Buffering of coconut fiber is a chemical process consisting of replacing sodium and potassium with calcium, washing away excess waste.

Due to the chemical combination of calcium with the sodium salts inherent to the coconut fiber, coconut substrates tend to retain calcium that produces a high cation-exchange capacity of the substrate. For this reason, UGro chemically buffers its substrates with calcium nitrate, thus achieving that both the sodium and potassium salts are insoluble in water, therefore, un-assimilable to the plant.
 

Buffering types by UGro

• True Buffered
• Buffering Charged
• Non-buffered
 

True Buffered UGro products

true buffered

True Buffered UGro products are Plug, Cube, Small, XL, Slab, Pure Air, Pure Max Air.
 

The complete manufacturing process would be:

1. Washing in fresh water, dragging a large part of the salts by dissolution
2. Chemical tamponing
3. Second washing in fresh water, dragging by leaching a large part of the salts resulting from chemical buffering.

The result is a substrate with an EC of 0.4 mS/cm in a measurement of 1 volume of substrate in 1.5 volumes of water.

Even after this process, the decomposition of coconut organic matter releases sodium salts, so liquid fertilizers for coconut carry a calcium reinforcement in the formula so that there is always available calcium.
 

What does this buffering imply in the use of the product?

To use this type of substrate it is recommended to start the fertigation with an EC level of 1 mS/cm and rectify if necessary. An excess of fertilization could lead to an excess of calcium, which would produce a chemical block of iron, the result of which would be a radical stop in the plant’s growth and severe deficiencies in a short time. If this occurs, the plant should be spray with chelated iron and the EC level should be lowered below 1 mS for one or two irrigations.
 

Buffer Charged UGro products

true buffered

True Buffered UGro products are Pure Basic, Pure Perlite, Pure LightMix.
 

The complete manufacturing process would be:

1. Washing in fresh water, dragging a large part of the salts by dissolution
2. Chemical tamponing
 

What does this buffering imply in the use of the product?

Since the second wash is omited, the EC of the substrate is higher, around 0.8-1mS/cm in a measurement of 1 volume of substrate in 1.5 volumes of water. So in one or two first irrigations it is recommended watering with an EC of 0.8 and then at normal levels. It is always best to start in a small container and then transplant to a larger container as the plant requires. If calcium overfertilization occurs in the first phases of the plant, spray chelated iron and water at EC of 0.5 for one or two irrigations. If possible, avoid calcium in the mixture.
 

Still not interested in Buffering?

UGro offers XL Organic and Pure Organic. These are 100% organic substrates from the very beginning, which means no buffering or additives, just washed with fresh water and sieved to ensure a high quality product. The substrates are made from organic certified raw material and they are Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) listed.