Well I didn't want to write the benefits of coir on this blog, because when you Google it you'll come across to hundreds of search results repeating the same features. But let's not ignore this column anyway. I am going to quickly sum up the benefits.
Planet Natural mentions that Coir has excellent water holding capacity and can hold upto 8 to 9 times its weight in water. It provides excellent aeration to roots and strong resistance to bacteria and fungus. An article on ehow talks about Planet Natural reporting that the space between the fibers of coco mats in hydroponic systems contain 40 percent air. It further quotes that Coco mats have a pH range of 6 to 6.7, which makes them good for hydroponic growing systems.
As mentioned earlier it doesn't come with nutrients unlike soil and we need to give a 100% supply of essential nutrients. Some of the cheaper quality coir contain lot of salts and are needed to be washed thoroughly but if you invest a bit more on the quality you are ready to use the product immediately.
Coir is light in weight and retains nutrients against leaching. You'll observe that it buffers supply of the nutrients at the same time. The product doesn't shrink during your growing cycle. I get cranky around pests and I am glad that it doesn't attract any of them, weeds or diseases. Coir is odourless but I am in favour of fresh fragrance of wet soil. I liked the fact that it's natural and renewable resource.
Michael Staumietis of Advanced Nutrients, writing in the July 18, 2008 edition of "American Chronicles" reports, the lignin in coco mats encourages beneficial bacteria in hydroponic systems and discourages harmful bacteria. He writes; "studies suggest that lignin helps suppress root rot diseases such as pythium and phytothora."
When I was surfing for coir info I always came across to pelemix google ads, eventually I got so bored of looking at them that I finally ended up giving it a click. The website says that it's the leading company in coco peat substrate market for hydroponic owners. I would like to believe that in future if I get to use it! Anyway, you have to check this very interesting chart on their website explaining the benefits of coir. It might be very helpful for someone who prefer structured presentation. Also, here a nice checklist available on Cosmic Coir website explaining the benefits of coir in brief
And yes I have had used rockwool before which got my skin irritated, coir on other hand is light in weight and very pleasant to handle.