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Old 08-02-2013, 10:27 PM
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Soak coconut chips??

I just got some coconut chips from Repotme and just saw on another site that they should be soaked first before using. Apparently, they "blow up" in size. I wish Repotme would have sent those instruction - if they are true. I would have just thrown them in the pot dry had I not read this. Anyone know if they should be soaked??
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:33 PM
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Yea, soaked & rinsed. Feel free to add diluted fert &/or SuperThrive, etc.
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:58 PM
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Agree with dbroome
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:06 PM
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Even if it is sold as pre-washed, you want to soak it several times to be sure you've removed most of the salts. Ray of First Rays recommends presoaking with calcium nitrate and/or Epsom salts to help draw out the salts.
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:41 PM
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I just long-soak in several changes of high-quality (low dissolved solids) water, such as quality tap water or rain water. The reason this is needed is that coconuts often grow near the sea shore, and pick up the ocean salts.

Nothing wrong with adding either calcium nitrate __OR__ Epsom salts, just don't use them together (precipitates sulfate minerals, at least temporarily). I personally don't bother with this step, and use coco husk chips quite successfully. Not sure it is really necessary.

I have not seen it suggested before that the coco husk materials change size when soaked, any more than other organic materials. Not saying it doesn't happen, but I have not observed it.
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Old 08-03-2013, 12:12 AM
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Old 08-03-2013, 01:11 AM
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Hi I use CoCo nuggets by the blocks, use it on all my orchids in the greenhouse with great success vandas, Paphs, Phallies, Aust. natives including Sarcs, etc. Only one size 12 to 18 mm nuggets that come in compressed bales and when wet it triples its size.

I soak mine for about 3 to 4 times, at the first soaking the salt readings are 950 to 1000 PPM, and halve after each soaking, and in the last soaking, usually the 4th, I mix about 5 spoons of common garden lime with the water and leave for about 12 hours then drain and use.
The 1st, 2nd, and 3 rd soaking I leaves soaking for about 24 hours.

On of the best and most consist product I have used on orchids, no need to any any other material with it.
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Old 08-03-2013, 03:44 AM
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The "other" site is correct. Absolutely soak, rinse, soak, and rinse again. Just good growing sense. Coco chips contain loads of salt and will leach into the roots and severely damage if not kill your plants slowly.
No matter how any medium comes, you should be soaking or rinsing.
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