Yay, I got most of my garden in today! The best part too was that I didn’t have to dig in peat moss to my raised beds, I used Coconut Coir that is free around here. I live close to a ton of greenhouses that grow their vegetables in the coconut coir, and when they are done with it, and strip the greenhouse to ready it for the next planting, they just give away the old coconut coir. If people don’t take it, they end up taking it to the dump. It is a shame really, how much ends up in the dump.
Here is a great site that talks about the coconut coir. Here is just one quote that explains a bit about it. It is great stuff, and I can get all I need for free. Even better!!
“Aside from not damaging your plants and soil, the use of coconut coir also yields a lot of positive results. Coconut coir is used most commonly as a soil additive. It provides both potted and garden plants with sufficient space for air circulation while maintaining excellent water retention capacity, which extends the lifespan of soil and slows down the decomposition process. Coir, like peat moss, tends to decompose slowly, creating air pockets that allow water to effectively drain. The fibrous nature of the coir also absorbs water and helps the soil remain moist and fertile. The aerating and hydrating properties of coconut coir make it perfect for every type of soil. If you are working with sandy soil, the coconut coir will help retain nutrients and keep moisture close to the roots. For soil that tends to be more clay-like, the coconut coir works to provide aeration in the hard-packed soil so that nutrients and moisture can be well dispersed. Coconut Coir eliminates the need for additional fertilizer and provides gardeners with a consistent supply of moisture and air for their soil, creating the perfect environment for planting and growing in any climate.”
This is what they look like when I pick them up from the greenhouses.
I love the way that it breaks down into my soil and works into it well, just like a good peat moss will do. It has some of the roots still from the cucumbers or tomatoes that were growing in it, but they break up really well, and as you can see in the corner of the picture below, it breaks up and works into the soil so nicely.
I am going to get some more over the next couple of days, and work it into my flower beds. I did some of the flower beds last year, but need to do the rest of them this year. I love it when free stuff works for me!
So if you have any greenhouses close by, see if they use the coconut coir, and if they toss it when they are done. It is just as good as peat moss, and wwway cheaper!!