Trying Our Own Blend of Compost from Coir to Mycorrhiza

We have decided to push our eco credentials a little further and save our backs too. We have decided to embrace coir. In principal this seems to work out cheaper, if somewhat heavier when a 35kg box arrives on your doorstep and it's too big to get through the double doors. There goes saving our backs! Cue huffing, puffing and a some angry texts to him who ordered them and forgot tell me they were coming. Berk. Now, over the years we have been a mycorrhiza denier. It seemed like such a fad like shepherd's huts and spangles. Gardening goes through fads: decking, gnomes and wearing no bras. These things pass. Decking becomes firewood, gnomes get swallowed by weeds and breasts tickle the tops of knees, and they're not always your own knees. So, after humping the blocks of coir to the greenhouse we soon realised that the blocks were bigger than any buckets we had. Cue to the handsaw and bigger buckets.

using mycorrhiza, gardening

So, what is our secret blend that we're going to share with you? Well, it's very basic, we mix 50:50 compost and coir. That means a 70 litre bag of compost becomes 140 litres with coir. This cuts down our use of compost and introduces a medium which seems to hold moisture a little better. However, we wouldn't just sow into coir. We've tried this and there simply isn't the nutritional value there and it also dries out faster than a frog in the Sahara. We also mix in around 70g or a small handful of mycorrhiza. But does it work?

gardening, growing, life on pig row

We have sowed several types of seeds in ours, including French beans, Cucumbers, Courgettes, Salad Bowl lettuce, Kale, Sweet Peas and Lupins. We want to see how seed of different sizes will get on in this new mix and after a few days we have seen the beans start to come through, as are the cucumbers and courgettes. The lupins are making headway but there's no sign of the sweet peas yet. What is coming through looks healthy and fast growing.

gardening

We've used one block of our coir and have another six left. We have used around a bag of compost meaning we have saved money so far. Our seven blocks of coir cost us £21 ($27 or €25), that works out at £3 a block plus another £3.33 for the 70 litre compost. At 140 litres that means a litre of compost works out at 22p. This means the photo above cost us less than £1.00 to sow (minus the seeds). We're even thinking of adding coir waste as a soil improver over the coming months. We'll follow up this post in the coming weeks to let you know how this coir blend copes with potting on cosmos and much more.

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