The Dude Grows Show

Mixing peat moss with coco coir. Rookie mistakes, Help!!

Hey guys! So I just started growing about 3 years ago using only fox farm ocean forest (indoor & out) and using an organic line called TPS nutrients(no complaints whatsoever). I have a 10x5x9room (which used to be a walk-in closet) and converted it into a grow room. Light reflector walls, starting with 1 1200 watt LED FULL SPECTRUM light for seedlings for late veg/bloom I use 4 of them (about 25-30 inches apart from plants and measured for full room lighting) temp is always 77-80 and humidity at 50-55%. I recently learned about DIY super soils and I decided to give it a try using soil-less soil compounds for my indoor grow, now kind of regretting even taking it into consideration..

So I did a little research before starting and I equipped myself with dolomite lime, gypsum and perlite to add on to my soil-less medium. My problem is, I mixed sphagnum peat moss with mother earth coco coir both 50/50 and from that I added 30% perlite and added indicated dol. Lime and gypsum, no worm casting) and transplanted my indoor plants WITHOUT CHECKING MY SOIL pH!!!! 😭 I feel that’s the reason my plants suffer different deficiencies. I feel I should have never mixed both peat moss with coco and should have only used 1. Today I added about 1/2 inch of earthworm castings 1.25-0-0 on top of my soil and bought a pH soil meter which my soil read above 8.0 pH.

Please, I need to know if I should give up and start over or if there’s hope for my babies?

My plants are currently in the middle of mid veg and I feed them using RO water at 700ppm with PH at 6.3-6.5 one day and the next I water with only cal mag at 350 ppm same pH EVERY OTHER DAY. I should also mention that these plants started with tap water and was switched to RO before the middle of the first half of veg. I’m sure a lot of beginners are as curious as I was and would most likely make the same mistake of mixing random amendments thinking I did good. YouTube videos don’t go into detail about mixing peat moss with coco coir. Rookie making rookie mistakes. Hope to hear from you guys and happy growing 🌱👍


9 responses to “Mixing peat moss with coco coir. Rookie mistakes, Help!!”

  1. Smokeymttop Avatar

    i dont think its your mix . i use peat coco perlite and various other things,

    those brown spots could be calcium deficiency ,but just in case check under those leaves for eggs or bugs..

    other than that they look good….

    Don’t Ever give up…

  2. Chad.Westport Avatar

    Pictures in natural light would be easier to diagnose, but there are some things that are easy to see here. There is discoloration around the leaf margin, there is inter veinal chlorosis and there are brown spots. The spots seem to be about mid plant and the discoloration is based around the top.

    Calcium deficiency often will show as these brown spots around the middle and upwards on the plant. But just because it shows signs of deficiency, doesn’t mean there is a lack of the nutrient in the soil.

    The leaf margin coloring can be a lack of magnesium or even potassium. This is occurring on the upper part of the plant, so I would suspect a less mobile nutrient and of the two I mentioned, magnesium is less mobile in the plant.

    A lot of times when I see the combination of these things, the root zone is staying too wet and this causes uptake issues and Ph problems. Your coco can handle a ton of water, but the peat moss is a great retainer of water, so there is where the international battle might be taking place. There are a few other differences like Ph and nutrient requirements of the material.

    Are you able to check the run-off Ph?

    When you water every other day, are you checking the weight of the pots, the droop of the leaves, the surface moisture level? What makes you think it is time to feed again? This could just be over watering that is causing all of this.

    1. JustCoolin Avatar

      A lot of issues with coco and living soil. Especially the micronutrients being plant available. That lime is going to keep your ph up in the 7 range and gypsum takes time to work on lowering the ph. No compost is also an issue as you figured. Looking like phosphorus issues (large brown spots on yellowing leaves, red stems) along with the micronutrient new growth. That much calcium(lime, calmg, most peat is buffered with lime) and high ph from the carbonate(lime) both giving you trouble.

    2. Sun Flowers Avatar
      Sun Flowers

      Hello Chad,
      This is my first post on DG, finallymade it here insteadof youtube. Nnice post.

  3. IwannaTalkToSampson Avatar

    You can 100% mix coco and peat moss. There’s totally a mother’s earth soil called coco peat.

  4. COSGrow618 Avatar

    All I know is when I try to replicate grandmas sauce. It never works. Leave the mixing up to the big guys till you get a full understanding of what’s what.

  5. Sun Flowers Avatar
    Sun Flowers

    To Whom It May Concern,
    Coco by itself is an inert growing medium or substrate and essentially lacks nutrients. Growing in coco is a form of hydroponics and you will add some type of 2 or 3 part nutrient every watering and change the rate and ratio of NPK as the plant grows and flowers until flush. Coco amended with anything moves it away from being “hydroponic” depending on the bio-availability of the amendment to the plant as it breaks down. Amendments to coco like perlite add aeration, but break down much differently into available NPK than say compost or a meal. Vermiculite is another good amendment as it will provide silica without affecting your hydroponic nutrient NPK. Adding in compost, worm castings, meals, or other amendments that will provide NPK as they decompose, moves coco coir into being an amendment itself used as ingredient in an organic soil mix for its water/oxygen capabilities rather than a hydroponic medium.
    Your Welcome,
    The Old Pollen-Chucker
    Sun Flowers

  6. Stone Root Avatar
    Stone Root

    Coco and peat moss work together, but moisture levels will be different. I find with Coco, less water is better. It is not as hydrophobic as peat, and can dry out without as many issues. You might need less water more often. Also, without enough nutrients you will have issues. Based off the inputs, I suspect the soil PH is high.

  7. Blunt Kushner Avatar
    Blunt Kushner

    Had the same first grow. Was certain I had Rose rust and cut the few leaves that had it and added a strong ionizer to stop particles from moving around. Same happened next grow, changed up the calmag and added a little extra micronutrients, cut the leafs that showed it and it was history. My best guess is that it is the leds.
    But be aware because it looks just like some rust diseases I´ve seen on picture.
    If you wanna feel the texture of the leafs to determine what it is without a loupe, cut them with fans of, inspect in other room and clean hands and nails like you just took a bath in covid or something.

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