Coco & Coir™ proves its growing credentials in further trials
Southern Trident is celebrating yet another success for its quality coir composts. Two of the company’s Coco & Coir™ products have outshone the competition in plant growth trials.
Throughout this year, Southern Trident has been involved in a series of trials carried out by Stockbridge Technology Centre, the UK’s premier independent horticultural growing and testing facility. The trials vigorously tested Coco & Coir Coco Grow+ – a seed and cuttings compost containing coir and perlite – and Coco & Coir Coco Boost – an all-purpose compost containing coir and balanced nutrients. These composts were up against stiff competition – the UK’s best-selling peat-based compost, an own-label peat-free compost and the top-selling branded peat-free compost. The trials were carried out from April to June.
Coco & Coir Coco Grow+
In germination tests using petunias, Coco & Coir Coco Grow+ produced 15% better germination rates than the peat-based compost and three times better than the branded peat-free competition. Germination failed with the own-label peat-free compost.
Poor germination in the competing composts was due to high pH and high electrical conductivity (EC) levels; EC is an indicator of soluble salt content, and high levels can be very damaging to seeds and plants. We monitor and control salt levels in our coir composts and ensure they are maintained at a suitable quantity for excellent plant growth.
Coco & Coir Coco Boost
In growing tests using tomato plants, Coco & Coir Coco Boost performed as well as the peat-based compost, produced plants 36% larger than the top-selling branded peat-free compost, and 13% larger than the own-label peat-free compost.
In tests using petunias, Coco & Coir Coco Boost again performed on par to the peat-based compost, but 30% larger with 144% more flowers than the branded peat-free, and 270% larger with eight times as many flowers as the own-label peat-free compost.
Again, high pH and EC levels affected the own-label peat-free compost when growing these sensitive plants, and there were lower overall nutrient levels in the branded products
These trials consistently showed that growing media based on 100% coir outperforms all peat-free blends it has been tested against.
Advantages of coir
Coir, like peat, can hold up to 20 times its own weight in moisture. Unlike other peat-free alternatives, coir has a pH range of 5.8-6.8, which is close to what the vast majority of plants need. It contains high levels of lignin and cellulose, so doesn’t decompose, slump and compact in containers like some other alternative materials.
Growing trials at the Stockbridge Technology Centre are on-going.
Southern Trident has invested in its own growing facilities at its site in Scunthorpe to be able to more readily improve its mixes even further before independent trialling.
Southern Trident is testing new products, new innovations and new materials that can be added to its coir composts to improve their already proven results even further. News of new products will be revealed later in the year.