When it comes to sustainable soil mixes, it all starts with a coconut. The potting mix that Costa Farms uses to raise plants in is made with sustainable coir, which is the ground fiber from the husks of coconuts.
Helping plants grow
A good growing medium does a variety of things. It provides an environment for plant roots to get water, air, and nutrients. It also offers space for roots to grow and expand. And finally, potting medium supports the plant as it grows.
Most growing mediums aren’t soil; they are natural soil alternatives that are free of weed seeds, insects, and diseases. There are two popular soil alternative mediums: ground coconut fiber, also known as coir, and peat moss. Coir and peat moss are both light, fluffy, and hold moisture, which makes them ideal mediums for growing plants. While they offer structure for plants, neither coir or peat have significant nutrient value.
Coconuts are a sustainable resource because they are the fruit of trees that continue to produce indefinitely. The fiber from the hulls uses a part of the coconut that would otherwise be discarded. Peat moss is harvested from bogs where it has developed over millions of years. Peat moss takes at least 25 years to renew.
Costa Farms uses a mixture of coir to grow plants instead of using potting soil that is made up of peat moss. Since 2010, Costa Farms has used coir for 80% of their soil because of its sustainability advantages.
Written by Karen Weir-Jimerson