The coconut substrate is an ideal culture medium. However, not all coconut substrates are the same. The majority of substrates that we find in the market have undergone a compression prior to their manufacture, since the compressed coconut is easier and cheaper to ship to the production plants.
The main differences between a coconut substrate that has been compressed and another that has not been compressed are:
• Granulometry: the compression process has as a consequence the reduction of the size of the coconut particles. This decrease in granulometry causes poor aeration of the roots due to excess of water in the medium. These factors increase the likelihood of fungal disease.
• Radicular development: the coconut that has never been compressed facilitates a faster root development since it has less resistance to root growth.
• Irrigation frequency: the excellent aeration and little water retention of the uncompressed coconut fiber, makes it possible to irrigate more frequently and thus obtain better results from the plants.
• Re-use: all coconut fiber can be reused, but in each use the granulometry will decrease. In the end, a point will come when it becomes a paste that makes impossible the oxygenation of the roots. For this reason, a substrate with greater granulometry (such as that of uncompressed coconut) can be reused for a longer time.