are many different growing mediums you can use when growing hydroponically. We prefer to grow in coco coir, and we will explain why in this article.
What is Coco Coir, and why use it to grow weed?
Coco Coir is a soil substitute product that is widely available in most hydroponic supply stores. It is very popular with commercial cultivators as well as with hobbyists. The product is essentially recycled fibers from discarded coconut shells.
In many other counties, coconut fibers are used in a variety of applications, including textiles. However, not all fibers are usable for those applications, and therefore a number are discarded, or thrown away.
Those discarded fibers are then collected and combined into a soil medium which can be used to grow plants, including cannabis.
Some coco mixes are 100% coco-coir, and others are a mix of coco, peat moss, and perlite. We currently use the High Porosity mix from Growers Soil. It is a combination of coco, peat moss, and perlite.
Is growing in Coco Coir a form of Hydroponic or Soil growing?
While growing in coco is technically a form of hydroponic growing, it is actually a happy middle ground that somewhat gives you the best of both worlds. It is similar to a soil, it retains water more than rockwool but less than soil. It is somewhat forgiving but also allows you to dial in nutrients for big yields and killer quality.
Advantages of Growing Cannabis in Coco Coir
One of the advantages of growing in coco is that it is a porous medium, which allows water to run through it. It does not hold water the way that natural soil does, and therefore there is little risk of overwatering.
While overwatering is a major concern for new growers using traditional soil, it’s not really an issue with coco, especially with high porosity blend like the one we use.
High porosity means it is very porous, waters basically runs through it, and this allows for more frequent feedings.
Another benefit of coco that is its sustainability. Though this feature doesn’t really relate to growing practice, it is still nice to know that we are using something that is recycled and renewable. The world won’t ever run out of coconuts, that is for sure.
Disadvantages of Growing Cannabis in Coco Coir
The main disadvantages of growing in coco are simply the advantages flipped. Yes, it’s porous and overwatering is not a concern. But now you have to worry about under-watering.
The soil can dry out if you don’t monitor it. If this does happen, then you should water your plant with fresh water only, and do not use any nutrients. Hydrate the plant first.
If your soil is dry and you use a nutrient rich water, you will fry your plants and burn them up. If you see a plant wilting from lack of hydration, you need to simply feed it straight water.
Another disadvantage of coco coir is it tends to be more expensive than other mediums. So there are always trade offs when deciding how to grow.
Best Coco Coir for Cannabis
If you are a new grower and you want to try out coco, we recommend using a blend of coco coir with perlite, or some form of High-Porosity blend.
We recommend that you water daily, so that the soil moist below the surface, and to monitor your plant to ensure it does not dry out.
More information on growing cannabis: Indoor Hydroponics
Check out these other helpful guides. Each link is a series of articles with videos and pictures.