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Preparing Coir for use

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#1 Hippie3



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Posted 08 July 2007 - 07:47 AM

is there a quick read through about how to prepare the coir .. thanks for the help fedshtkpndrk

Coir will come in a virtually impenetrable block. Use a large knife and peel off thin flakes by stabbing into the block’s edge and then slowly bending the knife blade away from the block. Be CAREFUL when working with a large knife and a coir block. It is very easy to slip and stab/cut yourself quite badly.

[attachment=855712:FLAKING COIR.jpg]
Coir block stabbed in the side with a knife.

Put the flakes of coir in a glass measuring cup or small bowl. Shredding the coir into corn flake size pieces will make hydrating it easier. Measure the amount of EJ you need, heat it up in the microwave (steaming hot) and then pour it slowly over the coir. Pour SLOWLY and distribute the EJ over the top of the coir evenly. The coir will swell and darken. After about 1 minute, scrape the coir out into a bigger container with a fork and cover it to prevent evaporation. Let the coir sit and expand/hydrate for 15 minutes before continuing.

[attachment=855713:DRY COIR.JPG]
Dry coir in a measuring cup.

[attachment=855714:MOIST COIR.JPG]
The same volume of coir after hydration.

After a few minutes, when the coir is cool enough to touch, run your hands through it. Break up any chunks and bits you find into fine powder. This will take a few minutes. Run your hands through the coir and carefully powder it all (meditate and say a little prayer, if the mood strikes you). You may want to add a little more tea at this point. Hydration is perfect when a big fistful squeezed tightly results in 4-5 drops of water. The coir should NOT drip when you pick up a fistful until after you squeeze (tightly). If you get the coir too moist, add a little dry. Mix very thoroughly after adding anything. Too dry is better than too moist.

Fistful before squeezing.

Fistfull after squeezing.

Taking a picture of dripping water is beyond my abilities. Note how dry the first fistful of coir looks. Note that in the second picture (after squeezing), some moisture has pooled around my FOAF’s pinky finger and evidence of a drip is visible on the bottom edge of my FOAF’s hand. This is properly hydrated coir.

That is “field capacity hydration.” A fistful squeezed very tightly will produce about 4-5 drops of water. You have to squeeze it TIGHT to produce any water. The fistful doesn’t drip freely without squeezing. If your fistful produces more than 7 drops, add some dry. Again, a little too dry is much better than too moist. You can always dunk to add moisture before fruiting.

A wet substrate will colonize very slowly and will most likely contaminate.

As always, a little dry is better than too moist.

no need to risk your fingers cutting coir blocks-
just place entire brick in a bucket,
add about 3-4 liters of water [read instructions on brick wrapper]
and let it soak.
once it's soft then you can reach in there and finish breaking it up easily.

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