What is Coco / Perlite
Coco coir + perlite (80/20) is our favourite growing medium. ‘Coco’ is made up from coconut fibre, which has been torn away from coconut shells. When grounded, it has a light, fluffy but absorbent texture that does not pack down in the same way that many soils do when wet over time. In this way, you never have to worry much about over-watering. Even when fully saturated, it holds 22% oxygen, which is plant root heaven.
Perlite is expanded volcanic glass, and looks & feels like small polystyrene bits. Perlite is sterile, light weight and is used in many soils to increase absorption and aeration. When combined with coco coir at a ratio of approx 80/20 (Coco to Perlite), it creates the secret sauce!
What are Organic Nutrient Pellets
In hydroponic systems, we typically use hydroponic nutrient in the water to feed the plant. This is a highly effective and proven growing method. However some growers prefer the plant food be derived from organic sources, rather than hydroponic mineral salts. That’s where pelletized organic nutrient comes in!
Aptus Baseboost is our recommended nutrient as it’s 100% organic and works best out of all the methods we’ve tried. Very simply, you just add the pellets to the coco/perlite at a ratio of 100g per 25 litres of medium. So for a Large 5 Tier Mr Stacky Garden, that holds 70L total (15L p/planter), you simply add 1/3 of the 1KG bucket to your coco mix. Then you simply add water like you would any soil based system…. That’s it!
The organic pellets provide the full spectrum of macro and micro trace elements needed for strong plant growth. The feeding cycle will last approx 2-3 months, then you just top up monthly with a handful of pellets per 15L….
Why does it work so well?
It’s about the microbiome… baby
So…. now you have the secret sauce growing medium (Coco/Perlite) which so long as you’re watering consistently, will always hold just the right level of moisture. We recommend automated watering systems so you can’t mess it up! Couple that with a full spectrum organic slow release fertilizer, and you’re winning in the microbiome department.
As the water slowly breaks down the organic baseboost nutrient, a dynamic community of microorganisms including fungi, archaea & bacteria come out to play with eachother. In the same way that communities of microbes living in the human gut to support health or disease, the soil microbiome of fungi & bacteria influence the health of your plants. The organic pelletized nutrient is designed to create a strong microbiome for successful gardening.
Are the results as good as hydroponic?
The beauty of this method is the simplicity. There is no need for mixing mineral salts and combining Parts A & B, or flushing the system etc etc. The trade-off is slightly slower growth than hydroponic nutrient. This is because of the slow release nature of the nutrient as opposed to highly soluable hydroponic method.
If you had 2 plants side by side, both in the same coco/perlite medium, 1 growing with superior blend hydroponic nutrient and 1 growing with aptus base boost organic nutrient, you would likely see approx 30% faster growth / better yield from the hydroponic version. Just saying…. but, for those passionate about organic gardening, this is a small price to pay for luscious organic fresh produce from your own backyard. So if you’re concerned about organic, and want the best, simplest growing method around, definately give this method a try, you will not be dissapointed!
In each of our growing kits and systems, we now provide the option for organic nutrient!
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