Seed Starting In Coir: Using Coconut Coir Pellets For Germination

By: Laura Miller

Starting your own plants from seed is a great way to savemoney when gardening. Yet dragging bags of starting soil into the house ismessy. Filling seed trays is time consuming and the sterilization needed toprevent disease is a lot of work. Ifonly there were an easier way…

Coir Discs for Seed Planting

If you enjoy raising your plants from seed but hate thehassle, you might want to try coir pellets. For germination of seeds, pelletsare an easy, fast and clean method. When compared to peat pellets, coir discsfor seed planting are an eco-friendly option.

Although peat is a natural material, it’s not considered asustainable product. Peat is the decaying remnants of sphagnummoss. It takes hundreds of years to form peat bogs and considerably lesstime to deplete them.

On the other hand, coir pellets are made from the husk of coconuts.Once considered an agricultural waste, this coconut fiber is soaked and treatedto remove excess minerals. It’s then formed into flat, round discs and sold asa seed starting product by various manufacturers.

Benefits of Seed Starting in Coir

In addition to being less messy, coir discs virtuallyeliminate the problem of dampingoff. This fungal infection can be transmitted through soil and unsanitarystarting trays. It most often attacks newly sprouted seedlings, causing thestems to weaken and the plants to die. Wet conditions and cool temperaturescontribute to the problem.

Coir pellets for seed planting are fungus free. Coir readilyabsorbs and holds water, yet doesn’t become supersaturated and soggy. Thematerial remains loose for improved root formation and the netting surroundingthe ground coconut hulls retains the shape of the pellet.

How to Use a Coconut Pellet Seed Starting System

  • Expand the pellets – When using coir pellets for germination of seedlings, the dry flat disc must be soaked in water. Place the pellets in a waterproof tray. Make sure the small imprinted hole is facing up. Pour warm water over the discs and wait for them to expand.
  • Sow the seed – Once the pellets are fully expanded, place 2 seeds in every pellet. The planting depth can be controlled by pinching or compacting the pellet. Be sure to label the tray for identification of seedlings. Use a clear plastic lid or plastic wrap to retain moisture.
  • Provide light – Place the trays under grow lights or near a sunny window. Keep the pellets evenly moist while the seeds germinate. Adding a little water to the bottom of the tray once a day is usually sufficient.
  • Germination – Once the seeds have germinated and the cotyledons have opened, it’s best to remove the plastic cover. Continue to water once daily to keep the pellets evenly moist.
  • Provide nutrients – By the time the seedlings have their second or third set of true leaves, the roots are usually penetrating the netting. For tall, healthy transplants, it’s best to either fertilize at this time or plant the seedlings, pellet and all, in a small pot.
  • Transplant seedlings – When the seedlings are ready for transplant, harden off the plants. Coir pellets can be directly planted into the garden.

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Mary's Heirloom Seeds

Step 3: Add seeds to the hole and gently cover or "squish" coconut coir.

Step 4: Place in a warm sunny place and keep moist. This is where the real growing happens!

About Coconut Coir Pellets: The very best pellet for seed starting!
Add water, and the Coconut Pellets quickly swell to become a perfect self contained pot with its own perfect medium for starting seeds. Seeds are nurtured within the pellet to germinate faster into young seedlings. Roots emerge easily through the porous walls of the pellet as a result of the enhanced air circulation created by the unique design and characteristics.

The Coconut Coir Pellet - complete with the started plant inside - goes directly into the ground. As a result, no transplant shock occurs, and the plant has full vigor to mature faster. All the young, tender roots remain totally intact. NEW Coconut Coir Pellets are more eco-friendly !

Here's a video we created for youtube.!

There you have it! Check out Mary's Heirloom Seeds for more information!

Mary's Heirloom Seeds

Unlike peat moss, which is highly acidic, coconut coir has a neutral pH level. Most garden vegetables and flowers grow best in neutral to slightly alkaline conditions. When you use peat to amend a garden bed, an addition of agricultural lime is often necessary to combat the higher acidity. With coconut coir, limestone isn't necessary unless the soil naturally has a higher pH level. Coir use results in both a monetary and a labor savings, since you don't need to purchase further pH amendments nor work them into the soil.

-Coir improves soil drainage in the bed while also helping to retain moisture in quick-draining soils. Since coir breaks down slowly, much like peat, it creates air pockets in the soil that allow excess moisture to drain away from plant roots. The coir itself holds onto some moisture so the drainage doesn't occur too quickly and the soil doesn't dry out completely. These dual drainage and retention properties allow coir to improve moisture management in both heavy clay soils and dry, sandy beds.

-Peat moss, which coir replaces as a soil amendment, takes centuries to regrow once harvested. Coir is completely sustainable since it is a natural byproduct of coconut harvests, and coconut trees produce new coconuts every year. Using the coir in the garden keeps it out of the landfill where it would otherwise go. Coir can take a century or longer to fully break down in these landfills, so it's more sustainable to use it to improve your garden soil.

Full Description

Coir Pellets are the PEAT FREE way of getting your seeds / cuttings off to the best start. Being peat-free they are better for the environment and your plants. Coir Pellets are also easier to use (no more clearing up plastic / polystyrene pots, because the pellets simply rot down in the soil after use) and produce healthier, faster growing plants.

Coir Pellets are compressed coir pellets are ideal for sowing seeds or for rooting cuttings. Add water to them and watch them swell to make the ideal growing medium (3.6cm in diameter). It is always best to sow seeds into individual pellets, so you don’t have to handle young delicate seedlings as it is so easy to damage them. Once large enough, pot up or plant out the plant and the pellet.

  • For small seeds such as begonia and lobelia sow a tiny pinch of seeds into a coir pellet.
  • For larger seeds such as tomato simply drop 1 or 2 seeds into the a coir pellet. I prefer to cover these larger seeds with a sprinkling of Vermiculite . (see offer)
  • For cuttings of tender perennials such as fuchsias, geraniums, verbena etc. (many of the plants used in baskets and tubs through the summer will provide cuttings), push the cuttings into the coir pellets and place in a propagator or simply cover with a plastic bag and keep on a warm windowsill. They should root in 2-3 weeks.

Special Offer – Need LOTS of Coir Pellets – Buy a case of 1500 for £74.83 saving a further £12.00 – CLICK HERE TO VIEW OUR CASE DEALS
Special Offer – Vermiculite is ideal for covering newly sown seeds – Add 10L of Vermiculite to your order for £11.99 saving £3.00 off the combined price. SOLD OUT
N.B. Coir Pots are ideal for potting on your seedlings once large enough – CLICK HERE to find out more


Transplanting time depends on the specific plant, but most seedlings are moved to the garden when they are four to six weeks old and after frost danger is past. The pellets don't require preparation before planting. The peat in the pellets can wick moisture away from the plant if it's exposed. Avoid this issue by planting the pellets so the top surface is covered with a thin layer of garden soil. The netting and pellets break down as the plants grow.

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.

Watch the video: How to start or germinate seeds fast and easy with coco coir pods.

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