Sunday, March 11, 2012

Seed Starting- Trying Something New: Coconut Fiber

I'm trying something new this year with my seed starting.
For years I've used jiffy 7 pellets and had starting seeds in them down to a fine art.  They were cheap and convenient and once i learned how to use them properly, a great success.  Last year I had a hard time locating them, so I decided to go back to seed starting mix and cups etc.  I then found that Home Depot was selling bricks of Coconut fiber.  I had used Coconut fiber years ago as a peat alternative when I was seriously into growing African Violets.  the package of 2 bricks cost only $2.47 so I decided to give it a try. 

The instructions looked very simple, just add water.

One dry Coconut fiber brick.

The brick starting to expand.

Breaking apart the brick while slowly adding water.

The expanded brick broken up.

The results planted with 'Wild Garden Mixed' lettuce seed.

It took only a short time for the brick to absorb the water and expand.  The one thing I had forgotten was the long fiber "whiskers" that I spent at least 20 minutes trying to pluck out.  This fiber is supposed to be greener as it is renewable, and balance the moisture level much better than peat.  It is much more convenient than trying to moisten dry peat based mix and a lot less messy. 

Time will tell if this is a good medium for seed starting and I'll keep you posted on the results.


  1. I used that (Burpee eco-friendly), only mine came in a bag of non-brick looseness, I'm sure it was much less than 8 qts., and it was $3.99. I've tossed the bag, so I'm not sure if it contained anything other than the coconut fiber. I found it moistened quickly, but it also dries out quicker than the peat I used. It also crumbles when combined with potting mix and used in soil blocks, so It won't be used for that any more.

    1. Granny, I had decided to go for the brick as I could store it moistened in a plaxtic container. When I used it years ago I only mixed it with vermiculite and perlite, never a peat based mix. I'll keep a sharp eye on the moisture level.

  2. For those looking for the jiffy pellets, I accidentlally ran into them at Walmart for a very goood priece compared to the garden store. I think 36 pellets were 2 bucks.

  3. Tomato Thymes, thanks for the tip! It sounds like those are the smaller ones which would be great. I love those for starting my lettuce, greens etc.

    1. I looked up what I bought at Walmart and it was the Jiffy 5048 36-Plant Pellet Refill. These were a couple of bucks and I went online to check prices and it looks like Walmart's price is an amazing bargain. Lowest price online that I could find for the same was $5. So for those who like these, there may be a run on them at Walmart :)