Earth, Air, Light and Water
Timeless Elements Are Still Key to Successful Gardens
When the temperature climbs over the 100° mark, it’s natural to concentrate on watering our plants to help them through the fiery part of the summer. But there’s a reason that every culture across the globe and through the ages defines not just water as the wellspring of life, but rather the balance of Earth, Air, Sunlight and Water in harmony that sustains and supports life.
But successful gardeners know that as fiery as the sun may seem, adding more and more water to keep plants from wilting doesn’t always solve the problem. Over-watered soil compacts, eliminating the oxygenation necessary for healthy capillary growth. Roots become brown or black and begin to rotting, cutting off the flow of water and nutrients. The plants will look wilted when they have too much water because in fact they are “drowning” for lack of air. It’s natural to think “I need to water those wilted plants,” but in reality, if your soil mixture has degraded and compacted, it is likely the lack of “air” rather than lack of “water” that is making your plants gasp in the heat.
Control Earth, Air and Water with HortGrow Coco Peat
While we can’t control the “Fire” of the summer sun, Coco-based gardening mixes from HortGrow are perfect growing environment for surviving summer’s extreme temperatures. A balanced Coco product like GrowUltra, for example, is a mixture of chunky Coco fragments to aerate, Coco Fibers for moisture transmission and retention, and crushed Coco Pith with the sponge-like qualities to maintain moisture and nutrients.
Each block can be divided and placed in containers before hydrating, and HortGrow Coco Peat products are generally used as a “soil-less” growing medium. But many gardeners want to hydrate the Coco Peat blocks and then mix it together with their soil and their favorite blend of fertilizer, worm castings, and compost. All the magical ingredients that work well in your garden will work as well or better with Coco Coir.
Coco Peat Products Are More Eco-Efficient than Peat Moss
Coco aerates clay soil and keeps it from compacting and the spongy quality of finely-milled Coco Pith improves sandy soils so water and nutrients are not washed away. But there are some very practical advantages to coco coir soil conditioners as well – – –
- Coco Blocks and Discs are convenient to transport, store and hydrate
- Coco retains both moisture and oxygen at the roots; Peat Moss tends to compact
- Coco coir products last 4-5 years; peat moss has to be replenished or replaced in 6-12 months
- Coco products don’t shrink and harden inside pots, and don’t require “re-wetting” hard surfaces
- Aeration within the top layer of soil allows for slow evaporation, which keeps the roots cooler
HortGrow Best Practices:
HortGrow Coco Peat blocks are easily hydrated, but “Slow and Steady Wins the Race!” Water 20-30 seconds with gentle flow from a hose, then let the internal sponges of the Pith and Fiber do their thing before adding a bit more water – – – the Coco mixture will fluff up before your eyes in a very few minutes.
Remember to think “Air” as well as water when you see a plant wilting…dig gently to the side of your plants and see if the roots are white or brown/black. If you have dark roots, you need to add Cocopith to aerate your soil – – – your plants may be drowning in water due to compacted soil, and wilting from lack of air rather that water.