Buy Orchids and sundries in confidence

A New Potting media for Orchids

 

WhatsNew

 

Ray Creek Orchid Nursery

on line store

I hope you enjoy this, our new on line orchid store, take the links to our catalogue pages, browse through the orchids we have for sale, and buy with ease -  you order from your desk top - we deliver to your door!

 

   

 

More Orchids

 

In addition to all the popular orchids you can buy through our on line orchid store, we do have a more comprehensive mail order price list which covers our full range of stock plants, please contact us for details.

 

   

 

See me out and about

 

Upcoming shows and events

Over the year you can meet me and buy orchids from me at many different events.

 

I attend local orchid meeting, giving talks and selling my plants to anyone who cares to come along; as well as being present at some of the larger orchid events.

 

For a full list of where I will be during the year, see the events pages

 

   

 

Coconut Husk Orchid Compost - see the root system above !

 

Chipped Coconut Husk (CHC)


First I should make clear that the coconut husk I use and sell is fresh clean husk that has been processed to very high standards at source. The raw material is collected at a factory in an area that has an abundance of clean, soft water springs. Only fresh, clean husk is accepted for processing. The produce is then soaked and washed in several changes of soft water. This reduces the natural salts and tannin to a low level (EC <0.5 ms/cm), it is then heat treated as a precaution against disease, either plant or human. The next stage is to grade it before it is compressed into mini-bales for dispatch.
The factory is a large commercial operation with coconut husk products being sold for the production of many different types of plant including Orchids, Citrus fruits, Anthuriums, Tomatoes, Strawberries, Peppers, Gerberas, Lilies and many more.


I (Ray) have been testing and using chipped coconut husk as a growing medium for about eight years now and for the last three or four years I have been using it exclusively for all my potting needs. I use it without mixing with any other materials and for all types of orchid, as yet I have not found anything that doesn’t benefit. I even have a few Disas that are growing healthily in it. I have also used it, with great success, as an additive to the compost for many other types of plant.


Some Provable Benefits.


So often claims are made within the orchid world that are based on little more than gut feelings and hunches. Here are some facts and figures to back up my claim that Coconut Husk Chip is one of the very best orchid growing media available today.


Coconut Husk holds large amounts of moisture.


Because the particles of CHC are like little sponges they absorb large quantities of water without leaving residues or films of water on their surfaces. This helps to limit the spread of fungal diseases within the root zone yet ensuring that water if freely available to the plant.


High air-filled porosity


This is just a technical term for a growing media that holds lots of air. Again, because of the sponge-like nature of the husk, air is held inside each particle as well as between them.


Good drainage


The open nature of CHC means that excess water is drained away very quickly.


Nutrients are released slowly.


Coconut husk has the ability to bind nutrients to it chemically (Known as Cation Exchange Capacity or CEC). This has the effect of storing fertiliser within the growing media, these nutrients are then released slowly to the plant over an extended period of time. This of course means a more even, more sustained availability of nutrients. To take full advantage of this property, I would advise the addition of a normal dose of good orchid feed to the water used for the initial wetting up of the husk.


Good pH range.


With a pH of 5.4-6.8 this is almost ideal for the growing of orchids. These levels are checked during processing and any husk that does not conform is rejected.
Low salt and tannin content.
Because of the rigorous washing process carried out by my supplier the salt content is reduced to very low levels. EC levels come out at <.05 mc/cm. Levels of tannins, they can also be a problem, are reduced to very low levels.


High lignin content.


Lignin has been described as one of nature’s fungicides and is the material that gives many hardwoods their rot resistance. (This is the root of the name Lignum vitae one of the most rot resistant woods known) The high lignin content in CHC helps to protect plant roots from fungal and bacterial attack (rotting).
Weed and disease free.
The CHC that I supply has been heat treated to kill any weed seeds or disease organisms, which could infect either plants or humans.


Long lasting


Because of the extended period before CHC begins to break down plants can be left for longer intervals between re-potting. This means that plants get less disruption and can grow on into large specimens in a shorter period of time. It also eventually leads to less use of potting material and therefore a reduction in costs.


It’s nice to use.

CHC compresses when firmed and so supports you plants well when re-potting. It is friable and easy to work between roots whilst being ‘comfortable’ to use. Once wetted there are no annoying dust problems.


Use with a clear conscience


Even the most radical Green Party member would find it hard to criticise CHC.
It is completely organic and poses no problems with disposal after use.
It is a by-product of the copra industry and until recently would have been dumped because it was thought to be of no use. Energy inputs are low, just the costs of chopping, compressing and transport.
The firm that I buy from has a very responsible attitude to there staff, paying higher wages than the average for the area and implementing various projects to help the local community.


It grows great orchids!


I can’t prove this one so you will just have to buy some so that you can prove it yourselves.

Buy on line from our orchid sundries page