At Sun Gro®, the makers of Black Gold®, we are very focused on producing a quality product. This is evident in the choice of coconut coir used in our potting soils. What exactly is coconut coir? It is the coarse fiber taken from the fibrous outer shell of a coconut. It used to be considered a waste products but more recently it has become processed for horticultural use. Coconut coir comes in many forms, depending on the degree in which it has been processed. For our Black Gold® Just Coir and Waterhold Cocoblend products, we use only the best horticultural coir.
In all of our coir mixes, we add a form of coconut coir that has been expanded from compressed coir bricks. The final product of this expansion process is a finer organic substrate similar to peat moss. And like all of the raw materials added to Black Gold products, our coir has undergone stringent assessments for quality control. All raw materials, including coconut coir, are pre-qualified before they are used in any of our products. Our team of research horticulturalists are responsible for developing our high-quality standards and then securing products that pass those standards.
Coconut coir is produced all over the world. India and Sri Lanka account for the majority of the coconut coir produced. Just like many other products, the quality of coconut coir varies depending on where it is produced and how it is processed. The most important concern Sun Gro has when it comes to sourcing coconut coir is the level of salts it contains. A large portion of coconut coir is grown near the ocean. Between the natural salts in the soil and the salt from ocean spray, coconut coir sourced from coconut farms near the ocean have high salts. When high salt coconut coir is used, then the potting soil and the plants grown in it are negatively impacted. The affected plants can have stunted root and shoot growth, tip die back of new growth, and dead or brown sections on the edges of older leaves. These undesirable traits are completely avoidable if low salt coir is chosen.
Sun Gro sources its coconut coir from inland coconut farms that have rigid production processes, which include washing the salts out of the coconut coir at the source. The manufacturer is required to test and ship only the coconut coir that passes Sun Gro’s quality specifications. When the coconut coir arrives and we begin the expansion process, we wash it one more time and test it to ensure it meets or exceeds our quality standards. The goal is to provide coconut coir that provides the wonderful horticultural traits we desire without the high salts.
Why do we go through all of these additional steps? Because Sun Gro is a horticultural company not a marketing company. Our desire is to have lifelong customers, and we believe the easiest way to make that a reality is to produce a consistently high-quality product, so that you have gardening success every time you use our products.