Coco coir for composting and soil amendment

Asked February 12, 2019, 10:09 PM EST

I have a large compost pile, 180 bags of leaves, 12 yards of alpaca waste with prairie hay, 5-6 yards fresh horse manure, 10 -12 yards of 20 year old prairie hay from old barn. Rotated and after 4 try’s of getting pile moist, have finally got it cooking. (Steaming when rotating) Question, I’m concerned of high salt levels and just found access to coco coir from hydro marijuana root/coco coir. They state no pesticides. Would this help with my animal salts and add value to my compost, and moisture value. Will not use compost for 6-8 months.

Arapahoe County Colorado

1 Response

There does not seem to be a lot of research on using Coconut coir as a compost. But from what I have read, the problem is the coco coir has a large C:N ratio. A 30:1 (C:N) ratio is required for effective composting, and the C:N ratio of raw coco coir is 100:1. In order to make this a manageable compost, one must add some manure. This is called co-composting.

According to the research I found there is no evidence that coco coir does reduces the salts that are inherent to the manure. So basically, if you choose to use coco coir, you would be substituting it for one of your other "brown" ingredients, which are not sources of salts. In fact, since coco coir has such a high C:N ratio, you may have to add more manure (and more salts) to your compost pile.

Here's a list if typical compost ingredients and their C:N ratio.

Here's a technical article on an experiment on co-composting, if you need a little bed time reading. :)

Sorry for the bad news.