Coconut seedling tablets: how to use them correctly

Recently, coconut tablets have appeared on the shelves of horticultural stores. Not all gardeners know what they are and how to use them correctly.

Coconut tablets: what they are, types and what they are for

Coconut tablets are compressed under pressure and formed in the form of short cylinders, a substrate consisting of so-called coco peat (65-70%) and coconut fibers or flakes (35-30%). Since this material itself is practically devoid of nutritional value, it is additionally enriched with vitamin and mineral compounds necessary for the life of plant organisms.

Coconut peat is not peat in the direct sense of the word. In fact, this is the smallest fraction of coconut fiber (in fact, waste), which has undergone fermentation (fermentation) in natural conditions for a long time (1-1.5 years), and then dried and compressed.

Coconut tablets are composed of coconut peel fibers (cocoa soil) and are very similar in properties to peat tablets.

Tablet coconut substrate is recommended for growing various garden crops by seedlings, as well as for rooting cuttings... Before use, the material is poured with water, while the flat tablet swells greatly, increases in size and takes the form of a small glass with soil.

Coconut-based tablets can be of different diameters: from 25 to 130 mm. The size is selected depending on the type of plants grown:

  • small seeds (strawberries, petunia, etc.) are germinated in the smallest;
  • larger crops are planted in large ones (eggplants, tomatoes, etc.).

For convenience, coconut cylinders are placed by the manufacturer in special fine mesh sleeves, which prevent the substrate from spilling... But there are products on sale without a net.

Coconut tablets come in different diameters

Advantages and Disadvantages of Coconut Pills

Coconut tabletted substrate has a number of advantages over peat pots or tablets:

  • has optimal acidity (5.5–6.5 pH), close to neutral;
  • is able to absorb and hold a large amount of liquid (8-10 times its own volume);
  • does not form a hard surface crust;
  • has excellent aeration properties and air permeability, air saturation is 15-30% (depending on the fraction);
  • sterile - it does not contain pathogens of various diseases, as well as weed seeds and larvae of harmful insects;
  • it has good heat-conducting properties;
  • characterized by a long period of operation, the possibility of reuse and resistance to decomposition;
  • does not become moldy with excess moisture.

After swelling, coconut tablets form a looser substrate than peat tablets.

Among the disadvantages of the coconut substrate, one can single out its increased salinity, since the peel of the nut itself contains quite a lot of sodium, potassium and chlorine, and sea salt is also used in the production of tablets from coconut. Before use, the primer can be rinsed 3-4 times with water heated to +14 ... + 16 ° C, or in running water for 1-2 minutes.

Video: the whole truth about coconut seedlings

Instructions for the correct use of coconut tablets for growing vegetable seedlings

The algorithm for using coconut tablets is as follows:

  1. First, select a container suitable for growing seedlings. The height of the container must be sufficient to accommodate the swollen compressed tablets (at least 15 cm)... These can be plastic cups, pots, boxes, etc., preferably with drainage holes.

    First, the tablets are placed in a container.

  2. Then, the remnants of sea salt must be removed from the tablets by quickly rinsing them with warm running water.
  3. The washed discs are laid out on the bottom of the planting container and filled with a small amount of settled water at room temperature or slightly lukewarm (but by no means hot). On average, each product is capable of absorbing approximately 35-100 ml of liquid (depending on size), the exact amount is indicated in the instructions on the package.

    The tablets are poured with warm water

  4. Allow the substrate to swell for 20-30 minutes, then, if there are no drainage holes, drain excess water.
  5. A small depression is made on top of the surface of the coconut cylinder (the depth is determined by the size of the seeds) and placed in each required number of seeds (usually 1-2). Then the hole is covered with humus, peat, compost, etc.

    Seeds are placed in a small hole

  6. The container is covered with transparent glass or plastic wrap to create a mini-greenhouse, placed in a warm, well-lit place. Every day 2-3 times the shelter is removed for ventilation, the condensate is removed.
  7. After the appearance of the first shoots, the shelter is removed.
  8. The need for feeding may be necessary if the seedling cycle of the plant is long, or if the instructions for the coconut tablets did not contain a note that they were saturated with fertilizers. Look at the appearance and development of seedlings, if they are small, the leaves lose their turgor, the stems are stretched, it is better to feed.
  9. The grown and matured seedlings are transplanted to a permanent place or to other containers of a larger volume. FROMIt is not necessary to remove the protective mesh from high-quality tablets, since it does not interfere with the development of the roots, but if you are not sure that the material is thin enough and the roots can grow through it, it is better to carefully remove it.

    Seedlings are planted in the ground without removing the protective sheath

On sale you can find a ready-made kit for growing seedlings (indoor small greenhouse). It includes a plastic container with a lid and ventilation holes, as well as a set of coconut pills.

It is very convenient to use a ready-made mini-greenhouse for seedlings

I always used simple seedling boxes in the old fashioned way. Visiting a neighbor, I saw coconut tablets with very good and strong plants (tomatoes) standing on the windowsill. It turns out that she has been doing this for several years. She says that there is no need to tinker with the earth, then she immediately plants rather large seedlings in the greenhouse. Such seedlings develop about a week or one and a half faster than the usual one growing in simple land.

Video: sowing seeds in a coconut substrate

Reviews of gardeners

Coconut seedling tablets can greatly facilitate the work of the summer resident and save his time. Exact adherence to the technology of growing in a coconut substrate will allow you to get healthy strong seedlings, which will quickly take root when planted in open ground on the site and will give a good harvest in the future.

[Votes: 1 Average: 5]

Lamps for seedlings: how to choose the right phytolamp to illuminate seedlings and how to make phyto-light with your own hands

Seedling lamps how to choose which lamps for growing seedlings are better, their features and characteristics are described in this article.

Backlight lamps seedlings will only be beneficial if you choose the right light source. The most beneficial for plants is natural light. However, in early spring it is not enough, so the seedlings need to be highlighted. For this, it is recommended to use lamps emitting 2 spectra: blue and red. Only these colors are assimilated and necessary for the development of plants.

What is Trichoderma

Today we will talk about fungi of the genus Trichoderma, which includes the following species: T. lignorum ,, T. koningii, T. reesei, T. harzianum, T. Viride, T. longibrachiatum, T. pseudokoningi, T. pilulifermum, T. polysporum, T. hamatum, T. aureoviride. They cannot be called rare: they inhabit soils rich in organic residues - cultivated and virgin, forest, taiga and meadow.

Leaving scientific terms to specialists, we will use definitions that are understandable to an ordinary summer resident, so that during the reading process we do not have to use reference literature. So, Trichoderma is a microscopic soil fungus-saprophyte, which:

  • feeds on organic matter (the remains of plants and animals), actively decomposing it, enriches the soil with nutrients
  • secretes biologically active substances that inhibit the development and reproduction of pathogens, strengthen the immunity of plants
  • parasitizes on pathogenic fungi (using their bodies and mycelium for nutrition), suppressing late blight and verticillosis, root and fruit rot, wilting of various etiologies, scab on vegetable, fruit and berry and flower crops

Trichoderma can suppress late blight

  • enters into symbiosis with roots (mycorrhiza), enhancing plant nutrition
  • some species produce phytohormones (auxin, ethylene, cytokinin) that stimulate plant growth and development
  • synthesizes powerful natural antibiotics (trichodermin, viridine and others)
  • actively participates in the synthesis of humus
  • structure the soil (enveloping the soil particles with mycelium growing through them).

It is important to understand here that Trichoderma is not a superhero rushing to help at our call - no! All of the above properties, which are extremely useful for soil and plants, are products of its natural vital activity. Trichoderma viride in nature

Photo from the website

Trichoderma viride in nature. Photo from the website

Just imagine, a microscopic mushroom is able to rid our garden and vegetable garden of such large-scale problems as:

  • fusarium
  • late blight
  • alternaria
  • tracheomycosis
  • rhizoctonia
  • verticellosis wilt
  • blackleg
  • various rot.

And this is not a complete list of defeated enemies!

How to choose the right peat and coconut tablets?

Buying a pill for seedlings can be difficult, because there is simply a colossal range of such products on sale. There are a number of important factors to consider here:

  • Substrate structure. We do not recommend purchasing tablets for seedlings with a coarse peat structure, since they have a low air capacity. Because of this, the root system will be too sensitive to waterlogging, and its development will lag noticeably.
  • Substrate acidity... As mentioned earlier, peat and coconut tablets are available with different acidity, and therefore you need to be selective in choosing seedling tablets in accordance with what you decide to grow. So, for example, for the seedlings of most flowers and vegetables, substrates with an acidity close to neutral are needed. To grow seedlings of hydrangeas, conifers and others, an acidic soil composition is required. If you use the wrong acidity, then the awakened seedlings may die.
  • Tablet size... Choose small tablets for small seeds, large ones for large ones. This allows you to grow seedlings without additional transplanting into large containers.

Also note that there are uncoated peat or coconut tablets on the market. After the substrate swells, they turn not into a convenient mini-container, but into a shapeless handful of moist peat.

So, in conclusion, we want to note that when buying peat or coconut tablets, it is better to give preference only to positively proven brands of products. If growing seedlings in tablets is not easy for you, try using them in parallel with traditional methods first. And then you will certainly appreciate all the advantages of this gardening know-how.

Advantages, disadvantages

Barnevelder chickens are widely known throughout the world for their long list of positive qualities:

  1. Birds are friendly to representatives of other breeds, people.
  2. One layer is capable of producing 200 eggs per year.
  3. Chickens can be bred for dietary meat.
  4. The female has a pronounced incubation instinct.
  5. The eggs are large (from 65 g), have an attractive color.
  6. Chickens cannot fly over a high fence.
  7. The colors of the birds are pleasing to the eye.
  8. The chick survival rate is 95%.
  9. Chickens are not prone to infectious diseases, they can withstand freezing temperatures.
  10. With proper care, hens continue to produce eggs during the winter.
Attention! The egg production of females is suspended during molting. This period falls on the beginning of spring.

The breed also has several disadvantages:

  • if not kept properly, chickens suffer from paw diseases
  • birds cannot be lodged in a small room
  • the cost of hatching eggs is high.

Choosing the right container for growing seedlings

The harvest is harvested, the garden is prepared for winter, which means it's time to think about preparing for the new season. It starts with purchasing seeds and thinking about seedlings. Of course, the seedlings must be healthy and beautiful, with a well-developed root system and a strong stem. And in order for the seedlings to turn out exactly like this, first of all, you need to decide - what is the most correct way to grow it? Any type of seedling container has its pros and cons. In this article, we will consider in more detail the advantages and disadvantages of the most popular seedling containers that you can buy or make yourself.

Choosing the right container for growing seedlings

  • 1. Boxes for seedlings
  • 2. Plastic and peat cassettes
  • 3. Peat tablets
  • 4. Coconut tablets
  • 5. Plastic and peat pots
  • 6. Containers for seedlings from used plastic containers
  • 7. Containers for eggs
  • 8. Cups "do it yourself" made of paper
  • Optimal containers for seedlings of certain crops

Garden centers now have a wide selection of cups, containers and pots of all sizes, as well as peat and coconut tablets of various diameters. We also sell plastic and peat cassettes of all required sizes, with the number of cells from 6 to 288 or more.

But many gardeners prefer to make do with scrap materials. And then plastic bottles and paper cups, dairy and confectionery boxes, egg containers and even the eggshells themselves come into play.

So where should you choose? I advise you to focus on the culture you are going to grow the seedlings of. For example, some young plants need to be dived several times before they enter the garden. And the containers will need to be selected appropriate. And others will need only one transfer directly to the garden, which means that their seeds are immediately sown in containers of large volumes.

1. Boxes for seedlings

They are made of plastic or wood for seedlings. The height of the walls is not less than 8-10 cm. They usually have drainage holes. Boxes that do not have "legs" are placed in pallets on bars (with a section of 1x1cm). Seedlings are kept in boxes until the first pair of true leaves appears, then the plants dive.

Pros of growing seedlings in boxes

A large number of seedlings are placed in the boxes, as they grow, you can discard the weak and excess. Moisture is better retained here. The drawers are easier to turn towards the light. It is convenient to sow plants in them that require picking and those that do not give a powerful growth of the root system during the first weeks of growth (flower crops, strawberries, cabbage, leaf celery).

Cons of growing seedlings in boxes

There is a high probability of tearing off the thin roots of neighboring plants during the picking process. If you are a little late with the picking of seedlings grown in boxes, the roots of the plants begin to intertwine. It will be simply impossible to get seedlings with intact roots. When turning the seedling box towards the light, its heavy weight is felt, especially if a wooden box is used. Plants with a fragile, poorly regenerating root system (cucumbers, melons, zucchini, eggplants, peppers) are not sown in boxes.

A large number of seedlings are placed in the boxes, as they grow, weak ones can be discarded. © veg box monologues

2. Plastic and peat cassettes

Pros of growing seedlings in plastic cassettes

Plastic cassettes are very convenient to use, but only if they are small. Seedlings are easily removed from them. These cassettes can be used for several years and do not take up much space during storage. It is convenient to place seeds in peat or coconut tablets in plastic cassettes, choosing the appropriate size.

Cons of growing seedlings in plastic cassettes

Plastic is not always durable and quickly deteriorates. Sometimes cassettes are made of materials with a high content of harmful substances (for example, polyvinyl chloride), which is indicated by a pungent odor. Plastic cassettes are not suitable for growing plants with a well-developed root system. Since the volume of the cells is small, the soil dries out quickly enough, which does not happen, for example, with the soil in boxes for growing seedlings.

Cassettes are often sold without matching pallets. It is necessary to make sure that there is a drainage hole in each cell. If it is, then, most often, it is very large (it is convenient to cover it with a non-woven material and then the soil will not be washed out of the cell).

Large cassettes (cassette size 400X260 mm, number of cells 15) are not convenient for transferring or transporting seedlings. Plastic cassettes combined with peat or coconut tablets are expensive.

Advantages of growing seedlings in peat cassettes

Peat cassettes are made from natural material (peat 70% and cardboard 30%), and within a month they completely disintegrate in the soil. The material from which the cassettes are made has a porous structure, which provides air access to the roots of the seedlings. The cells are easily cut off from the cassette, and the seedlings are transplanted to the garden along with the separated cell, which will need to be completely buried in the soil, without damaging the roots.

Cons of growing seedlings in peat cassettes

Mold sometimes appears on peat cassettes. The porous walls of the cassettes quickly absorb moisture from the soil, "competing" with the seedlings. Peat cassettes are more expensive than plastic and paper ones.

Plastic cassettes can be used for several years and do not take up much space during storage. © Elena Vetrova
Peat cassettes are made from natural material, and within a month they completely disintegrate in the soil. © Marie Novicki

3. Peat tablets

Peat tablets are produced on the basis of compressed fine-grained peat saturated with nutrients, growth stimulants and fungicides. The tablets are wrapped in a special fiber. The diameter of peat pellets is from 2.5 to 9 cm. Peat pellets are able to maintain an optimal acidity level (pH = 5.4–6.2), which is optimal for most of the plants. In order for the tablets to "start working", they are placed in a container with water. After absorbing moisture, the tablets become almost 5 times higher, and their diameter does not change. On the top of the tablets there are special cavities for seeds.

Pros of growing seedlings in peat tablets

Optimal conditions are created for seed germination. They retain moisture well. Suitable for germination of plants with "small" shoots (petunia, lobelia, strawberry) and for plants that do not tolerate transplantation (poppies, gypsophila, hellebores). In peat tablets 8 or 9 cm in size, you can grow seedlings of cucumbers, zucchini, watermelons. When transplanting seedlings into a garden bed, the plants are not removed from the tablet.

Cons of growing seedlings in peat tablets

High prices. Mold can sometimes appear on wet tablets. Large-diameter tablets are still "small" for growing peppers, tomatoes, eggplants. Before transferring the seedling tablet to the garden bed, it is advisable to remove the non-woven material, which is not always easy to do, for example, if the root system has already grown a lot.

After absorbing moisture, peat tablets become almost 5 times higher, and their diameter does not change. © Sharon

4. Coconut tablets

Coconut tablets ("coco-soil") are made from compressed coconut material (70% coconut peat and 30% coconut flakes and fibers) and are also loaded with nutrients, growth stimulants and special antibacterial substances that protect plants.

Coconut tablets are able to maintain an optimal acidity level (pH = 5.4–6.2) suitable for most plants. The tablets have a porous structure and are saturated with air, which is very important for grown seedlings. The tablet is wrapped in a special protective mesh made of non-woven material.

Interestingly, coconut peat is obtained from crushed coconut peel, which undergoes a special fermentation for 15-18 months, then long-term drying and pressing under high pressure.

A dry coconut tablet is light brown or sandy in color, while a tablet moistened with water is dark brown. The diameter of coconut tablets is from 2.5 cm (suitable for growing petunias, strawberries) to 8 cm (suitable for growing cucumbers, zucchini, watermelons). A coconut tablet grows quickly after being placed in about 40 ml of warm water. There is a seed hole on the top of the tablet.

Pros of growing seedlings in coconut tablets

The right environment for seed germination is created. Coconut tablets provide active formation of the root system of seedlings and contain substances that prevent the appearance of pathogenic bacteria, fungi, weeds. The seedlings, along with the tablet, are transferred to the garden bed. Coconut fiber retains moisture well for a long time.

Cons of growing seedlings in coconut tablets

High prices. Sometimes mold appears on wet tablets. The volume of soil, even in tablets with a large diameter, is not enough for growing tomatoes, peppers, eggplants. It is inconvenient to remove the protective mesh, which will obviously restrain the growth of the root system.

Coconut tablets ("coco-soil") are made from compressed coconut material. © vasha-teplitsa

5. Plastic and peat pots

Any crops can be grown in plastic and peat pots, the main thing is to choose the right size.

Pros of growing seedlings in plastic pots

What is the difference between round and square containers? It is more convenient to fill round plastic pots with earth, and the seedlings from them "roll over" much easier, and square pots are much more compact and do not take up extra space on the windowsill.

The pots are made of dense plastic, which is convenient when transporting seedlings and protects the roots from injury during rotation for better illumination. The plastic is opaque, which contributes to the normal development of the root system. The pots can be reused. It is more convenient to store square pots for storage until the next sowing of seedlings.

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