The Grower Magazine 12 June 2009
Uptake of coir grow-bags or modules appears to be increasing fast.

“Uptake of coir grow-bags or modules appears to be increasing fast.
This is largely due to coir’s significant advantages, which include longer life and better environmental credentials according to suppliers.
The trend is being partly fuelled by supermarkets that want growers to use more sustainable substrates than peat. Coir is the main alternative as it is produced year-round in large quantities in most tropical countries as a by-product of coconut and copra production.”
The Grower article goes on to cite the following advantages that coir has over peat:
Ease of handling – especially comparing the weight of dry grow-bags compared with peat grow bags.
Higher pH than peat which makes it unnecessary to add lime.
Better retention of physical structure enabling coir to have a longer useful life than peat. This can effectively give growers an extra crop from the same the substrate.
“The market for grow-bags has been increasing apace due to the wide and often large-scale adoption of table tops. This trend is typified by Clockhouse Farms in Linton Kent which grows 31 hectares of strawberries (plus 32 hectares of raspberries) of which 23 are in table tops and the rest in beds.
The company’s production director James Dearing said that within two or three years all of its strawberries will be grown in tabletops and probably almost all of its modules will be in coir, which he began using last year with good results.
In addition, some 25 per cent of his raspberries are grown in coir filled pots.
He says coir modules retain their original consistency, air filled porosity and shape far better than the peat type. With 60 day Elsanta and Sonata strawberries, he said he saw no reason why the modules could not last for three or even four years compared with two for peat.
'Coir is easier to plant into and we think that there will be less yield reduction with each use', he pointed out.”

Horticultural Coir Ltd is an active member of the Growing Media Association of UK and the Horticultural Trades Association and The Commercial Horticulture Association.