[permaculture] Re: Coir

David Loring dloring3 at cox.net
Tue Mar 4 15:33:28 EST 2003

Thanks for the reply.  I'm working with coir as a substrate for growing
Trichoderma sp. and it is working well.  You can see some examples on my web
page http://members.cox.net/se_asia_project/index.htm

I think this is why coir is working so well though peatmoss grows similarly,
but as you indicated, I also see various other fungi growing (I don't yet
know what they are) on the peat that I don't see on the coir.


David A. Loring, Project Leader
Southeast Asia Project
Dietrick Institute for Applied Insect Ecology
dloring3 at cox.net  ph (760) 489-9438
----- Original Message -----
From: "Charlie Shultz" <aquaponics at hotmail.com>
To: <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Tuesday, February 25, 2003 10:20 AM
Subject: [permaculture] Re: Coir

> Greetings from Sunny St. Croix,
> First an introduction:  I am Charlie Shultz and I currently reside in St.
> Croix, USVI, located SE of Puerto Rico in the Caribbean.  I work for an
> Agricultural Experiment Station on "Aquaponics".  Aquaponics is the
> combination of fish farming, "Aquaculture", and Hydroponic plant
> with the fish effluent.  The two terms put together derives, "Aquaponics".
> Also referred to as BioPonics.  For more information you can see our
> at:
> rps.uvi.edu/AES/Aquaculture/aqua.html
> >From there you will also find a link to our annual summer workshop on
> Aquaponics and Tilapia Aquaculture.  Please email me personally with any
> questions or comments.
> Our experience with coir has been wonderful.  We used to use a peat media
> mix to start seedlings in our greenhouse.  When the seedlings were
> transferred to the outdoor hydroponic systems, especially in the hot
> months, we would see an outbreak of the fungus Phythium which turns the
> plant roots to mush.  Soon the plant withers and dies.  We were told that
> peat medium can harbor the phythium fungus.  This is the same fungus that
> causes damping off in young seedlings.  Currently we have switched to a
> of coir (Coconut fiber) and vermiculite.  This mix provides a great deal
> oxygen for the seedlings while holding an approprite amount of moisture.
> While peat will replenish itself after thousands of years, the quantities
> harvested globally will not sustain the demand.  Looking at alternatives,
> especially ones coming as a byproduct of another industry, will lighten
> load on the peat harvesting.
> Another media I am currently testing is locally washed up sea grass.  I
> always mulched with this seaweed, but now I am trying it as a media in a
> drip-irrigated system for sweet pepper plants.  I rinse once, fill the
> and then start the drippers.  While sodium may become an issue, I am
> "rooting" for the substrate to provide many micronutrients besides sodium.
> After a long hiatus from this list, I finally resubscribed and have
> the dialog so far.  Hope I can provide some valuable information for some
> you.
> Yours,
> Charlie Shultz
> UVI, St. Croix
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