Gold Label HydroCoco 60/40 Mix
WHY CHOOSE GOLD LABEL HYDROCOCO 60/40 MIX?
- The number one coco/pebble mix
- Specifically designed for growing hydroponically
- Dutch quality substrate
- RHP certified
- High Water holding capacity
- Batch controlled quality
- Explosive Growth!
Gold Label are one of the powerhouse brands for substrates and nutrients that you will currently find on the UK hydroponics market. Having developed nutrients and substrates since way back in 1987, significant research and development has gone into every single aspect of the Gold Label range. If you are looking for a top-quality media for your hydroponic grow room, you can be sure that Gold Label will deliver you consistently high results!
The Gold Label HydroCoco 60/40 Mix was the first 60/40 coco-pebble mix on the UK market. Developed specifically from a localised demand, using HydroCoco 60/40 has now rightfully spread and grown throughout the entire country. Stemming from the increase of pot based flood and drain systems, specifically the IWS version, 60/40 became a standard choice for growers who wanted a more organically leaning flavour in their end harvest, but with a more typical hydroponic style of growth throughout.
Gold Label HydroCoco 60/40 coco-pebble mix comes in 45 litre size bags and is premixed for you to begin using straight out of the bag. It is suitable for almost every pot-based hydroponic system, and an ideal media if you choose to just hand water. Some of the finest quality coco coir combined with uniquely shaped clay pebbles helps to promote an exceptional grow and harvest, every time.
WHAT IT IS
Gold Label HydroCoco 60/40 is the only RHP certified coco-pebble mix designed specifically for growing hydroponically. Roughly sixty percent of the substrate is the Hydrocorn expanded clay pebbles, the other forty percent is coco coir. Most of the mix being from the irregular shaped 8-12mm sized clay pebbles results in a media that lends itself very well to cultivating in hydroponic systems like the IWS flood and drain system, while the forty percent coco coir provides a water buffer that increases the time needed between irrigations and therefore limits the margin of error in your irrigation times.
Having countless scores of satisfied customers for over 20 years, Gold Label HydroCoco 60/40 has developed a reputation as being the ideal substrate. Offering the speed of growth that true hydroponic mediums do, whilst retaining the organic structure of the coco to provide a more natural approach at the same time. Ideally suited to flood and drain systems, though it will give fantastic results in almost any other top or bottom fed irrigation system to boot.
THE COCO FIBRE
Straight from the finest coconut palms in Indonesia, the outer husk of the coconut is refined and processed for the highest quality hydroponic substrate. After the rest of the nut is sent off to be used for eating, turned into creams or had textiles made from them, the remains are then sent off for production into a product suitable for using in your grow room. This is a long process if done correctly, and there are many different approaches in how to do each stage. Every stage of the process needs to be precisely controlled to ensure you get the most out of your media each time.
In a nutshell, the whole process from start to finish for coir production goes: harvest husks, age husk fibres, soak fibres, wash fibres, buffer fibres, separate fibres, re-combine fibres. It takes a good few years from harvesting the husks to being able to bag up the coir for sale! How well it is washed will affect how high the EC is in the coir. How well it is buffered affects how it interacts with nutrients when you begin irrigating. How the fibres are combined affects the overall physical structure and characteristics of the coir.
Importantly for the RHP stamp that Gold Label HydroCoco holds, the coco needs to be washed to a point that is well below an E.C of 0.6. After the washing and buffering process, Gold Label introduce a unique fertiliser and growth stimulant that helps to provide the plant with explosive growth immediately after transplanting. The EC of the coir remains well within the EC of 0.6 demanded for the RHP stamp, and gives the grower the best start possible for their plant.
Separating the fibres and then re-combining them at the correct ratio is also crucial for the physical characteristics of coco coir. The types of fibres that make up a coir substrate are the pith and the fibrous strands. The two have slightly different physical properties and using varying amounts effects how the mix will retain water or drain. The ratio of longer fibrous strands in the Gold Label provide the ideal rate of capillary action throughout the substrate, ensuring an evenly saturated pot after each watering, and avoids the clumping and compaction of any areas.
THE CLAY PEBBLES
Most growers are used to seeing clay pebbles as perfectly spherical orange balls of expanded clay. It quickly became common place to use perfectly spherical clay pebbles, purely because they were most commonly supplied. Whilst they may be more visually appealing to the human eye, for the root system of a fast-growing plant, they would prefer things a little more chaotic. Gold Label Hydrocorn pebbles each have a unique physical structure and shape which contribute to a larger area of surface area available when compared to your typically spherical versions.
Gold Label’s Hydrocorn pebbles also hold the RHP standard stamp, and are graded to ensure they are always within the range of 8-16mm in size. The irregular shape of each pebble provides the plant roots a much larger surface to work with, providing a lot more stability for the plant as a whole. The larger surface area and irregular shape also contributes to a much more favourable housing for beneficial bacteria and fungi products.
Gold Label Hydrocorn pebbles are produced by being baked in an open furnace environment in combination with highest grade of clean fuels used to burn. This guarantees the absence of any heavy metals or any other contaminates in the pebbles and therefore final product, making it entirely suitable for use in almost hydroponic systems.
HOW TO USE
As with any fibrous substrate that you buy in a bag, make sure you fluff it up when you are filling up your pots. During transport on pallets, the coco coir can become slightly compacted, which is not something that you want for your roots! Break it apart with your hands as you fill your pots so it becomes light and airy once again. Try to ensure an even distribution of the pebbles from the bag as you are preparing the substrate for potting up.
Do not be tempted to press and compact the Gold Label Hydrococo down again after you have filled the pots. When you are potting up, gently tap and knock the pots so the coco settles correctly, rather than compacting it and ruining its structure. This will ensure maximum amount of air pockets throughout the pot.
Gold Label HydroCoco 60/40 coco pebble mix is ideal to be used in you are hand-watering or using hydroponic methods such as drip-irrigation or flood and drain. With most of the mix being comprised of pebbles, it can be successfully used in a re-circulating irrigation system without the same level of concern for unwanted elements building up in the reservoir. Always make sure you monitor the EC and pH levels regularly in a re-circulating system. Respond to any drifts in EC and pH accordingly throughout growth and bloom.
Once you have correctly transplanted your plants into the Gold Label HydroCoco 60/40, always irrigate to the point of run off using a high-quality fertiliser. Your choice will mainly depend on the type of system you choose, but ideally choose one rich in calcium to ensure there are no issues with the CEC of the coir. Coco fibres will want to take calcium from the nutrient solution even though they have been previously buffered, the process always occurs to a degree. As the coco is only 40% of the total mix, this effect is minimised comparatively.
HOW TO FEED
Gold Label HydroCoco 60/40 contains (almost) no nutrient, so you will need to use fertiliser with every watering right from the beginning. Do not be tempted to ‘flush’ the potting mix before planting into it. This is unnecessary and will compromise the calcium buffering levels. Even though there is a slight amount of pre-fertilisation it is not enough to fully sustain a plant, more to just give it a kick after transplanting on.
Always refer to the grow guide of the nutrient for dilution rates, but more importantly, respond to your plants needs as it is growing. As a general guideline, a younger plant will not need a high rate of feeding, usually half the recommended dosage on the bottle. As it grows and creates a larger leaf area, begin to raise the concentration up to the maximum dosage. Ideally monitor your EC and pH daily throughout your grow, and respond to any change in requirements as necessary.
Whether you use a coco specific nutrient, or one more suited to a re-circulating hydroponic system is of course determined by the type of system that you use. If you are drip irrigating, and barely get any run-off after each irrigation, then you may well choose a coir specific nutrient with its enhanced levels of calcium. If you are re-circulating most of your reservoir each irrigation (as with flood and drain systems) you will want to choose a nutrient more tailored to this situation, that compensates for pH and nutrient fluctuations. How often to irrigate will depend on how quickly it is drinking the water. As a general guideline, once the pot weight has reduced by 50% after irrigating, it is time to water again.
Gold Label HydroCoco 60/40 coco pebble mix is great to use as an amendment to improve the structure of an outdoor soil bed. The extra pebbles will add a significant amount of drainage to a compacted bed while the coco also helps with the drainage and aeration as well. However, once they are dug into an outdoor bed, the pebbles will stay there until you pick them all out! So, make sure that their visual appearance is of no concern where you are going to be making use of them. Particularly with areas where the soil is very clay like, the addition of Gold Label HydroCoco 60/40 coco pebble mix can turn a compacted soil into a very well aerated one.
TIPS ON USING GOLD LABEL HYDROCOCO 60/40 COCO PEBBLE MIX
Never compact the coir too much when you are potting up your plants. Try to shake and tap the pots to make sure the coir settles out and levels properly. Compacting the media will reduce the overall availability of oxygen, and result in less than optimal growth.
When potting up, dust the roots of the young plant with a healthy dose of mycorrhizal fungi. Beneficial bacteria products, such as Ecothrive’s Biosys, are ideal for using with this type of substrate and will help establishing plants thrive.
If possible, weigh your pots between irrigations to ensure that you are watering them at the correct times. Overwatering your plants can be more damaging than underwatering.
To measure the EC of your COCO, it is ideal to perform a 1:1.5 extraction rather than just checking the run-off. While the run-off is a good indicator, sometimes you can get misleading results. Some systems make it tricky to get a sample of the media to do this, so always bear this in mind when setting your system up.